Prayers of the people: The Cup of Christ

8 October 2021

In this week’s intercessionary prayers for parishes, we pray for the dwindling Christian communities of the Middle East. Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 17 October 2021.


In the psalms and prophets and in Jesus’ conversation with James and John, ‘to drink the cup’ meant to accept one’s God-given fate.

 Jesus gave the phrase a wealth of new meaning when he spoke his words over the cup at the Last Supper. To drink the cup of Jesus became a pledge to share unreservedly in his self-sacrificial love. To drink it with fellow-believers was to declare a status-levelling solidarity with them.

 One of the sad results of the pandemic has been to deprive the baptised of this powerful sacramental sign, restored by Vatican II with limited success. We hope and pray that fasting from full sacramental communion will only inflame our desire for the cup of Christ.


For the dwindling Christian communities of the Middle East, that they will have the strength to hold fast to their ancient faith.


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


Dear friends, Jesus spent his life among us in the service of all. In that spirit let us pray for the needs of the whole human family.


For faith leaders and heads of state, that they will be freed of ambition and devote themselves in selfless service to the good of the community. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.

For the leaders of nations, that they will take the decisive steps needed to deal with the climate crisis and protect the earth, our common home. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.

For the poor of the world, that today’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will spark renewed efforts to share the world’s resources justly with them. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.

For public health workers engaging with culturally diverse communities, that they will help them respond effectively to the COVID challenge. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.

For young people struggling with mental health issues, that they will find the personal companionship and professional help they need. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.

For all who were born or have become deaf, that they will be enabled to flourish and participate fully in the life of the community. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.

For refugees and asylum seekers in Australia who see violence and injustice consuming their homelands, that their pain will be eased by local networks of support. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.

For the parents of new-born children, that they will delight in the gift they have been given and cherish their child with love. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.

For the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that they will enjoy the eternal life won for them by the Son of Man. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.


God of all goodness, your Son emptied himself of glory to be servant of all. Keep us true to his name. We ask this through Christ our Lord.