When Mass Cannot be Celebrated Publicly – Making a Spiritual Communion

Candles in church

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

whom then shall I fear?

the Lord is the stronghold of my life;

of whom shall I be afraid?

These words from Psalm 26 were penned by David in the twilight of his life. Having experienced many ups and downs as King of Israel, he reflects on the one steadfast thing, the love of God for him. In these difficult times when our world can seem to be upside down and the familiar patterns of life are removed from us, we turn to God and rely on his mercy and loving compassion for us all. This information has been provided as a help for prayer when Mass is not available to us. Our priests will continue to offer Mass for the Church and the world at this time, and we can unite ourselves to their celebrations through a spiritual communion. St Thomas Aquinas described Spiritual Communion as, ‘an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and lovingly embrace him’.  As our pattern of life changes, we should endeavour to keep a pattern of prayer and praise in our days, and this is one way we can unite ourselves in prayer to our Lord and his world.

Be assured of my prayers for you all at this time.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols


This prayer service is available as a pdf to download and print:  When Mass cannot be celebrated publicly


Introduction

Some will find it helpful to have a space as a focus for their prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or other holy image, and a lighted candle.

Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Examen
Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect.

For what am I grateful to God today?
Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do.
How might I do better tomorrow?
What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in His love?

You may wish to conclude by saying:
Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:  Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:  Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:  Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

The Word of God

The readings for the Mass of the Day can be found in a People’s Missal or online Universalis https://universalis.com/mass.htm. Either read all the texts or choose just to read the Gospel of the Day.

Alternatively, use the following Psalm and Gospel.

Psalm 85 (1-6, 11, 15-16)

Turn your ear, O Lord, and give answer
for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am faithful:
save the servant who trusts in you.

You are my God, have mercy on me, Lord,
for I cry to you all the day long.
Give joy to your servant, O Lord,
for to you I lift up my soul.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of love to all who call.
Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my voice.

Show me, Lord, your way
so that I may walk in your truth.
Guide my heart to fear your name.

You, God of mercy and compassion,
slow to anger, O Lord,
abounding in love and truth,
turn and take pity on me.

Gospel Mark 4:35–41

On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took Him with them in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’

 Pause for a moment of silent reflection.

Prayers

Intercessions

Pray for family and loved ones so that they may be held in God’s compassionate care. Pray for other countries who are struggling with the effects of the COVID 19 virus.

If the following intentions are said in a family or other group you may wish to conclude each one with the response: Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For those in authority: may they offer advice with care and integrity, may they seek to protect the poor and vulnerable.

For all who work in healthcare: give strength to all who look after the sick so that they may bring comfort and relief to the suffering.

For the Church: may she offer prayers and consolation for all those affected.

For our local community and all for those in need: may those who are isolated know the support and service of their neighbours.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father…

Spiritual Communion Prayer of St Alphonsus
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my soul so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever. Amen.

Conclusion
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Additional Prayers

Pope Francis’ prayer to the Virgin for protection
O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.  At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain with steadfast faith. You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.  We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee, joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.  Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the Father’s will and to do what Jesus tells us: He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.  Do not despise our pleas — we who are put to the test — and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

Invocation of Our Lady
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me.

Prayer for the Household
Hear us, Lord, and send your angel from heaven to visit and protect, to comfort and defend all who live in this house. Amen.


Information about how the Church is responding practically to Coronavirus (COVID 19) can be found here: www.cbcew.org.uk/coronavirusguidelines

Live Mass at Northampton Cathedral