Voicing our individual ‘General Intercessions’ - ‘Prayers of the Faithful’.
During Roman Catholic Mass, after the Biblical readings, the Homily and the Profession of Faith, we petition God through the Prayer of the Faithful. At an early stage in the evolution of the Catholic Mass, these prayers marked the beginning of the "Mass of the Faithful”, the Eucharistic mystery proper, the sacred liturgy that only baptized Christians in good standing could attend. Strangers, catechumens and penitents were expected to leave at this point. At that moment, our assembly is invited to pray for the larger, general concerns of Church and the world. The pattern used during Mass reminds us that the local Church gathered in prayer is united with the universal Church. Recall the solemn singing of the petitions on Good Friday liturgy. The recommended order for intentions given in the Roman Missal is:
- For the needs of the universal Church;
- For the world;
- For those in need;
- For the local community.
With the beginning of Lent, after the Reader lists a few prayer intentions, each individual parishioners who so desire will again be invited to voice as clear as possible his/her own one private intention. To avoid abuses, let’s please prevent the repetition of the same intention from one week to another, or the monopoly of the time for intentions by the same person, or those giggling announcement of less serious topics [‘for my birthday’, ‘for my dog’] or petitions with potentially divisive or with primary political implications. Parents, please rehearse in advance the petition that your little children want to express publicly.