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Holy Hour for Vocations

 

The following Holy Hour is a model and is based on the ritual book Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass, which should be followed in all respects. A recently published resource of the USCCB Committee on the Liturgy entitled, Thirty-One Questions on Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, may also be helpful.

Procession

After all have assembled, a priest or deacon, wearing cope and humereil veil, brings the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar in a monstrance, a song may be sung. He may be accompanied by altar servers with candles.

The Blessed Sacrament is placed on the altar. The presiding minister then kneels before the altar and incenses the Blessed Sacrament. The opening song is concluded and a period of silent prayer follows.

Opening Prayer

The presiding minister then goes to the chair, where he prays one of the following opening prayers:

A:
Lord Jesus Christ, (cf. Pastores Dabo Vobis, 1)
you promised always to give your Church shepherds.
In faith, we know your promise cannot fail.
Trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church,
we pray you raise up sacred ministers from your holy people,
that the sacrifice in which you give your body and blood
may be daily renewed in the world until we come to that kingdom
where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

B:

Lord,
hear the prayers of your people (cf. Roman Missal, Mass for Priestly Vocations)
gathered here before you.
By this sacrament of love
bring to maturity
the seeds you have sown
in the field of your Church;
may many of your people choose to serve you
by devoting themselves to the service of their brothers and sisters.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

After a period of silent prayer, the Liturgy of the Word begins.

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading

A reading from the first Book of Samuel
3:1-10
LFM 857.3

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.

During the time young Samuel was minister to the Lord under Eli,
a revelation of the Lord was uncommon and vision infrequent.
One day Eli was asleep in his usual place.
His eyes had lately grown so week that he could not see.
The lamp of God was not yet extinguished,
and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord
where the ark of God was.

The Lord called to Samuel, who answered, ,Here I am.
Samuel ran to Eli and said, ,Here I am. You called me.
,I did not call you,Š Eli said. ,Go back to sleep.
So he went back to sleep.
Again the Lord called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
,Here I am,Š he said. ,You called me.
But Eli answered, ,I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.

At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord,
because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The Lord called to Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, ,Here I am. You called me.
Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, ,Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
,Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the Lord came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, ,Samuel, Samuel!
Samuel answered, ,Speak, for your servant is listening.

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 16
1-2a and 5, 7-8, 11
LFM 859

R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the Lord, ,My Lord are you.
O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup.
you it is who hold fast to my lot.

R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

I bless the Lord who counsels me;
even in the night my heart extorts me.
I set the Lord ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

You will show me the path of life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.

R. Guide me Lord, along the everlasting way.

After a period of silent prayer:

Gospel Acclamation

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

I chose you from the world, go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.

Jn 15:16
LFM 860.3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

1:35-42
LFM 861.7

Follow me

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God."
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
"What are you looking for?"
They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher),
"where are you staying?"
He said to them, "Come, and you will see."
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
"We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Christ.)
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
"You are Simon son of John;
you will be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter).

The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God

Homily

At the conclusion of the last reading a priest or a deacon preaches the homily followed by a period of silent prayer.

Intercessions

Standing at the chair, the presiding minister invites the people to pray:

Presiding Minister: God chooses those whom He wills, let us pray the Lord to send forth workers into his vineyard:

All: Lord, we trust in you.

Deacon or other Minister: As you called Abram to be the father of many nations, inspire young people to answer your call.

All: Lord, we trust in you.

Deacon or other Minister: As you called Moses, tending the flocks of Jethro, provide worthy pastors to your flock in our day.

All: Lord, we trust in you.

Deacon or other Minister: As you called Aaron to serve your temple, call men to serve your Church in the image of Christ.

All: Lord, we trust in you.

Deacon or other Minister: As you spoke to awake Samuel with your call, open the ears of your chosen ones.

All: Lord, we trust in you.

Deacon or other Minister: As every High Priest was taken from among men, so call men to offer the holy and living sacrifice.

All: Lord, we trust in you.

Deacon or other Minister: As Elisha was anointed by the prophet Elijah, give those you call strength to follow you without looking back.

All: Lord, we trust in you.

Deacon or other Minister: As you called the Apostles to be ambassadors for Christ, so sends us fervent preachers to strengthen our spirits.

All: Lord, we trust in you.

