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Here’s how to celebrate Holy Monday at home

Jesus Christ Pantocrator, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Jesus Christ Pantocrator, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
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Here you have the prayers, readings, and everything else you need to celebrate with God’s Word.

Aleteia is mobilizing to propose to you, with the help of Magnificat magazineto sanctify this Holy Monday with a celebration of the Word of God.

Instructions

  • If you’re alone, it is better to simply read the readings and prayers of the Mass of the day in your missal. This celebration requires the presence of at least two people.
  • This celebration is particularly suitable for use with family. In order to respect quarantine measures, you should refrain from inviting others from outside your household. If anyone in your house is ill, make sure they remain in isolation to ensure that all safety guidelines are strictly followed.
  • Set up the needed number of chairs in front of a prayer corner, respecting distance between them.
  • A simple cross or crucifix must always be visible in the background.
  • Light one or more candles, placing them on non-flammable stands (such as candlesticks or small porcelain plates). Don’t forget to blow them out at the end of the celebration. Flowers should not be used; this sign of joy will be reserved for the Easter season.
  • Designate a person to lead the prayer. He or she will also determine the length of the periods of silence.
  • Designate a reader.

 

HOLY MONDAY

Celebration of the Word

With our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ,
let us enter into God’s combat.

All are seated.
The leader of the celebration reads:

Brothers and sisters,
on this first day of Holy Week,
let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ
and enter into God’s combat.
The days are drawing near when Jesus our Savior
suffered his Passion and rose in glory from the dead.
In the darkness in which we are submerged,
he is our light and our salvation!
In his light,
aware of our limitations and weakness,
and of the damage caused by our sins, which must be repaired,
we want to express our confidence
in the Passion of the beloved Son,
and give thanks
for this greatest proof of love
he gave us.

Pause

O Jesus, we are prevented from
perpetuating the offering of your life
by the celebration of the Eucharist:
more than ever, we ask you to make it present
in the way we love each other
as you loved us.

After five minutes of silence, all rise and make the Sign of the Cross, saying:

 In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The leader continues:

To prepare ourselves to receive God’s Word
and in order for it to heal us,
we recognize ourselves as sinners.

The penitential rite follows. For example:

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
For we have sinned against you.
Show us, O Lord, your mercy.
And grant us your salvation.

May Almighty God have mercy on us;
forgive us our sins,
And bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

We say or sing:

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

 PRAYER

The leader says the opening prayer:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, though in our weakness we fail,
we may be revived through the Passion of your
Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

The readings are taken from the Mass for Holy Monday.
The reader of the first reading stays standing while the others sit down.

FIRST READING

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. (Is 42:1-7)

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
Upon whom I have put my Spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
Not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
A bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
Until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spreads out the earth with its crops,
Who gives breath to its people
and spirit to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The reader of the psalm stands, while the others remain seated.

PSALM (27:1, 2, 3, 13-14)

R/   The Lord is my light and my salvation.    
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?

R/    The Lord is my light and my salvation.
When evildoers come at me
to devour my flesh,
My foes and my enemies
themselves stumble and fall.

R/    The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
even then will I trust.

R/    The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.

R/    The Lord is my light and my salvation.

GOSPEL

All rise and say or sing the acclamation of the gospel.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
King of endless glory!
Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our faults.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
King of endless glory!

The Gospel is not proclaimed, but merely read with simplicity.
The reader introduces the text by solemnly, saying:

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (Jn 12:1-11)

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

No acclamation concludes the reading of the Gospel.

All are seated.

The leader repeats slowly, as if it were a deep and far-off echo:

“The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?”

All observe five minutes of silence for silent personal meditation.
At the end of the period of silence, all rise.

The leader introduces the Lord’s Prayer:

United in the Spirit and in the communion of the Church,
we dare to pray as the Lord Jesus himself
taught us:

All say or sing the Our Father:

Our Father …

Continuing immediately with:
For the kingdom …

Then the leader invites those present to share a sign of peace:

We have just joined our voices
with that of the Lord Jesus to pray to the Father.
We are sons and daughters in the Son.
In the love that unites us with one another,
renewed by the word of God,
we can exchange a gesture of peace,
a sign of the communion
we receive from the Lord.

All then exchange a greeting of peace from a distance: for example, by bowing deeply towards each other in turn; or, as a family, by blowing each other a kiss. Then all sit down.

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

The leader says:

When we cannot receive sacramental communion
for lack of a Mass,
Pope Francis urges us to practice spiritual communion,
also called “communion of desire.”
The Council of Trent reminds us that this
“consists in an ardent desire to feed on the Heavenly Bread,
with a living faith that acts through charity
and that makes us participants in the fruits and graces of the Sacrament.”
The value of our spiritual communion
depends therefore on our faith in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist
as a source of life, love and unity,
and our desire to receive Communion in spite of our inability to do so.

With that in mind, I now invite you to bow your head,
to close your eyes and recollect yourselves.

Silence

Deep in our hearts,
may a burning desire arise within us to unite ourselves with Jesus,
in sacramental communion,
and then to bring His love to life into our lives,
loving others as He loved us.

All remain in silence for 5 minutes for a heart-to-heart conversation with Jesus Christ.

A hymn of thanksgiving may be sung.

All stand.

All recite together the following prayer:

Visit your people, O Lord, we pray,
and with ever-watchful love
look upon the hearts dedicated to you.
Since your Son Jesus Christ has given us
the greatest proof of love that can be,
help us by your grace to love one another
the way you loved us.

FINAL BLESSING

The leader of the celebration, with hands joined in prayer,
says the blessing in the name of all:

Through the intercession of St. N. [patron saint of the parish, diocese or country],
and of all the saints of God,
May the God of perseverance and courage
grant us to manifest throughout our lives
the spirit of sacrifice, compassion and love
of Christ Jesus.
Thus, in the communion of the Holy Spirit,
we will give glory to God,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for ever and ever!
Amen.

All together facing the cross, each with their hands joined in prayer,
invoke the Lord’s Blessing:  

May the Lord let his face shine upon us
and come and save us. Amen.

All make the Sign of the Cross.
Then parents may trace the Sign of the Cross on their children’s foreheads.

CLOSING HYMN

To conclude the celebration, one of the following Marian antiphons may be sung, or some other familiar hymn to the Virgin Mary.

Ave, Regina cælorum
Ave, Domina Angelorum,
Salve radix, salve, porta, Ex qua mundo lux est orta.
Gaude, Vírgo gloriosa, Super omnes speciosa;
Vale, o valde decora
Et pro nobis Christum exora.

Hail, Queen of Heaven!
Hail, sovereign of the angels!
Hail, root of Jesse!
Hail, door through which the Light of the world arose.
Rejoice, glorious Virgin, who prevails over all in beauty!
Hail, O most beautiful one,
and pray to Christ for us.

*

*       *

To continue to sanctify this day, it would be good to reconnect with the venerable tradition of vespers by celebrating, towards the end of the afternoon, today’s Evening Prayer, which can be found here.

For each day of Holy Week, we will offer you increasingly rich formulas, to help you continue to celebrate, despite everything, the special seasons of our Christian life, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.

You can also find other resources for free on the Magnificat website.

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