Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion                
                        Commemoration of the Lord's Entrance into Jerusalem
                                                   April 9, 2017 Cycle A
              Red priestly vestments symbolize a life of sacrifice
                                    and Christ's preparation to accomplish His Paschal Mystery. 

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Liturgical Year Cycle A 2016-2017

Matthew 21:9  H
osanna to the Son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel.  Hosanna in the highest.

Priest:   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Priest:   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 
And with your spirit.

Priest:  Dear brethren, since the beginning of Lent until now we have prepared our hearts by penance and charitable works.  Today we gather together to herald with the whole Church the beginning of the celebration of our Lord's Paschal Mystery, that is to say, of his Passion and Resurrection.  For it was to accomplish this mystery that he entered his own city of Jerusalem.  Therefore, with all faith and devotion, let us commemorate the Lord's entry into the city for our salvation, following in his footsteps, so that, being made by his grace partakers of the Cross, we may have a share also in his Resurrection and in his life.

Priest:  Let us pray.  Almighty ever-living God, sanctify these branches with your blessing, that we, who follow Christ the King in exultation, may reach the eternal Jerusalem through him.  Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
All:   Amen.

The Gospel:  The Liturgy of the Word is completed by the reading of the Gospel.  Before its reading, the members of the assembly trace the sign of the cross upon the forehead to indicate their mental acceptance of the Truth, on the lips to indicate their readiness to announce it, and over the heart to indicate their sincere desire to accept it into their lives.  The "Good News" of the Gospel tells that God's kingdom has come for all to hear, accept, and announce to the world for its salvation.  It is God who is speaking to us.  Christ comes to teach us by the example of His life and by His own words.

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:     A
nd also with you.
Priest/Deacon:   A
reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
All:     G
lory to you, Lord.

Gospel   Matthew 21:01-11

Matthew wrote to show that Christ was the
Messiah and fulfilled the Jewish prophecies.

When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered, and a colt with her.  Untie them and bring them here to me.  And if anyone should say anything to you, reply, ‘The master has need of them.’  Then he will send them at once.”  This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled: Say to daughter Zion, “Behold, your king comes to you, meek and riding on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.  They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them, and he sat upon them.  The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road.  The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.”

And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”  And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Priest:   Dear brothers and sisters, like the crowds who acclaimed Jesus in Jerusalem, let us go forth in peace.
All:   In the name of Christ.  Amen.

The Procession begins





Psalm (Antiphon)

Antiphon 1
All:  T
he children of the Hebrews, carrying olive branches, went to meet the Lord, crying out and saying: Hosanna in the highest.

Priest/Choir Psalm 24
The Lord's is the earth and its fullness, the world, and those who dwell in it.  It is he who set it on the seas; on the rivers he made it firm.
All:  The Children of the Hebrews, carrying olive branches, went to meet the Lord, crying out and saying: Hosanna in the highest.

Priest/Choir:  W
ho shall climb the mountain of the Lord?  The clean of hands and pure of heart, whose soul is not set on vain things, who has not sworn deceitful words.
All:  The Children of the Hebrews, carrying olive branches, went to meet the Lord, crying out and saying: Hosanna in the highest.

Priest/Choir:  B
lessings from the Lord shall he receive, and right reward from the God who saves him.  Such are the people who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
All:  The Children of the Hebrews, carrying olive branches, went to meet the Lord, crying out and saying: Hosanna in the highest.

Entrance Antiphon:

Priest/Choir:  Six days before the Passover, when the Lord came into the city of Jerusalem, the children ran to meet him; in their hands they carried palm branches and with a loud voice cried out:  Hosanna in the highest?  Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy? 

O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors.  Let him enter, the king of glory!  Who is this king of glory?  The Lord, the mighty, the valiant; the Lord, the valiant in war.
All:  The Children of the Hebrews, carrying olive branches, went to meet the Lord, crying out and saying: Hosanna in the highest.

