The Armchair Liturgist: Variations in the General Intercession Responses

A request for August 15th came my way from my parish–this month’s writers of the prayers of the faithful:

Todd, what would you think of after each petition either “Mary, Star of the Sea, pray for us” or “Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us”? If not OK, change to our traditional “Lord hear our prayer.”

So let me put it to my faithful armchair liturgists. How often do you or would you change the response from “Lord, hear our prayer?” Is it worth changing seasonally or for special feasts? Or is it more of a distraction than anything else?

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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8 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Variations in the General Intercession Responses

  1. Liam says:

    The Intercessions are addressed to the Trinity in various formulations. They are not addressed to the Blessed Mother, though the collect at the end may entrust the prayers to Mary’s intercession in the third person.

  2. From a fundemental, primary perspective: how often do we change the text or music if singing “Happy Birthday?”

  3. In the Liturgy of the Hours, some intercessions have the response “Mary, full of grace, intercede for us.” Therefore, I would guess it’s doable (but probably only appropriate on Marian feasts).

    Changing the response in general does seem to be a distraction to at least some people(lots of people will try to say “Lord, hear our prayer,” even if they’ve been told a moment before to say, for instance, “Come, Lord Jesus” just out of habit). I wonder if this would change if the response were sung (at least when the response is not “Lord, hear our prayer”).

    I don’t know whether other people find it annoying, but hearing “please respond,” or “the response is,” can get on my nerves. This isn’t so much a problem when the text is different or seasonal, but when you go through the long stretches of the year when the response is the normal “Lord, hear our prayer,” it can seem very unnecessary.

  4. RP Burke says:

    Absolutely not. The prayers are to the Father, through the Son. Otherwise, why not go back to the good old days [sic] and have the rosary during Mass?

  5. Liam says:

    Of course, “Lord hear our prayer” is not a universal response. I recall in Ireland back in the 80s hearing each petition end with the reader saying “Lord, hear us” and the congregation responding “Lord, graciously hear us.” Which has tickled me to this day. And I am used to the idea of varying invocations. But they are always addressed to a member of the Trinity, usually (but not invariably) as a formal matter (in the collect) to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.

  6. Liam says:

    Of course, “Lord hear our prayer” is not a universal response. I recall in Ireland back in the 80s hearing each petition end with the reader saying “Lord, hear us” and the congregation responding “Lord, graciously hear us.” Which has tickled me to this day. And I am used to the idea of varying invocations. But they are always addressed to a member of the Trinity, usually (but not invariably) as a formal matter (in the collect) to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.

    The use of the Hail Mary as a collect for the petitions was an innovation reportedly introduced by Cardinal Heenan of Westminster with the advent of the new Missal; he was concerned that the faithful might not otherwise keep that prayer in immediate memory. It’s not cricket….

    • Copernicus says:

      each petition end with the reader saying “Lord, hear us” and the congregation responding “Lord, graciously hear us.”

      It’s still the norm in England too. Why does it tickle?

      an innovation reportedly introduced by Cardinal Heenan of Westminster

      I’ve heard it attributed not to Cardinal Heenan, but to Archbishop Dwyer of Birmingham (1965-81).

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