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Blessed Edmund Rice Paraliturgy - Feast Day May 5

Edmund Rice TeresaORegan
(A Sacred space forms the focal point and could be created while the opening hymn is being sung. A table with cloths, candle, Edmund picture or icon or bust, scripture, ERST Charter, statement of vision and Mission, crest of the school etc.)

Gathering Hymn: Gather. We Love this place O God. Come and Journey. (Or other appropriate hymn or music)

Welcoming words: We gather together to focus and reflect upon the person of Blessed Edmund Rice. Today, his feast day is a time to celebrate the wealth of selflessness that he possessed and passed on to those he came into contact with.   We celebrate his life, love, Spirituality and Charism.  We give thanks for his vision and mission, the raising up of the poor and the oppressed to be pillars of Christ's presence in our world, a system of education and a network of schools were the student is at the heart of the process and Gospel values permeate the entire school community.  And so we pray:

Opening Prayer

O God, you raised up Blessed Edmund Rice to serve Christ in those suffering from poverty and injustice. Grant, we pray, that following his example, we may be faithful servants of your truth and love. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.


First Reading: Isaiah 42: 1-2, 4

Responsorial Psalm: Here I am Lord, Be not afraid, How can I repay the Lord. (or other appropriate Psalm)

Second Reading: Ephesians 3:14-19

Gospel Acclamation:
Alleluia. It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit. Alleluia. (or other appropriate acclamation with music etc.)

Gospel Reading:John 15: 1-8, 12-14


Brothers and sisters, we are gathered together to celebrate the mystery of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Let us ask God to open for the entire world this fountain of life and blessings.

For the universal Church, that it may ever more fully and eagerly embrace its mission to proclaim the Gospel to the entire world through the witness of service and love.   We pray to the Lord .... Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who follow in the footsteps of Blessed Edmund Rice: the Presentation and Christian Brothers, and all members of the ER Network, that they may respond with the same courage and generosity to the call of Christ to the marginalized and outcast of our own day.  We pray to the Lord ... Lord, hear our prayer.

For each us, called to one Discipleship, that the life of Blessed Edmund may encourage and inspire us to love one another as Christ has commanded us.   We pray to the Lord ... Lord, hear our prayer.

For the young, to whom Blessed Edmund devoted his life, especially those on the fringes of our educational system, that they may hear Christ's call to grow and bear fruit through the witness and ministry of others.
     We pray to the Lord ... Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who suffer disability and illness, that they may find healing through the love and care of others and may the compassion they awaken be a source of renewal in our world.   We pray to the Lord ... Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who suffer oppression and injustice that they may know hope through the witness and courage of others.   We pray to the Lord ... Lord, hear our prayer.

For all the faithful departed, especially for the deceased members of the congregation founded by Blessed Edmund, that the Lord may reward them in the glory of his eternal Kingdom. We pray to the Lord ... Lord, hear our prayer.

God our Creator, hear the prayers of your people. Grant us what you inspired us to ask of you for in faith. We pray this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer: We stand and together we pray the prayer that Christ himself gave us. (can be sung if appropriate).

Sign of Peace: We are a community that models itself on the life and Charism of Blessed Edmund.  We are people who are gifted with the Holy Spirit and we show Christ's love to all that we meet, and so we offer each other the sign of peace.  (appropriate music maybe used here)

Reflection: God our Father, if I could trace back through the last two thousand years, marking out routes from Jesus himself and then through people whose faith has touched others and so reached me, I would be astonished by the individuals that I would encounter.
I give thanks, Father, for all those people over the two thousand years who have inspired others and played their part in passing on to generation after generation the living heritage of their faith. Especially I give thanks for those who lived their faith through difficulties and hardship and persecution. 
I remember especially at this time Blessed Edmund Rice.  May his example be an inspiration to me in my work my school community and a reminder of your call to love others. I pray, Father, that I may grow in your faith and love through the good times and the bad.  Amen.

Let us pray: Blessed Edmund Rice prayer.  (could be said altogether)
O God, we thank you for the life of Blessed Edmund Rice. He opened his heart to Christ present in those who are poor and treated unfairly. May we follow his example of faith and kindness. Grant us the courage and care of Blessed Edmund as we seek to live our lives showing love and helping others. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

May the Lord bless us - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Contributor: Aiveen Mullally