Priest/Choir:  O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors.  Let him enter, the king of glory!  Who is this king of glory?  He, the Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.
All:   The Children of the Hebrews, carrying olive branches, went to meet the Lord, crying out and saying: Hosanna in the highest.

The Collect:   The priest lifts the united prayers and petitions of the congregation to God the Father through the merits of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Priest:   Let us pray.
Priest:   Almighty ever-living God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his resurrection.  Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

                                           Liturgy of the Word


Christ is made known to us through the Old Testament which prepares us to recognize Him.  In those days, God inspired men who spoke His message.  Now, the New Testament Gospel reading announces His presence to us directly through His Son.  Both readings bring God's message to us.  Our responsibility is to respond.

The First Reading:  From the Old Testament Book of Isaiah. 

Isaiah 50:4-7

The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.  Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back.  I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.  The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Responsorial Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

Cantor:   My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All:    R/.  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Cantor:   All who see me scoff at me; they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads: “He relied on the Lord; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, if he loves him.”
All:    R/.  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Cantor:   Indeed, many dogs surround me, a pack of evildoers closes in upon me; they have pierced my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.
All:    R/.  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Cantor:   They divide my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots.  But you, O Lord, be not far from me; O my help, hasten to aid me.
All:    R/.  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Cantor:   I will proclaim your name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise you: “You who fear the Lord, praise him; all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him; revere him, all you descendants of Israel!”
All:    R/.  M
y God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

The Second Reading:  Taken  from the New Testament, often from a letter written by St. Paul.

Philippians 2:6-11

Christ Jesus, through he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.  Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Priest/Reader:   The word of the Lord.
All:   Thanks be to God.

The Verse before the Gospel
St. Paul to the Philippians 2:8-9

Cantor:    Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.
ALL:  R/.  P
raise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.
Cantor:    C
hrist became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.
ALL:  R/.  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

The Gospel:  The Liturgy of the Word is completed by the reading of the Gospel.  Before its reading, the members of the assembly trace the sign of the cross upon the forehead to indicate their mental acceptance of the Truth, on the lips to indicate their readiness to announce it, and over the heart to indicate their sincere desire to accept it into their lives.  The "Good News" of the Gospel tells that God's kingdom has come for all to hear, accept, and announce to the world for its salvation.  It is God who is speaking to us.  Christ comes to teach us by the example of His life and by His own words.

The Reading of Our Lord's Passion 
According to Matthew 26:14-27:66

Narrator:    The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.  One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said,
Speaker:  “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

Narrator:    T
hey paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.  On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said,
Speaker:  “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”

Narrator:    H
e said,
Jesus:   “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”’”

Narrator:   T
he disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.  When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve.  And while they were eating, he said,
Jesus:   “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

Narrator:   D
eeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another,
Speaker: “Surely it is not I, Lord?”

Narrator:   He said in reply,
Jesus:  “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me.  The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.  It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”

Narrator:    T
hen Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
Speaker:  “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”

Narrator:    H
e answered,
Jesus:   “You have said so.”

Narrator:    W
hile they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said,
Jesus:   “Take and eat; this is my body.”

Narrator:    T
hen he took a cup, gave thanks, an gave it to them, saying,
Jesus:   “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.”

Narrator:     Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  Then Jesus said to them,
Jesus:    “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed; but after I have been raise up, I shall go before you to Galilee.”

Narrator:     P
eter said to him in reply,
Speaker:   “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.”

Narrator:     J
esus said to him,
Jesus:    “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”

Narrator:     P
eter said to him,
Speaker:   “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.”

Narrator:    H
e took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress.  Then he said to them,
Jesus:    “My soul is sorrowful even to death.  Remain here and keep watch with me.”

Narrator:     He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying,
Jesus:     “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”

Narrator:     W
hen he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.  He said to Peter,
Jesus:   “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?  Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Narrator:     W
ithdrawing a second time, he prayed again,
Jesus:   “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!”

