Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sample Intercessions for December 24, 2006 - Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C
December 24, 2006

Things, events, and news items to keep in mind:

  • Click here for the readings of the day.
  • 2,950 US soldiers have died in the three years and nine months of fighting in Iraq; 22,000 US military personnel have been injured; 245 Coalition soldiers have been killed; at least 50,000 Iraqis have died. The last two US military casualties in Iraq were of a 43 year old from Hilo, Hawaii, and a 19 year old from Newark, New Jersey.
  • Immigration raids by the US government targeting meat-packing facilities throughout the country resulted in fear, distrust, and chaos, with hundreds losing their jobs and being separated from their families to be detained or deported.
  • The search continues for two climbers who have been missing for 12 days on Mount Hood in Oregon. A third climber was found dead on Sunday.
  • The Pacific Northwest continues to experience heavy winds and cold, leaving many without electricity for days. Several die from downed trees.
  • San Jose continues to have near freezing overnight temperatures, filling up local homeless shelters and putting those who remain on the streets at risk.
  • Visitors will be filling local churches for Christmas Masses. Travelers will be far from home.
  • Family gatherings and the holiday season are not always joyful times for those in strained relationships, those grieving the loss of a loved one, those terminally ill, those with family far away, or those alone or abandoned.
  • Kwanzaa begins on December 26.
  • Parish staffs and liturgical ministers will be stretched to their limits by the rare calendar event of the 4th Sunday of Advent coinciding with Christmas Eve.
The following are just samples meant to inspire your work. Use them as ideas for your own assembly's intercessions. Read 10 Principles for Writing Intercessions and How To Write Intercessions to help you write your own.

With prayers for a world waiting in hope,
let us turn to the Lord, and we shall be saved.

For the Church
still waiting for unity,
still hoping for renewal,
still searching for steadfast faith: [pause]
May all the faithful be blessed by the sound of the Gospel
proclaimed to the ends of the earth.
Come, Lord Jesus…hear our prayer.

For all nations
still waiting for peace,
still hoping for an end to war
still searching for common ground: [pause]
May all peoples be blessed by the sound of understanding
between clans and tribes, rulers and races.
Come, Lord Jesus…hear our prayer.

For those who have lost hope,
still waiting for a job,
still hoping for a cure,
still searching for a place to call home: [pause]
May those without joy this season be blessed
by the sound of God's promise for them fulfilled.
Come, Lord Jesus…hear our prayer.

For travelers and visitors, families and friends,
still waiting for welcome,
still hoping for reconciliation,
still searching for a way to mend what has been broken: [pause]
May everyone we encounter this season be blessed
by greetings of peace, compassion, and hospitality.
Come, Lord Jesus…hear our prayer.

For the sick and the dying and those who care for them,
still waiting for results,
still hoping for a miracle,
still searching for courage and comfort,
including those we now name…: [pause]
May all the sick be blessed by the sound of God's healing word
and the strength of our prayers.
Come, Lord Jesus…hear our prayer.

For the dead,
loved ones whom we miss this season,
forgotten ones who died alone,
innocent ones caught in the crossfire of violence,
including those we now name…: [pause]
May all who have died be blessed by the sound of God
welcoming them home.
Come, Lord Jesus…hear our prayer.

You are near to us, Lord,
as close to us as the child in the womb of her mother.
And yet we wait in expectant hope for your coming.
Attune our ears to hear your voice in all those we meet,
and open our eyes to see your abiding presence in our world.
Hear our prayers and make us turn to you
that we may leap for joy at the sound of your saving Word,
Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, for ever and ever. Amen.

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