20 December 2020

Sunday intercessions on
20 December 2020,
Fourth Sunday of Advent

An icon of the Virgin Mary found in an antique shop in Rethymnon … the fourth candle on the advent wreath recalls the Virgin Mary (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

‘God has mercy on those who fear him, from generation to generation’ (Luke 1: 50, Magnificat):

Let us pray:

‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word’ (Luke 1: 37):

Heavenly Father,
as we prepare for the coming of Christ
and to welcome the promises of the Kingdom,
we pray that truth shall spring up from the earth,
and guide the rulers and nations of the world.

We pray for all nations torn and divided by war and strife,
and we pray for all peacemakers,
and all who defend democracy and human rights.

Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

‘He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end’ (Luke 1: 33):

Lord Jesus Christ,
as Advent comes to a close,
and as we may prepare for your coming,
we pray for the Church,
that we may be signs of your coming kingdom.

In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer,
we pray this week for mission agencies
and their ministry throughout the Anglican Communion,
including the Mothers’ Union around the world.

In the Church of Ireland,
we pray for this Diocese of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert
as we prepare to unite with the Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry,
and we pray for our bishop, Bishop Kenneth Kearon,
and for Bishop Patrick Rooke.

In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we pray this week
for the Kenmare and Dromod Union of parishes,
the Rev Michael Kavanagh
and the congregations of
Saint Patrick’s Church, Kenmare,
the Church of the Transfiguration, Sneem,
Saint Michael and All Angels’ Church, Waterville,
and the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Valentia.

We pray for our own parishes and people and for ourselves …

Christ have mercy,
Christ have mercy.

‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you’ (Luke 1: 35):

Holy Spirit,
we pray for ourselves, for one another,
for those we love and those who love us,
and we remember those who have brought love into our lives:

We give thanks for new life …
We pray for those in need and those who seek healing …

We pray for those who are sick or isolated,
at home or in hospital …

Sylvia … Alan … Margaret … Daphne … Declan …
Ajay … Ena … Eileen … George … Louise …
Ralph … Cait …

We pray for those we have offered to pray for …
and we pray for those who pray for us …

We pray for all who grieve and mourn at this time …
we remember and give thanks for those who have died …
and those whose anniversaries are at this time …
including Kathy … Kate … Stephen …
may their memories be a blessing to us …

Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

A prayer from the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) on the Fourth Sunday of Advent:

Lord, thank you for seeing us through a very strange year.
As we celebrate the birth of your son Jesus Christ,
may we strive to live at peace with each other. Amen.

Merciful Father …

The Advent Wreath on the Fourth Sunday of Advent (The Pink Candle):

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, the fourth, purple or violet candle on the Advent Wreath, symbolising the Virgin Mary, is lit alongside the two purple or violet candles, symbolising the Patriarchs and the Prophets, and the third pink candle, symbolising Saint John the Baptist.

USPG suggests this prayer when lighting the fourth candle:

The Virgin Mary

O God of promise,
whose mother Mary carried your Christ in an occupied land;
we pray for mothers in the Holy Land
who today live with restrictions and violence.
Bless the church-run hospitals that serve them and their children
regardless of race, religion or financial status.

Lighting the fourth candle on the Advent Wreath, representing the Virgin Mary (Photograph: Barbara Comerford)

These intercessions were prepared for use at the Parish Eucharist in Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin (Tarbert), Co Kerry, on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, 20 December 2020

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