Narrator:     T
hen he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open.  He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again.  The he returned to his disciples and said to them,
Jesus:    “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?  Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.  Get up, let us go.  Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

Narrator:     W
hile he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people.  His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying,
Speaker:    “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”

Narrator:       Immediately he went over to Jesus and said,
Speaker:     “Hail, Rabbi!”

    and he kissed him.  Jesus answered him,
Jesus:     “Friend, do what you have come for.”

Narrator:     T
hen stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.  And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.  The Jesus said to him,
Jesus:    “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.  D you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels?  But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?”

Narrator:   A
t that hour Jesus said to the crowds,
Jesus:   “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me?  Did after day I sat teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me.  But al this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.”

Narrator:       T
hen all the disciples left him and fled.  Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.  Peter was following him at a distance as far as the high priest’s courtyard, and going inside he sat down with the servants to see the outcome.  The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward.  Finally two came forward who stated,
Chorus:       “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and within three says rebuild it.’”

Narrator:    T
he high priest rose and addressed him,
Speaker:    “Have you no answer?  What are these men testifying against you?”

Narrator:    But Jesus was silent.  Then the high priest said to him,
Speaker:    “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

Narrator:    J
esus said to him in reply,
Jesus:       “You have said so.  But I tell you: From now on you will see ’the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power’ and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’”

Narrator:    T
hen the high priest tore his robes and said,
Speaker:   “He has blasphemed!  What further need have we of witnesses?  You have now heard the blasphemy; what is your opinion?”

Narrator:    T
hey said in reply,
Chorus:    “He deserves to die!”

Narrator:    T
hen they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him, saying,
Chorus:     “Prophesy for us, Christ; who is it that struck you?”

Narrator:    N
ow Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.  One of the maids came over to him and said,
Chorus:    “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”

Narrator:    B
ut he denied it in front of everyone, saying,
Speaker:   “I do not know what you are talking about!”

Narrator:    As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there,
Chorus:     “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.”

Narrator:    A
gain he denied it with an oath,
Speaker:   “I do not know the man!”

Narrator:    A
little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter,
Chorus:    “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.”

Narrator:    A
t that he began to curse and to swear,
Speaker:   “I do not know the man.”

Narrator:    A
nd immediately a cock crowed.  Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.”  He went out and began to weep bitterly.  When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.  They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.  Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done.  He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying,
Speaker:      “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.”

Narrator:    They said,
Chorus:     “What is that to us?  Look to it yourself.”

Narrator:    F
linging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself.  The chief priests gathered up the money, but said,
Chorus:    “It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood.”

Narrator:    A
fter consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners.  That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood.”  Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of a man with a price on his head, a price set by some of the Israelites, and they paid it out for the potter’s field just as the Lord had commanded me.
Narrator:    Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him,
Speaker:  “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Narrator:    J
esus said,
Jesus:      “You say so.”

Narrator:    A
nd when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer.  Then Pilate said to him,
Speaker:  “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
Narrator:  But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.  Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished.  And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.  So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
Speaker:  “Which one do you want me to release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?

Narrator:    F
or he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over.  While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message,  “Have nothing to do with that righteous man.  I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”  The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.  The governor said to them in reply,
Speaker:    “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”

Narrator:    T
hey answered,
Chorus:    “Barabbas!”

Narrator:    P
ilate said to them,
Speaker:   “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”

Narrator:    T
hey all said,
Chorus:    “Let him be crucified!”

Narrator:    B
ut he said,

Speaker:   “Why?  What evil has he done?”
Chorus:    “Let him be crucified!”

Narrator:    W
hen Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying,
Speaker:  “I am innocent of this man’s blood.  Look to it yourselves.”

Narrator:    A
nd the whole people said in reply,
Chorus:    “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”

Narrator:   T
hen he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.  Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around him.  They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.  Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand.  And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
Chorus:   “Hail, King of the Jews!”

Narrator:   T
hey spat upon him and took the reed ad kept striking him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him.  As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon: this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.  And when they came to a place called Golgotha – which means Place of the Skull – they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.  But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.  After they had crucified him, they divided his garments bv casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there.  And they placed over his head the written charge against him:  This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.  Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left.  Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
Chorus:   “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, and come down from the cross!”

