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Liturgical Considerations for September 11



Patriot Day is observed every September 11 to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States. To help clergy and pastoral ministers prepare for this anniversary, the Secretariat of Divine Worship offers a few considerations on how best to observe Patriot Day within the context of the Liturgy.

An American flag stands with the last remaining girders of the World Trade Center towers that formed a cross at a memorial inside ground zero in September, 2006, in New York. CNS photo/Chris Sheridan.September 11 usually occurs on a weekday in the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time. One of the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions could be used on this day (see General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 377). Several formularies would be fitting for the occasion: the Mass for Peace and Justice (with white vestments) or the Mass in Time of War or Civil Disturbance (with purple vestments). In some circumstances, a Mass for the Dead might be appropriate as a memorial Mass for the victims of the terrorist attacks, especially at churches and oratories with particular ties to individuals who died that day or are closest to the sites of the attacks (New York, NY, Arlington, VA, and Shanksville, PA).

The assigned Lectionary readings are from the current weekday (no. 439), though readings from volume IV of the Lectionary for Mass: Masses for Various Needs and Occasions may also be used.

Intercessions for September 11 (Patriot Day)

These may be included among the intercessions at Masses on September 11:

  • For the Church, that she may continue to provide care and healing for all, especially those affected by the attacks on September 11, 2001, we pray to the Lord…
  • For all victims of violence and terrorism around the world, and for their families, that they may find comfort and peace, we pray to the Lord…
  • For the safety of our service men and women abroad, for civil servants who protect us and keep us safe, and for all who live with war and violence, we pray to the Lord…
  • For our leaders and for the leaders of nations, that they may work together to address the problems that provide fertile ground for the growth of terrorism, we pray to the Lord...
  • For the ability to forgive and for an end to all hatred, beginning in our own hearts, we pray to the Lord…

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