Introduction to the Mass
Tonight we cross the threshold of a holy time, three days of solemn drama. The one mystery – the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus – unfolds in three acts. The memorial of the Lord’s Supper comes first. Basin and towel join forces with broken bread and shared cup to signify Jesus’ servant love. On Good Friday afternoon we glory in the triumph of the cross. At the Easter Vigil we revel in a symphony of symbols: light, word, water, oil, bread and wine. We rejoice with Paul, for Christ “is our salvation, our life and our resurrection; through him we are saved and made free.”
Dear friends, mindful of Jesus’ command to remember him in the breaking of bread and the washing of feet, let us follow his example of love and pray for the whole human family.
1. We pray for Christian communities of every kind. Like the first believers, may they be faithful to the teaching of the apostles, the common life, the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
2. We pray for unity between the Christian churches. May all who follow Christ be enabled to share together in the one bread and the one cup at the one eucharistic table. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
3. We pray for the hungry and the homeless who have no place at the table of life. May we reach out to them as sisters and brothers and make room for them beside us. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
4. We pray for the agencies and communities in the Asia-Pacific region that are partnered with Caritas Australia. May our contributions to Project Compassion enrich their programmes of aid and development. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
5. We pray for all who live in dangerous places under threat of betrayal, imprisonment and execution. May they their hope for a new era of justice, peace and freedom be fulfilled. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
6. We pray for people near and far who are suffering from the devastation of natural disasters. May their losses be offset by the help given by neighbours, volunteer organisations and emergency services. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
7. We pray for refugees and asylum seekers around the world, especially those cruelly detained on Nauru and Manus Island. May political differences be set aside and replaced by the determination to put humane policies into practice. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
8. We pray for ourselves as we enter into these solemn days of prayer. May our celebration of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection confirm us in faith and renew us in mission. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
9. We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May they be welcomed to the banquet of eternal life. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
Holy God, for love’s sake your Son Jesus offered himself to you as the paschal lamb. Help us who drink his saving cup be true disciples and apostles of his love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.