Narrator:    L
ikewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
Chorus:    “He saved others; he cannot save himself.  So he is the king of Israel!  Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.  He trusted in God; let him deliver his now if he wants him.  For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
narrator:  The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way.  From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
Jesus:     “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani

Narrator:   W
hich means,
Jesus:     “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Narrator:   S
ome of the bystanders who heard it said,
Chorus:   “This one is calling for Elijah.”

Narrator:   I
mmediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink.  But the rest said,
Chorus:   “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
Narrator:   But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.

                                         Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Narrator:   A
nd behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.   And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.  The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said,
Chorus:   “Truly, this was the Son of God!”

Narrator:   T
here were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.  Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.  When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus.  He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over.  Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock.  Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.  But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.  The next day, the one following the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said,
Chorus:    “Sir we remember that this impostor while still alive said, ‘After three days I will be raise up.’  Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’  This last imposture would be worse than the first.”

Narrator:    P
ilate said to them,
Speaker:   “The guard is yours; go, secure it as best you can.”

Narrator:    S
o they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

Priest:   The Gospel of the Lord.
All:     P
raise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Priest:   Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.

The Priest's Sermon:    The priest develops, explains, and comments upon the Master's words, so our minds may be enlightened, and our hearts enriched.

(A priestly reflection upon this Gospel)

Profession of Faith:    We state in the Nicene Creed the principles of our faith in precise and definite terms.

All:   I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.  I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.  God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.  For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.  I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.  I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

General Intercessions:   We pray for the needs of the pope, civic leaders, our own needs, those of others, the sick, the dying, those who have died, the church, and the world.  The response of all to each intercession:  Lord, hear our prayer.

All:   Lord, hear our prayer.
                  The Liturgy of the Eucharist

 Gifts of bread and wine symbolizing ourselves are presented to the priest who will offer them to God the Father.  Through the Holy Spirit, they will become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ whom we receive in Holy Communion.  Jesus unites Himself with us for our spiritual nourishment and strength.  Today, when individuals do not present their own personal offerings of bread and wine, the monetary contribution symbolizes the material of their united sacrifice.  The priest makes and offering of the bread and wine to God.

Preparation of the Bread and Wine:

Priest:   Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life. 
All:    Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:    By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

Priest:   Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you; fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink.
     Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:    With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and may our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God.

The Priest's Hands are Washed: This act was traditionally necessary because the priest handled the various gifts presented by the people.  Now, the cleansing act using water reminds the priest and ourselves of the need to cleanse not only the hands but the soul.  Soon, the priest's hands will hold the actual body of Christ, and we will become His dwelling place.

Priest:    Wash me o Lord, from m iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
               Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Prayer over the Gifts:  Speaking in our name, the priest asks the Father to accept the gifts we offer through him.

Priest:   Through the Passion of your Only Begotten Son, O Lord, may our reconciliation with you be near at hand, so that, though we do not merit it by our own deeds, yet by this sacrifice made once for all, we may feel already the effects of your mercy.  Through Christ our Lord.

Eucharistic Prayer:   (Number Two: The priest may select from several forms).

    The Lord be with you.
All:   And with your spirit. 

    Lift up your hearts.
All:   We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest:    Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
All:    It is right and just. 

Preface Prayer: 

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.  For, though innocent, he suffered willingly for sinners and accepted unjust condemnation to save the guilty.  His Death has washed away our sins, and his Resurrection has purchased our justification.  And so, with all the Angels, we praise you, as in joyful celebration we acclaim:


Priest and All:   Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of hosts.  Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Priest:   You are indeed Holy, O Lord, the fountain of all holiness.  Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The priest repeats the words which Christ used at his Last Supper when He changed the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood.  His Body and Blood are truly present but under the appearance of bread and wine.  The death of Christ is prolonged in each of those who receive Him worthily.  We apply His death to ourselves so that we may share His glory.  This moment is the most solemn on earth because it is Divine act which enables us to apply to ourselves the Cross which Christ willingly took upon Himself. 

