27 Sunday B - Liturgical Prayers

All praise be to God our Father
for creating people in his likeness
and making them capable of faithfulness
through the self-giving love of his Son
and the unifying power of the Spirit.
May the Lord be always with you in his love.
R/ And also with you.

Introduction by the Celebrant

A. They Become One
The first pages of the Bible tell us that God created man and woman in his own image. That means that God, who is love, wanted to unite them in the bond of love and make them live for the love of each other. That is how it was in the beginning. And that is how it should be still now. When Jesus came, he made the bond between husbands and wives even more sacred, assuring them of God's grace. Are people faithful to their yes given in the presence of God and the Church? Let us ask the Lord today for faithfulness and deep, deep love between our married couples - and for all our friendships.

B. May Our Love Last
The ardent wish of husband and wife on their day of marriage is: may our love last! This is not only God's wish for them but his very command. He wants their union in love to be like his own love for his people: faithful, strong, lasting, a covenant love. With all married couples, with all those bound together in friendship, with all our Christian communities we stand before the Lord today and we ask: May our love for one another be strong, reliable, faithful.

Penitential Act
We ask the Lord for forgiveness
that our loves have not been strong and lasting.
Have mercy, Lord Jesus,
on homes where love is dying,
where husband and wife are becoming estranged:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy, Lord,
on homes broken by infidelity,
on couples who can no longer forgive each other:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Have mercy, Lord,
on homes where there is little or no love,
on couples who have no time for their children:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on all of us, Lord,
and forgive us our sins against love.
Let our homes and communities
reflect your faithful love
and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer
Let us pray that our love
may be strong and faithful
God, source of all love,
blessed are you for your tenderness
inscribed in the hearts of people;
blessed are you for giving us your Son
as the token of your faithful love.
Keep us from separating
what you have united:
husbands and wives,
parents and their children,
your Son and his Church,
friends in their joys and sorrows.
Let us all live in your creative, lasting love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading Introduction: Created for Love
      Men and women are destined not for selfish loneliness but for building community in faithfulness and unifying love.

Gospel Introduction: Love Is Faithful
      In God's plan marriage is, beyond human legalisms, an unbreakable union of love and fidelity. The love of husband and wife will live on in their children.

General Intercessions
Let us pray to God our Father that he may complete in us his work of love and faithfulness, and let us say: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.

- For the Church, the bride of Christ, that she may always be faithful to the message of the gospel and the liberating love of Christ, let us pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.

- For the homes built on unselfish love, that through them we may understand better all the depth of God's love, let us pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.

- For homes that are broken and for partners who have failed each other, that people may show them understanding and that God may give them mercy, let us pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.

- For the young who prepare for marriage, that they may learn from life that the depth and beauty of love rest on generosity and sharing, let us pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.

- For those who have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God, that they may never become loners but that their hearts may be spacious and warm, open to all people and to all needs, let us pray: R/ Lord, keep us in your love.

Our God and Father, be present with all your faithfulness wherever people come together to build communities of love and friendship. Build with us, that our love may endure, now and for ever. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Our God and Father,
confirm your covenant with us
through the bread and the cup
which we bring before you.
Let your Son stay with us
and make us keepers
of one another's happiness.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
With joy and gratitude we praise our Father in heaven for the great love he has shown us. He is the source of all love among us and the Holy Spirit keeps this love alive in our homes and in our communities.

Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
We have a loving Father in heaven.
To him we pray
in the words of Jesus himself: R/ Our Father...

Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and grant us the capacity to love
without conditions or compromise.
Give us a love that stays faithful
and grows deeper in days of trial.
Keep us free from all fear
of committing ourselves to one another,
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

Invitation to Communion
This is the Lamb of God
whose love was faithful to the end.
He sacrificed himself
to give us the courage
to love without measure.
Happy are we
to be called to his supper. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

Thanksgiving of Married Couples
Married couples could pray together the following prayer
taken from the fourth preface for marriage in the French missal.

Our God and Father,
it is right and good that we give you glory
and offer you our praise.
For you have made man and woman your image
and have placed in their hearts
the love that binds them to one another,
that they may always be one.
You tell them that in the pains and joys of their life,
in days of weariness and wonder,
you are near to them.
Through the communion of their love and destiny
you make your own life grow in them,
until the day you will fulfill all their hopes
in Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. R/ Amen.

Prayer after Communion
Our God and Father
you have entrusted love to us
not as a finished product
but as an assignment for life.
Let the love of your Son invest our love
with indestructible fidelity and generosity,
that it may weather all storms
and keep growing in depth,
until you crown it with your joy
that lasts for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing.

God is the source and strength of all love.
May he bless our Christian families
with happiness and faithfulness. R/ Amen.

May he bless our Christian communities
with unity and peace
and make us one heart and soul. R/ Amen.
May he give to all of us
a love that brings out the best in each other. R/ Amen.

May God bless you all
and keep his love alive in you:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

Let us go in the love of the Lord. R/ Thanks be to God.