Prayers of the faithful – Taking part in purpose driven prayer with passion

Prayers of the faithful

Prayers of the faithful are also known as General Intercessions, Universal Prayers, Mass Petitions or Mass Intercessions. They form part of the liturgy not only in the Catholic Church but in several other churches as well. They are usually initiated by the Celebrant or Officiating Priest towards the conclusion of mass then a deacon or selected member of the congregation reads the intentions and the congregation answers with an appropriate response. The response of the congregation is sometimes referred to as an invocation.

The origin or tradition of the prayer of the faithful can be traced to the First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Saint Timothy where he says:

 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1st Timothy 2 vs 1 – 6.

The nature of prayers of the faithful offered during mass is usually created to suit the Catholic season, festival or event during the period. There are Mass Petitions during ordinary times, Advent, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, Christmas, Christ the King, Easter, Lent, Pentecost and petitions for Saint Days. Also, during mass for events like Marriages, Funerals and Catholic School, prayers of the faithful are offered.

Unlike other prayers said during mass, Prayers of the Faithful are celebrated with the congregation.

There is usually a standard series or pattern in which Mass Intentions are offered. First it would be for the needs of the church, then for public authorities, next is for the salvation of the world, after which it is for those burdened with any kind of difficulty and lastly for the local community. All the mass intentions are usually sober, on point and well summarised and express the interest of the entire community.

During mass for occasions like weddings, funerals, confirmation, etc., prayers of the faithful offered are usually closely related to the event.

After the creed is recited during the celebration of the Eucharist, The Priest gives way for a deacon, cantor, reader or member of the congregation who leads the prayers and offers an intention urging the congregation to pray. A moment of silence follows to allow for silent prayers and the person may then say something like “For this we pray oh Lord”, the congregation then responds together in unison with a response like “Lord, hear our prayer”.

Below is an example prayer of the faithful:

For the Holy Catholic Church, for Francis our pope, ___Name Here________ our bishop, and for all bishops, priests, deacons, and laymen and women, we pray to the Lord:

Congregation Responds: Lord Hear Our Prayer

For the leaders of the nations, that they would promote life, peace, and justice, and work together for the common good, we pray to the Lord:

Congregation Responds: Lord Hear Our Prayer

For our local community and its needs: that we would act as witnesses to the love and mercy of Christ as we love our neighbours as ourselves, we pray to the Lord:

Congregation Responds: Lord Hear Our Prayer

or our parish community and its needs: that we would open ourselves to the transforming message of the gospel and heed the call of Christ to serve him and one another, we pray to the Lord:

Congregation Responds: Lord Hear Our Prayer

For those who are sick, suffering, or homeless, and for the poor and unemployed, we pray to the Lord:

Congregation Responds: Lord Hear Our Prayer

For all those who have died, especially ____Name  Here_____________ , for whom this Mass is offered, we pray to the Lord:

 Congregation Responds: Lord Hear Our Prayer

For our own needs and intentions that we now recall in our hearts [6 second pauses], we pray to the Lord:

Congregation Responds: Lord Hear Our Prayer

The faithful are the church or mass attendees, gathered together praying for a petition.  The faithful takes their role praying for the good of world, Pope, Priest, communities, ourselves etc. The prayers are renew every Sunday and on any occasions that it’s needed.

Most mass intents will usually sound like variants of the above example. And after the prayers of the faithful are said, the Priest ends it with a concluding prayer.



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