The Armchair Liturgist: A Parish Prays For Itself

My parish’s last two writers have included these in the Sunday intercessions the past two weeks:

That members of the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish know that the Lord desires to answer our prayers and we only need to ask, to seek, to knock for his response – We pray

That our parish community may be rich in what matters to God by becoming an active force for good in the world, we pray.

The GIRM states:

70. The series of intentions is usually to be:
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.

My sense is that the “local community” could include the parish, but more often is for those in the locality of the faith community. In other words, the local needy.

I’m not a big fan of a community praying for itself in such general terms, but it does appear to be within the bounds as given by the universal Church.

Suppose you sit in the chair and give a ruling as your parish liturgist. Let these intercessions remain? Edit them? Permit them once in a while? Ban them?

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About catholicsensibility

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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2 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: A Parish Prays For Itself

  1. Liam says:

    I see the themes working with the Gospel pericopes, but I would suggest that device is not normally a helpful one for crafting intercessions; the shoehorn tends to distort the shoe and the foot. Work from the discernment of needs, not reverse-engineering via that device. Local communities have acute and chronic needs; one of the most fundamental chronic needs is for wisdom to identify them and other virtues to respond to them. Prayers for increase/deepening of specific virtues never go out of style, liturgically.

    * A meta-view: Over time, I’ve changed my views about whether it’s a material flaw that that the propers and orations (such as collects) are freed from *necessary* correspondence to the lections; I am less convinced that it is a flaw than I used to be. (That doesn’t mean I might make different choices were I given authority to do so.)

  2. John Mack says:

    Christ said to love even your enemies, and to care for the poor. But he also said, addressing his local group, his parish, so to speak, “Love each other as I have loved you.” Parishes have a duty for self-care as well as love of neighbor.

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