Helping Young People Write Intercessions

Three Wishes activity from Catechist's Journey

While many parts of the Mass are always the same (we use the same words for the Gloria; the Holy, Holy, Holy; the Lord’s Prayer; the Lamb of God; etc.), several parts are always different from one Mass to another: the Scripture readings, the homily, and the Prayer of the Faithful. This, of course, gives us an opportunity to invite young people to shape some of the words we use at Mass. In particular, inviting young people to create General Intercessions can itself be a very powerful and prayerful experience. With that in mind, I’d like to offer something I’ve used with young people to help them formulate General Intercessions for a Mass or prayer service. This activity can help get the wheels turning so that their intercessions are coming from their deepest desires. The activity begins by asking the young people to imagine that they have been granted three wishes and that the only stipulations are that the wishes not be for themselves and that they be only for the benefit (not harm) of others.

Download a PDF of the Three Wishes handout.

Also, here’s some good advice about writing intercessions in general.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 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

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