OPENING SONG: Gather us O God. Monica Brown
OPENING PRAYER: ALL:
(Let us pray for the grace of true repentance)
You so loved the world that you sent your only Son to save us.
Help us now,
As we hear again the invitation from Jesus,
To acknowledge our sinfulness.
And as a community
Give praise to you, for your loving mercy towards us.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
THE STORY OF THE TEA POT STAIN:
A couple of years ago, a group of men were relaxing in a very nice Café at Rouse Hill Town Centre, after a hard day’s work. As a waitress was walking past their table with a pot of Irish Breakfast Tea, one of the men made a sweeping gesture to emphasise a story he was telling. His hand collided with the tea pot, and sent it crashing against the beautifully painted wall, where its contents left and irregular brown splotch.
Standing nearby, the Manager surveyed the damage. “That stain will never come out”, he said in dismay. “The whole wall will have to be repainted.” “Perhaps not”, was the reply from one of the customers”. All eyes turned to the person who had just spoken. What do you mean?” asked the Manager. Let me work with the stain,” said the man, standing up from his table in the corner. “If my work meets with your approval, you won’t need to repaint the wall.” He then picked up a box and went to the wall. Opening the box, he withdrew pencils, brushes, and some glass jars of linseed oil and pigment. He began to sketch lines around the stain and fill in here and there with dabs of colour and swishes of shading. Soon a picture began to emerge. The random splashes of tea had been turned into the image of a stag with a magnificent rack of antlers.
And this is what God wants to do to each one of us! He wants to take the stains and disappointments of our lives and not merely erase them, but rather turn them into a thing of beauty.
St.Paul’s Hymn to Charity 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 Reader:
If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a symbol clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, it will do me no good whatever. THE WORD OF THE LORD. THANKS BE TO GOD.
(In the next section of this Reading, substitute LOVE for your own name N…this will help you in your preparation for Reconciliation. It is a short examination of conscience; it will help you discover the areas in your life, which need God’s healing forgiveness. This is all done silently)
N__________(Love) is always patient and kind; N________(Love) is never jealous; N__________(Love) is never boastful or conceited; N___________(Love) is never rude of selfish; N__________ (Love) does not take offence, and is not resentful. N___________(Love) takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; N________(Love) is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.
+ Litany of Repentance:
Leader: Christ our Saviour, is our advocate with the Father:
With humble and contrite hearts lets us ask him to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every stain.
Taking a Litany verse each.
• You were sent with Good News to the poor and healing for the contrite. LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY
• You came to call sinners, not the just. LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY
• You forgave the sins of the woman who showed you great love. LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY.
• You did not shun the company of outcasts and sinners. LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY.
• You carried back to the fold the sheep that had strayed. LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY.
• You did not condemn the woman taken in adultery, but sent her away in peace. LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY.
• You called Zacchaeus to repentance and new life. LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY.
• You promised Paradise to the repentant thief. LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY.
• You are always interceding for us at the right hand of the Father. LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY.
Leader: I contribute to the web of sin in the world by…..and I ask God and my family to forgive me: LORD HAVE MERCY. LORD HAVE MERCY.
ALL: May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgives us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen
THE LORD’S PRAYER………
ALL: Prayer of thanksgiving to God for the Grace of Contrition.
O God, you have shown us your mercy, and made us a new creation in the likeness of your Son. Make us living signs of your love, may our hearts continue to burn with your boundless mercy and forgiveness. May we go forth in singing your praises, through thoughts and actions, as we meet your Son in our sisters and brothers. We ask this in the name of the Lord. AMEN.
CONCLUDING HYMN: Abide with me. From As one Voice.