Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sample Intercessions for December 24/25, 2006 - Christmas

The Vigil of Christmas - The Nativity of the Lord, Year ABC
December 24/25, 2006

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

  • Click here for the readings of the Vigil Mass.
  • Click here for the readings of the Mass at Midnight.
  • Click here for the readings of the Mass at Dawn.
  • Click here for the readings of the Mass during 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 Christmas season calls for more solemnity. Consider using a sung response and having your deacon, cantor, or reader chant the intercessions.
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.

Emmanuel has come, the hope of all the peoples.
Let us lift our voices in prayer with the saints
and cry out with the angels: Glory to God in the highest!

For the faithful who have become children of God,
for those preparing for baptism and all who seek the infant-king: [pause]
May the Word Made Flesh raise in us a cry for justice,
a shout for joy, and a song of comfort for all people.
We pray to the Lord.

For the world in darkness that has seen a great light,
for nations at war that dream of everlasting peace: [pause]
May the grace of God appear to them, saving them,
training them to live in hope and justice.
We pray to the Lord.

For travelers and those in the military far from home,
for all who find themselves in places of fear and conflict: [pause]
May every boot and cloak bloodied by war
be transformed by the flame of peace leading them safely home.
We pray to the Lord.

For the unemployed or the homeless,
for those unsure of where their next meal will come from,
for marriages, families, and relationships weighed down by strife: [pause]
May the yoke that burdened them be smashed by the Lord’s holy arm,
removing their fear and bringing them comfort.
We pray to the Lord.

For children born and children hoped for,
for friends near and those distanced by miles or anger,
for loved ones ill or close to death,
including those we now name…: [pause]
May they receive from God’s mercy grace upon grace.
We pray to the Lord.

For our deceased loved ones whom we miss this season,
for those who died alone,
for innocent victims of violence,
including those we now name…: [pause]
May Christ gather us together into the eternal light of heaven.
We pray to the Lord.

Lord Jesus, Everlasting Light,
shine your mercy upon us, and hear our prayers.
Do not let the darkness of doubt overcome us,
but stir in us deeper faith in you,
for you are the Lord of hosts, and your zeal will do this.
We ask this in your name, Emmanuel,
God with us, for ever and ever. Amen.

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