Prayer For The Gift Of Life
you lived for nine months in the security
of the womb of your mother Mary.
From her you received the flesh
that was broken and the blood that was poured out for us.
Give to all men and women of Ireland
a deep reverence for human life,
especially for life that is as yet unborn
and utterly defenceless.
May its mother’s womb continue
to be the safest place on God’s earth –
the sanctuary that no man or woman may dare to violate.
May our faith in the Word-made-Flesh,
worldly wisdom or human manipulation,
be our sole guide.
Give us the courage to proclaim
to the whole world that life is sacred –
a precious gift from God.
The Stations Of The Cross
The fourteen Stations of the Cross are as follows:
I. Jesus is condemned to death: Leaving the house of Caiphas, where he had been blasphemed, and the house of Herod, where he had been mocked, Jesus is dragged before Pilate, his back torn with scourges, his head crowned with thorns; and he is condemned to a disgraceful death.
II. Jesus is made to carry his cross: A heavy cross is laid on the bruised shoulders of Jesus. He receives it with meekness: it is the instrument with which he is to redeem the world.
III. Jesus falls the first time: Bowed down under the weight of the cross, Jesus slowly sets forth on the way to Calvary amidst the mockeries and insults of the crowd. His agony in the garden has exhausted his body and he is sore from blows and wounds; his strength fails him and he falls to the ground under the weight of the cross.
IV. Jesus meets his Blessed Mother: Still burdened by his cross and wounded by his fall, Jesus proceeds on his way. He is met by his Mother. What a meeting that must have been! What a sword of anguish must have pierced her heart!
V. Simon of Cyrene is made to help Jesus carry his cross: As the strength of Jesus fails and he is unable to proceed, the soldiers seize Simon of Cyrene from the crowd and make him help Jesus. The virtue of that cross changed his cross and the compulsory task became a privilege and a joy.
VI. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus: As Jesus continues on the way and covered with the sweat of death, a woman moved by compassion, makes her way through the crowd and wipes his face with a towel. As a reward of her piety, the impression of his sacred countenance is miraculously imprinted upon the towel.
VII. Jesus falls the second time: The pain of the wounds and the loss of blood increasing with every step, again his strength fails him and Jesus falls to the ground a second time.
VIII. The women of Jerusalem weep for Jesus: At the sight of the sufferings of Jesus, some holy women in the crowd were so touched with sympathy that they openly bewailed and lamented him. Jesus, knowing the things that were to happen to Jerusalem because of its rejection of him, turned to them and said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”
IX. Jesus falls the third time: Jesus had now almost arrived at the summit of Calvary, but before he reached the spot where he was to be crucified, his strength again fails him and falls the third time.
X. Jesus is stripped of his garments: Having finally arrived at the place of crucifixion they prepared to crucify him. His garments are removed from his bleeding body and he stands naked before the people, while the soldiers cast lots to see who shall keep his garment.
XI. Jesus is nailed to the cross: The cross is laid upon the ground and Jesus is stretched upon his bed of death. At one and the same time he offers his bruised body to his heavenly Father of behalf of all peoples, and to his executioners to be nailed by them to the wood.
XII. Jesus dies on the cross: For three hours Jesus hung upon the cross, and in the midst of his sufferings he has forgiven those who condemned him, pardoned the good thief, and committed his Mother and the beloved disciple to each other’s care. All is now consummated, and, bowing his head, he breathes his last.
XIII. Jesus is taken down from the cross: The crowds have left Calvary and none remain except the beloved disciple and some holy women who support Jesus’ blessed Mother. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take down the lifeless body of Jesus and place it in is Mother’s arms.
XIV. Jesus is laid in the Sepulchre: The body of her Son is taken from his Mother and laid in the tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. The tomb is closed and there the corpse remains until its glorious resurrection.
The traditional way of praying the Stations of the Cross in the church is to walk from station to station. At each station one genuflects or bows and recites certain prayers which include an ‘Our Father,’ ‘Hail Mary’ and ‘Glory Be to the Father.’ People also pray the Stations at home using the same prayers and meditating for a moment on each station.
Prayer For Vocations
Heavenly Father, we praise you and thank you for all you have done for us.
We thank you especially for sending your son, Jesus Christ, on earth to visit and save us.
We ask you to bless our families and all the members of the parish family, especially those who are suffering in any way.
May your love be upon us as we place all our hope in you.
May those in our parish whom you call to enter the priesthood and religious life have the generosity to follow your invitation so that those who need your help may always find it.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Prayer Of Newly Married Couple
We thank you, Lord
and we praise you
for bringing us
to his happy day.
You have given us to each other;
Now, together, we give ourselves to you.
We ask you Lord:
Make us one in our love;
keep us one in your peace.
Protect our marriage.
Bless our home.
Make us gentle.
Keep us faithful.
And when life is over,
unite us again
where parting is no more
in the kingdom of your love.
There we will praise you
in the happiness and peace
of our eternal home.
Most kind and sweet Jesus,
I cast myself upon my knees,
in thy sight,
and with the most fervent desire of my soul,
I pray and beseech thee, O God,
that you would impress upon my heart,
a lively sentiment of faith, hope and charity,
having before my eyes
that which David spoke of thee in prophecy,
They have pierced my hands and my feet,
they have numbered all my bones.