Prayer of the Faithful
Most Masses include a Prayer of the Faithful. The prayer is in the form of a litany led and concluded by the presiding Priest, with prayer intentions announced by a reader.
The Prayer of the Faithful is the final act of the Liturgy of the Word. It follows the readings of the day, the chants between the readings, the homily and the profession of faith. It should take account of these liturgical actions as well as the local community circumstances and temporal situation.
The structure of the prayer follows the following general pattern:
The Writer of the Prayer of the Faithful takes into account the readings of the day, the homily and the temporal circumstances of the local community and the world at large. The invitation to prayer, the intercessions and the concluding prayer generally make use of some of the scriptural texts or images proclaimed during the Liturgy of the Word. The intercessions are composed with reference to local and global temporal circumstances. The prophetic proclamation of the homily is a third consideration for the writer, though this may require special considerations and strategies if there are different priests and homilies given at different weekend Masses.
The Writer would need to spend at least an hour in preparation per liturgy. Usually scheduled by roster weekly, fortnightly or monthly. There is a requirement for ongoing training and formation.
Requirements for Admission to the Ministry of Writer of the Prayers of the Faithful
The Parish Priest may authorise Writers of the Prayers of the Faithful as circumstances require.
Other Ministry Resources
General Intercessions, Elizabeth Harrington, Liturgy Lines, Liturgy Brisbane. This article provides a foundational grounding in the principles of writing intercessions. Highly recommended.
Prayer of the Faithful, Elizabeth Harrington, Liturgy Lines, Liturgy Brisbane. This article provides practical feedback on traps and opportunities in preparation of intercessions. Highly recommended.
Intercessions for Mass, Mary Grace Melcher, OCD (Liturgical Press, 2013). Covering all Sundays, weekdays and feast days, this e-Book provides an excellent starting point for the writing of intercessions, drawing on the text and images of the scripture of the day. The intercessions would then need to be adapted to the temporal situation of the local community and the world situation.
Some care needs to be taken in using the book, as it follows the USA liturgical calendar and the USA lectionary. There are a number of notable differences from the Australian liturgical calendar, especially our National celebrations - St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Anzac Day, Australia Day, Australia's patron saints and others. Refer to the Australian Ordo to be sure. There are also differences between the translation of scripture used in the USA (New American Bible) and that used in Australia (Jerusalem Bible and Grail psalms translation). Therefore, some of the words used in the prayer might be slightly different to the words heard in the reading from the Australian lectionary.
With these caveats in mind, this resource is highly recommended.
LabOra Worship, Liturgy Brisbane. A liturgy resources subscription service, including suggestions for general intercessions and Prayer of the Faithful. Highly recommended.
LiturgyHelp, Creative Ministry Resources, Hobart. A liturgy resources subscription service, including suggestions for general intercessions and Prayer of the Faithful. Highly recommended.