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Prayers of the people: First Sunday of Advent Year C, 2 December 2018

20 November 2018

Introductory reflection

When Advent first took shape some 1500 years ago, it brought the church’s year to a close. Five centuries later it was understood to get it started. Nowadays, Advent puts beginnings and ends into conversation together. Playfully, the beginning (the dawn of salvation in Jesus’ birth) comes at the end, while the end (Christ’s return in glory) comes at the start. But the two are inseparable. They are held together in fruitful tension by the grace of the present moment. The prophet Isaiah and the apostle Paul speak with one voice: now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2). Now, always. That’s Advent.

This week’s prayer focus

For the unsung saints who devote themselves to community service, that they will inspire us to greater gratitude and generosity.

Sample intercessions

These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.


Dear friends, on this first day of the church’s new year we look ahead in hope to the coming of Christ. Putting our trust in his word, let us pray for the whole of creation.


  1. For all who are made anxious by the troubling uncertainties of our time, that God’s Spirit will give them hope and courage and prompt them to effective action. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  2. For scientists studying climate change and global warming, that their research will persuade leaders to protect the earth for future generations. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  3. For the religious of Australia observing today’s National Day of Sorrow and Promise, that their solidarity with victims will hasten healing for the abused. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  4. For children, women and men trapped by any form of slave trade or human trafficking, that local and international campaigns to free them will succeed. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  5. For state governments considering euthanasia or abortion legislation, that all members of parliament will conscientiously uphold the dignity of human life. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  6. For the Jewish community celebrating the Festival of Lights this week, that they will find joy and peace in God’s eternal covenant of love. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  7. For Christian communities preparing to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception, that Mary’s unique holiness will inspire them to follow Christ ever more closely. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  8. For ourselves, our families and our friends, that this season of Advent will be a time of peaceful prayer and renewed hope. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  9. For the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that they will share for ever in the glory of Christ. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.


Loving God our Saviour, in faith we look for your Son to bring all things to fulfilment. Help us wait in patience and grow in love day by day. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


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