We are called to die to sin and lift our very selves to God so that we become changed; to do as God would have us do, to become what God would have us become.  Our own little cross can lift us into union with Christ's Cross so we may earn the joys of everlasting happiness with God the Father. 

The Lord's Supper:  At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion, he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.

In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice and, once more giving thanks, he gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.

Memorial Acclamation: (The priest may select from several forms). 
     The mystery of faith.
Priest / All:    Save us, Savior of the world, for by yur Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

Memorial Prayer:  (The priest may select from several forms).

Recalls Christ's Passion, Resurrection, Ascension, the Church, the dead, and ourselves.
herefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of his Death and Resurrection, we offer you, Lord, the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation, giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you.  Humbly we pray that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.

Remember, your Church, spread throughout the world, and bring her to the fullness of charity, together with _____ our Pope, and _____ our Bishop, and all the clergy.  Remember also our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection, and all who have died in your mercy: welcome them into the light of your face.  Have mercy on us all, we pray, that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph her spouse, with the blessed Apostles, and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, we may merit to be coheirs to eternal life, and may praise and glorify you through your Son, Jesus Christ.
Prayer of Praise:   Through him, with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever.
All:   Amen.      

                       Communion Rite

In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we symbolically offer ourselves to the Lord through the gifts of bread and wine.  At the Consecration, we offer our very lives to be united the God the Father through the Cross of Christ.  In Communion, we find that we have not died at all, but have come to life.  We have surrendered ourselves to God through His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.  In return become ennobled and enriched.  We give up time and we get eternity, we give up our sin and we receive grace, we surrender our self-will and receive the strength of the Divine Will, we give up ourselves and we receive everything.  For the Son of God says to us that unless we receive Him we shall not have Divine life in us.  But it is not really we who receive Christ as it is Christ who receives us, bringing us into Himself.

God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life.  While we have crucified Him, His eternal love cannot be extinguished.  Christ willed to give us the very life we crucified in our Redemption, the Consecration of Holy Thursday into Communion, His death into our everlasting life.

The Lord's Prayer:

Priest:  At the Savior's command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:
Priest and All:   Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be they name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Priest:  Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

All:  For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Prayer for Peace:

Priest:  Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will.  Who live and reign for ever and ever.
All:   A

Priest:  The peace of the Lord be with you always.
All:   A
nd with your spirit.
Priest:   L
et us offer each other the sign of peace.

Breaking of the Bread:

Priest:   May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.

Priest and All:  Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
amb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                           Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Priestly Preparation:    May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to judgment and condemnation, but through your loving mercy be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy.

Priest:   Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world.  Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. 

Priest and All:   Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the world and my soul shall be healed.

Priest:   May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.
              May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.               

Communion Antiphon:

Matthew 26:42  Father, if this chalice cannot pass without my drinking it, your will be done.

Communion of the Faithful:

Priest:    The Body of Christ.    
The Faithful:   

Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister:
  The Blood of Christ.
The Faithful:   Amen.





Cleansing of the Vessels:

Priest:   What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.

Prayer after Communion:

Priest:   Let us pray.
Priest:   Nourished with these sacred gifts, we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that, just as through the death of your Son you have brought us to hope for what we believe, so by his Resurrection you may lead us to where you call.  Through Christ our Lord.

Concluding Rite

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:    And with your spirit. 
Priest:   Bow down for the blessing.

Dismissal Prayer:  (The priest may select from several forms)

Priest:  Look, we pray, O Lord, on this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ did not hesitate to be delivered into the hands of the wicked and submit to the agony of the Cross.  Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
All: Amen.

Final Blessing:

Priest:  And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you for ever.
All:  A

Priest:  Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.    
  Thanks be to God. 

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. 
 Save us from the fires of hell. 
 Lead all souls to heaven,

 especially those in most need of your mercy.

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Liturgical Year Cycle A 2016-2017