Prayers

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes- Feb. 11

CALL TO PRAYER

Reader 1
Today, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Our Lady of Lourdes is a title for Jesus' mother that originated in the French Pyrenees in the mid-1800's. Catholic tradition relates that a frail, fourteen-year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous had gone to gather firewood near a rocky outcropping outside the town of Lourdes, an area used by the townsfolk as a trash dump. In the middle of this disregarded and ignored area, Mary appeared to Bernadette and opened up for her a spring of healing water.

This grotto, once entirely overlooked, is now a place of pilgrimage for thousands of the faithful seeking healing, comfort, and a place to draw near to God's goodness.

This feast day reminds us of a pattern that we can see throughout our religious heritage: a pattern of divine goodness being made known in the least likely of places, proclaiming a desire to heal and renew.

Let us open our ears and hearts to God's word for us today….

SCRIPTURE READING

Reader
A reading from the book of Revelation

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away."

The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Then he said, "Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true." He said to me, "They are accomplished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water.

The Word of the Lord. All: Thanks be to God.

PAUSE FOR MOMENT OF QUIET REFLECTION

ANOINTING / PRAYER OVER THE SICK

Reader 3
God's will is the healing of this world. God's will is the full flourishing of all life. God's will is to erase suffering and death from this planet. Throughout history God has made this plan known, in the preaching and miracles of Jesus Christ, in visions of Mary and the saints, but also in the on-going ministry of his Church.

When we participate in the sacrament of the anointing of the sick (or pray together as a community), we believe that divine goodness enters into our lives, no matter how messy and chaotic and insignificant they might appear. We invite God's will to become reality for us here and now.

PETITIONS & CLOSING PRAYER

Reader 1
Let us pray that God's will be made real, not only in our lives but throughout the world. To each petition, I invite you to respond, "Gracious God, hear our prayer."

Gracious God, heal the pattern of sickness and suffering that permeates our human existence. Look kindly on the members of our community who are experiencing illness right now. Make your loving care known to them in this time of trial, bringing them healing and comfort. We pray,

All
Gracious God, hear our prayer.

Reader 2
Gracious God, break into the pattern of despair and hopelessness that frequently troubles us. We know that you are near, but so often do not feel it. Make your presence evident, renewing within us hope in your promises. We pray,

All
Gracious God, hear our prayer.

Reader 3
Gracious God, break into the pattern of violence and revenge that encircles our globe. Make clear to us another path forward – a path of mutual respect and peace. We pray,

All
Gracious God, hear our prayer.

Reader 1
Gracious God, break into the pattern of callousness and unawareness that afflicts so much of our society, making us oblivious to You, making us oblivious to those around us and their needs. Open our eyes and hearts to places where we might better serve your will in this world. We pray,

All
Gracious God, hear our prayer.

All
Gracious God, we know that you hear our prayers–those spoken aloud and those spoken only in the silence of our hearts. Through the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, answer these prayers in the way you best see fit. Amen.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Reader 2
We have spoken of God's will for healing and restoration becoming real in our world. We know that this desire for God's will to be fully realized is not a new one. Indeed, over 2000 years ago, Jesus taught us to pray for it each and every day. Let us close by praying with one another the prayer that Jesus taught us.

All
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

The Anointing of the Sick may take place with a priest. Or, participants could be invited to come forward and dip their hands in blessed water, signing themselves with a cross. During this anointing, instrumental music or a song would be fitting. Suggested songs include:

"Healer of Our Every Ill," Marty Haugen, GIA Publications, Inc.
"Jesus, Heal Us," David Haas, GIA Publications, Inc.