Here you have the prayers, readings, and everything else you need to celebrate with God’s Word.
The celebration of Easter
takes place over the next seven weeks,
and will be crowned by Pentecost.
Until the end of social distancing, Aleteia will offer you
a daily celebration of the Word of God at home
to sanctify every day of the Easter season.
In collaboration with Magnificat magazine
Mass on TV, or a celebration at home?
- This celebration requires the presence of at least two people.
- If you are alone, it is preferable to simply read the readings and prayers found in the proposed celebration.
- 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.
- 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. Place some flowers and decorations as a sign of joy. A simple cross or crucifix should always be visible in the background.
- Designate a person to lead the prayer. He or she will also determine the length of the periods of silence. Designate a reader.
Celebration of the Word
“Come, you that are blessed by my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”
All are seated.
The leader of the celebration reads:
“Come, you that are blessed by my Father.”
It is with these words that Jesus, risen from the dead,
invites us each day to follow him
on the way to the Kingdom of joy
prepared for us since the creation of the world.
In this Kingdom, we are expected, and wanted,
not by an almighty monarch
but by a Father who is nothing but love, who is Love itself.
In fact, this Father loves us so much
that he has delivered up his Son, his Only-Begotten, his Beloved,
not only to save us
from a fate worse, yes, far worse than death,
but even more, to adopt us,
in his only begotten Son, as his own children;
as true and living children of God.
And so we are!
O, how thankful we are
to the risen Christ,
our Brother in humanity and our Brother in divinity,
for giving us a taste of what is to come,
of what our eternal life will be like
with his Father, who is our Father.
We experience this foretaste
when, at his table, he breaks bread for us,
the bread of the Kingdom,
as he did with the disciples of Emmaus,
thus celebrating the first mass in history
so that the offering of his life may be perpetuated
until the hour when he shall return in glory,
when he will tell us forever, face to face, heart to heart:
“Come, you that are blessed of my Father…”
O Jesus, during this time 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 three 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.
The following is said or sung:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
The leader says the opening prayer:
Come, you blessed of my Father;
receive the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world, Alléluia.
FIRST READING (Acts 3:1-10)
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.
Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
PSALM(105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9)
R/ Alleluia ! Alleluia ! Alleluia !
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.R/
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.R/
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail. R/
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generationsB
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac. R/
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke.
That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
No acclamation concludes the reading of the Gospel.
All are seated, and the leader repeats slowly,
as if it were a far-off echo:
In the depths of our heart,
let us listen to the echo of these words of our brother,
words which each of us has had the grace
to receive personally, and which we have the mission to transmit:
“Come, you that are blessed by my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from
the foundation of the world.”
All observe five minutes of silence for silent personal meditation.
The leader indicates the end of the period of silence, and invites all to 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
All say or sing the 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.
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.
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 recite together the following prayer:
O God, who gladden us year by year
with the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection,
that, by celebrating these present festivities,
we may merit through them to reach eternal joys.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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!
All together facing the cross, each with their hands joined in prayer,
invoke the Lord’s Blessing:
May the grace of God descend upon us
and remain with us forever. Amen.
All make the Sign of the Cross.
Then parents may trace the Sign of the Cross on their children’s foreheads.
To conclude the celebration, the participants may sing the Regina Caeli,
or some other joyful, well-known Marian hymn.
Regína caéli, lætáre, Allelúia!
Quia quem meruísti portáre, Allelúia!
Resurréxit, sicut dixit, Allelúia!
Ora pro nóbis Déum, Allelúia!
O Queen of heaven rejoice! Alleluia!
For He whom thou didst merit to bear, Alleluia!
Hath arisen as he said, Alleluia!
Pray for us to God, Alleluia!
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, the office of the Liturgy of the Hours, or you can pray today’s Evening Prayer, which can be found on the Magnificat website.
Throughout the Easter season, Aleteia will propose daily guides for celebrations at home, to help you continue to sanctify the each day, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.
You can also find other resources for free on the Magnificat website.