After a period of silent prayer:

Reading

The following reading may be read by a minister:

Pastores Dabo Vobis1

The Church should daily take up Jesus' persuasive and demanding invitation to "pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest" (Mt. 9:38). Obedient to Christ's command, the Church first of all makes a humble profession of faith: In praying for vocations, conscious of her urgent need of them for her very life and mission, she acknowledges that they are a gift of God and, as such, must be asked for by a ceaseless and trusting prayer of petition. This prayer, the pivot of all pastoral work for vocations, is required' not only of individuals but of entire ecclesial communities. There can be no doubt about the importance of individual initiatives of prayer, of special times set apart for such prayer -- beginning with the World Day of Prayer for Vocations -- and of the explicit commitment of persons and groups particularly concerned with the problem of priestly vocations. Today the prayerful expectation of new vocations should become an ever more continual and widespread habit within the entire Christian community and in every one of its parts. Thus it will be possible to relive the experience of the apostles in the upper room who, in union with Mary, prayerfully awaited the outpouring of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14), who will not fail to raise up once again in the People of God "worthy ministers for the altar, ardent but gentle proclaimers of the Gospel" (Roman Missal, Collect of the Mass for Vocations to Holy Orders).

In addition, the liturgy, as the summit and source of the Church's existence (cf. Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 10) and in particular of all Christian prayer, plays an influential and indispensable role in the pastoral work of promoting vocations. The liturgy is a living experience of God's gift and a great school for learning how to respond to his call. As such, every liturgical celebration, and especially the Eucharist, reveals to us the true face of God and grants us a share in the paschal mystery, in the "hour" for which Jesus came into the world and toward which he freely and willingly made his way in obedience to the Father's call (cf. Jn. 13:1). It shows us the Church as a priestly people and a community structured in the variety and complementarity of its charisms and vocations. The redemptive sacrifice of Christ, which the Church celebrates in mystery, accords a particular value to suffering endured in union with the Lord Jesus. The synod fathers invited us never to forget that "through the offering of sufferings, which are so frequent in human life, the Christian who is ill offers himself as a victim to God, in the image of Christ, who has consecrated himself for us all" (cf. Jn. 17:19) and that "the offering of sufferings for this intention is a great help in fostering vocations."

In carrying out her prophetic role, the Church feels herself irrevocably committed to the task of proclaiming and witnessing to the Christian meaning of vocation, or as we might say, to "the Gospel of vocation." Here too, she feels the urgency of the apostle's exclamation: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!" (1 Cor. 9:16) This admonishment rings out especially for us who are pastors but, together with us, it touches all educators in the Church. Preaching and catechesis must always show their intrinsic vocational dimension: The word of God enlightens believers to appreciate life as a response to God's call and leads them to embrace in faith the gift of a personal vocation.

After a period of silent prayer:

Litany of the Holy Eucharist

Lord, have mercy.
R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
R. Lord, have mercy.

"The Bread that I will give is my flesh for the life world" Jn 6:51

R. My Lord and my God!

"My flesh is food indeed and my Blood is drink indeed" Jn 6:55
R.

"Take this, all of you and eat it: This is my Body which will be given up for you,
This is the cup of my Blood, the Blood of the new and everlasting covenant" Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I)
R.

"The cup of blessing that we bless ‹ it is not the sharing of the Blood of Christ?
And the bread that we break ‹ Is it not the partaking of the Body of the Lord?" 1 Cor. 10:16
R.

"[Heretics] abstain from the Eucharist, because they do not believe that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins and who the Father in his bounty raised up again." Saint Ignatius of Antioch
R.

"[This Eucharist] has been blessed by the word of prayer instituted by Him, and from it our flesh and blood by assimilation are nourished. This, we are taught, is both the flesh and blood of Jesus incarnate." Saint Justin Martyr
R.

"The seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste would have it so, but the Blood of Christ." Saint Cyril of Jerusalem
R.

"You ought so to partake at the Holy Table as to have no doubt at all concerning the reality of the body and blood of Christ. For what is taken in the mouth is that which is believed by faith, and it is vain for them to respond ,Amen‰ who dispute against that which is taken." Saint Leo the Great
R.

"Sight, touch, taste are each thee deceived; hearing alone safely is believed." Saint Thomas Aquinas
R.

The Lord's Prayer

The presiding minister then sings or says:

Now let us offer together the prayer our Lord Jesus Christ taught us:

All: Our Father,

Benediction

At the conclusion of the Lord‰s Prayer, the presiding minister goes to the altar, genuflects, and then kneels. As he kneels, Tantum ergo or another suitable Eucharistic song is sung and he incenses the Blessed Sacrament. After the hymn is finished, he rises and sings or says:

Let us pray.

After a brief period of silence, The presiding minister continues:

Lord Jesus Christ,
you gave us the Eucharist
as the memorial of your suffering and death.
May our worship of this sacrament of your body and blood
help us to experience the salvation you won for us
and the peace of the kingdom
where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

After the prayer, the presiding minister puts on the humeral veil, genuflects, and takes the monstrance. He makes the sign of the cross with the monstrance over those gathered, in silence.

Reposition

After the blessing the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the monstrance and brought to the place of reservation. Meanwhile, the presiding minister may lead those assembled in the Divine Praises. Each acclamation is repeated by all together.

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.

After the Divine Praises are finished, the hymn is sung, the presiding minister and the servers bow to the altar and leave.

1 Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis, no. 38.



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