When Putting Together a Prayer Service

I was just working with my DRE, Arlene, to put together an Advent Prayer service and it occurred to me that it would be good to share a few resources you might want to check whenever you’re putting together a prayer service.

One rule of thumb to follow is to seek to make your prayer service bear a “family resemblance” to the Mass, our central form of prayer. In other words, select elements from the Mass to include in your order of prayer: greeting, penitential prayer, liturgy of the Word (including a responsorial), General Intercessions, Lord’s Prayer, Rite of Peace, a blessing, and so on. Here’s a good resource to go to in order to copy and paste prayers of the Mass into your Prayer Service:

http://www.catholicbibleresources.net/ChurchDocs/Mass.htm

Secondly, it’s always a good idea to look to the Scripture readings for the day on which your prayer service will take place (or you can use the Scripture readings for the previous or upcoming Sunday). Check this resource for the Scripture readings of the day:

http://www.usccb.org/nab/

Next, you can “borrow” some wonderful prayers and psalms from the Liturgy of the Hours. Check out the following:

http://divineoffice.org/

http://www.universalis.com/today.htm

http://www.liturgy.co.nz/virtualchurch/chapel.html

Finally, don’t forget to include hymns that are appropriate to your celebration. Look at these resources:

http://www.hymnprint.net/

http://www.giamusic.com/sacred_music/musicByDay.cfm

http://www.ocp.org/compositions/topics/10

I hope these are helpful for your litgurgy/prayer service planning. Know of other online resources that can be of help?

About Joe Paprocki 2365 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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