Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrating the Mass- General Intercessions (Prayer of the Faithful)

(This lesson is in accordance with the new Roman Missal that is to be implemented on November 27, 2011.)

*Be sure to adjust this lesson to fit the needs of your students.

(Please take in consideration that I am just a Mom and I'm providing these lessons and activities to the best of my abilities. I will try to make them as accurate as possible, but I know I will make a few mistakes and it was not intentional.)

In the Prayer of the Faithful we pray for the needs of all the Church, living and dead. We ask for God’s help for all of humanity. We call on God in petition to intercede in our lives with help and guidance.

The General Instruction for the Roman Missal (the official guidebook of the Mass) says that in the Prayers of the Faithful, we exercise our priestly role in interceding for all of humanity. There is much suffering around the world and as Catholics we should never forget that it is our duty to ask for someone's behalf endlessly for all people.

It is for the priest celebrant to direct this prayer from the presider’s or celebrant’s chair. He himself begins it with a brief introduction, by which he invites the faithful to pray, and likewise he concludes it with a prayer.

The intentions are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the deacon or by a cantor, a lector, or one of the lay faithful.

Usually the Prayers of the Faithful follow this order:

1. Prayers for the universal Church, the pope, and the bishops.
2. Prayers for public authorities and the salvation of the whole world.
3. Prayers for those burdened by any kind of difficulty.
4. Prayers for the needs of the local church and community.

We stand and the reader presents our needs to God. We pray silently as the reader prays aloud.

Reader: We pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, hear our prayer.

The priest summarizes our needs. We pray silently as he prays aloud.

People: Amen.


Who reads the petitions? (The deacon or a cantor, a lector, or one of the lay faithful.)

Do we stand or sit during the Prayer of the Faithful? (Stand)

How do we answer the prayer petition at Mass? (“Lord, hear our prayer.”)

Crafts: Prayer Sticks Prayer Reminder Pockets
This craft activity can be used by young children to remember the people they are praying for. An adult can prepare for this activity by cutting one paper plate in half and then hole punch the half plate together with one whole plate. Also place two holes at the top of the paper plate for the hanger. Prayer Chain Craft
This is a great way to encourage participation and pray for each other’s needs.

These activities below are free, however they can only to be used for classroom and personal use. They may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. Reproduction or retransmission of any materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted. All graphics/images/clipart etc. used on these activities are not my own and are from various internet sources.

Lord, hear our prayer activity sheet (for younger students)- Have the students trace the letters. Inside the heart the students will draw the needs they see around us in our community or their own personal desires.

Lord, hear our prayer (for older students)- Have the students draw a large heart on their paper. Below the heart have the students write: “Lord, hear our prayer.” (You can write this on the board for the students to copy.) Inside the heart the students will write the needs they see around us in our community or their own personal desires.

*The students can also cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers, or use pictures from the internet and make a collage of the needs they see around us in our community or their own personal desires on a piece of poster board. Under the collage have the students write “Lord, hear our prayer.” Or at the top of a bulletin board put the words, “Lord, hear our prayer.” Students can write on index cards or draw pictures of their prayer intentions and put on the bulletin board.

Class Discussion:

Discuss with the students what they think are the current needs of the world and the local community. Have the students keep the following series of intentions in mind:

a) for the needs of the Church;
b) for public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
c) for those burdened by any kind of difficulty;
d) for the local community.

(You might ask: Which one is more important? Why is it more important? Which one is a need of your own personal desires? Etc.)

Have the students draw a Venn Diagram. Have them write the similarities and the differences between what the class thinks the general intercessions should be and what they personally think they should be. (Write details that tell how they are different in the outer circles. Write details that tell how they are alike where the circles overlap.) Discuss. Create your own Venn Diagram

Journal Writing:

Praying for others is not only a privilege, but a responsibility and a duty arising from baptism. Have the students journal why we pray for others and when and why they have done this.

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