A Prayer for the afflicted in time of pandemic

Let us pray for all those who suffer the consequences of the current pandemic, that God the Father may grant health to the sick, strength to those who care for them, comfort to families and salvation to all the victims who have died.

Almighty ever-living God,
only support of our human weakness,
look with compassion upon the sorrowful condition of your children 
who suffer because of this pandemic;
relieve the pain of the sick,
give strength to those who care for them,
welcome into your peace those who have died
and, throughout this time of tribulation,
grant that we may all find comfort in your merciful love.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen

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 The Bishops have recommended that all should make a Perfect Act of Contrition at this time.  Perfect contrition (or a Contrition of Charity) is true and real sorrow for our sins which is created when we realise the immense love of God for each one of us.  We express this contrition when we realise how we offend God by our sinful words, deeds and omissions in contrast to the immeasurable love and mercy that he continually shows us.

 This requires us to be contrite of heart for what we have done, know and be overwhelmed by the love and mercy of God for his children, and to approach this grace with humility and resolution not to sin again.

 An Act of Contrition

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things.  I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.  Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy. 

 Spiritual Communion

There are times when people are unable to receive the Holy Communion, through illness or due to their personal disposition. Even though some may not receive sacramental Communion, all are united in some way by the Holy Spirit. The tradition of spiritual Communion is an important one to remember and reaffirm. A deep spiritual Communion is possible even when we are not able to receive the Sacrament.

MY JESUS, I believe that Thou art present 
in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love Thee above all things,
and desire to receive Thee into my soul.
Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace Thee as if Thou art already there
and unite myself entirely to Thee;
never permit me to be separated from Thee. Amen.  

As a Catholic community, we must treasure the power of prayer during these painful and difficult times: prayer for the world and its needs; prayer for our country at this time of uncertainty and sickness; prayers for our families and communities - for health, for a spirit of charity and for those whose lives are affected by economic fragility; prayer for the the sick and dying and for medical staff and carers; prayer for ourselves. 

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

Our Divine Lord and Saviour is always present in the Tabernacle of our church and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass continues to be offered for the good of all.
Let us try to unite ourselves, at least spiritually, to these consoling realities.

The Bishop of Lancaster wrote to his faithful:

We are instructed to observe social isolation, but we do well to remember we are given other ways to keep in touch and remain in social contact. The wonders of modern communication are at our service for our good. Use them well. 

And don’t forget that the Saints and the Holy Souls are part of our social network too. Long before the internet was invented we had this tradition of social communication with the saints in heaven, and the Holy Souls awaiting entry into the fulness of Life. No need for sophisticated IT equipment to reach them. All that is needed is the simple ability to spend time in prayer. No one is truly alone.

I also encourage us to remember our guardian angels in these times. When we pray for those in the front line let’s include them {their powerful intercession} too.

Some questions answered:

Will Holy Mass still be offered?

Yes, I will continue, God willing,  to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass daily for you and your intentions; for all the people of our parish; for an end to this pandemic; for all who are sick and suffering, and for the Faithful Departed. 

Mass intentions already received are being fulfilled  If you would like to have a Msss said for an intention, anniversary etc. just place the details and your offering into an envelope and post it through the Presbytery letterbox or you can telephone (you may have to leave a message at times) or email.

 Will the church be open for personal prayer?

Soon, I hope!

What should I do on Sundays?

The bishops have dispensed you from the obligation to Sunday Mass. However, we should still do our best to observe the Third Commandment to Keep the Sabbath Day holy.

As we are unable to attend Holy Mass at this time, we should seek to sanctify Sundays with personal prayer or praying together as a family. Prayers we might find helpful are: the Holy Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, reading the scriptures or Sunday Mass readings or the Prayer of the Church  (link), reciting or singing  hymns, or praying the Mass whilst watching it online etc..

An internet live-stream and recorded video of daily Mass is available from the Walsingham Shrine at www.walsingham.org.uk 

Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) at livemass.org

a link to two Acts of Spiritual Communion

What about baptisms?

Baptisms must be deferred for the time being                                                                                                                                                                         In the most urgent cases (i.e. in danger of death), please contact me or, if you are at the hospital, the hospital chaplain through ward staff

What about funerals?

When we’re allowed back into church, funerals (with attendance limited etc.) may take place there

You are encouraged to arrange for a Mass for the Dead - in memoriam to be celebrated for the deceased when we are allowed to gather in our church again.

What about weddings?

When we ca’re allowed back into church the celebration of the sacrament of Matrimony can take place, but with very limited attendance. 

Our Lady of Lourdes  pray for us

St Joseph, Protector of the Universal Church pray for us

St Sebastian pray for us

St Roch  pray for us                                                                                                                                                                                

St Charles Borromeo pray for us

All Holy Angels and Saints pray for us                          

a link to some SUGGESTED PRAYERS,
including a form of Spiritual Communion