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How to celebrate the Seventh Sunday of Easter at home

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Here you have the prayers, readings, and everything else you need to celebrate with God’s Word.

In order to worthily sanctify the Seventh Sunday of Easter,
Aleteia proposes this celebration of the Word of God at home.

*Note: This guide is for those who have already celebrated the Ascension of the Lord on Thursday. If you have not celebrated the Ascension, please see our guide here.

In collaboration with Magnificat magazine


Instructions:

  • This celebration requires the presence of at least two people.
  • If you’re alone, you can simply read this celebration, united in your heart and spirit with the Church.  You can also watch the Mass on television.
  • Choose the most convenient time, from Saturday evening (the vigil of Sunday) to Sunday evening.
  • 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 an appropriate distance of at least a yard between each.
  • Take the time to renew a little the prayer corner’s decorations: images, candles, real or artificial flowers, drawings by your children, garlands, etc.
  • A simple cross or crucifix must always be visible in the background.
  • Designate a person to lead the prayer.
  • The leader will also direct the preparation of the celebration, during which he or she will mark the length of the periods of silence.
  • Designate readers for the readings.
  • During the preparation of the celebration: you can prepare petitions for the Prayers of the Faithful or Universal Prayer (in case that is not possible, a standard list of petitions is provided here for use during the course of the celebration). You may also prepare suitable hymns.

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Celebration of the Word

The apostles devoted themselves with one accord to prayer.

The leader of the celebration reads:

Brothers and sisters,
After the Ascension, the remaining apostles
“kept the Father’s word”; “they have believed
that the Father sent Jesus.”

They witness to the Father’s glory by enacting their own sort
of “triumphal” entry into Jerusalem, redolent of Christ’s on Palm Sunday.

It was triumphant “when they entered the city”
because the Eleven were deeply united in faith and charity,
resolved to do the will of the Father.

It is not a coincidence the way that their actions
mimic those of the Savior:
they go to the Upper Room and there devote themselves to
prayer with one accord.

As a result of this conviction,
persecution is soon to follow, but
they will rejoice to the extent
that they share in the sufferings of Christ.

At this moment, we unite our sufferings to Christ,
rejoicing that we can be with him for all eternity.

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.
Amen.

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 Gloria is then said or sung:

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you, we bless you,
we adore you, we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory.
Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Glória in excélsis Deo
et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntátis.
Laudámus te, benedícimus te,
adoramus te, glorificámus te,
gratias agimus tibi propter magnam glóriam tuam,
Dómine Deus, Rex cæléstis, Deus Pater omnípotens.
Dómine Fili Unigénite, Jesu Christe,
Dómine Deus, Agnus Dei, Fílius Patris,
qui tollis peccáta mundi, miserére nobis;
qui tollis peccáta mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram.
Qui sedes ad déxteram Patris, miserére nobis.
Quóniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dóminus,
tu solus Altíssimus, Jesu Christe,
cum Sancto + Spíritu : in glória Dei Patris.
Amen.

PRAYER

The leader says the opening prayer:

Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord,
so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race
is with you in your glory,
may experience, as he promised,
until the end of the world,
his abiding presence among us. Amen.

All sit down.

FIRST READING  (Acts 1:12-14)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

After Jesus had been taken up to heaven the apostles
returned to Jerusalem
from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem,
a sabbath day’s journey away.

When they entered the city
they went to the upper room where they were staying,
Peter and John and James and Andrew,
Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew,
James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot,
and Judas son of James.
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,
together with some women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM (27:1, 4, 7-8)

R/ Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

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/

One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple. R/

Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks. R/

SECOND READING  (1 Peter 4:13-16)

Beloved:
Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ,
so that when his glory is revealed
you may also rejoice exultantly.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
But let no one among you be made to suffer
as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer.
But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed
but glorify God because of the name.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

All rise.

GOSPEL (John 17:1-11A)

Alleluia. Alleluia.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord.
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.
Alleluia.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”

At the end of the Gospel, all sing or say again the joy of the Resurrection:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

All are seated, and the leader repeats slowly,
as if it were a far-off echo:

The apostles devoted themselves with one accord to prayer.

All observe three minutes of silence for silent personal meditation.

PROFESSION OF FAITH

All then stand to profess the faith of the Church
saying the Apostles’ Creed:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

UNIVERSAL PRAYER

All remain standing for the prayers of the faithful, as prepared ahead of time. The following intercessions may be used instead, separating the intentions with an intervening moment of silence.
The leader of the prayer says:

Rejoicing in the unity for which our Savior prayed before his death, we offer our prayers to God the Father:

All say the refrain:

R/ Lord, hear our prayer.

  • That through the Church’s faithful announcement of the Gospel, God’s Word may spread throughout the world and redeem all pain and suffering. R/
  • That people in need may find help, and that peace and security may be firmly established everywhere. R/
  • That our parish community may grow in faith, hope, and love. R/
  • For the repose of the souls of those who have died in service to our nation, and for all who continue to risk their lives in military service. R/
  • For the poor, the lonely, the unemployed, and all who are disheartened in any way: that they find consolation and peace in the love of Jesus. R/
  • For the grace this week to rejoice even when we share in the sufferings of Christ, and to glorify God in all that we say and do. R/
  • For an end to the coronavirus pandemic, for God’s mercy on all who are suffering and dying, and for strength and protection on all healthcare workers dedicated to fighting it. Let us pray to the Lord. R/

The people present may add, in turn, their own intentions. At the end of each of them, all repeat the refrain together:

R/ Lord, hear our prayer.

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.

You may optionally stand and say or sing a beautiful Alleluia once more:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

All remain standing, turning to face the Cross of Christ. With hands joined in prayer, the prayer leader, in the name of all, says the prayer of blessing:

FINAL BLESSING

May God, who by the Resurrection of his Only Begotten Son
was pleased to confer on us
the gift of redemption and of adoption,
give us gladness by his blessing. Amen.

May he, by whose redeeming work
we have received the gift of everlasting freedom,
make us heirs to an eternal inheritance. Amen.

And may we, who have already risen with Christ
in Baptism through faith,
by living in a right manner on this earth,
be united with him in the homeland of heaven. Amen.

All together, each with hands joined in prayer:

And may the blessing of almighty God,
come down on us and remain with us for ever. 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 the Lord’s Resurrection, Aleteia will propose occasional guides for celebrations of the Word at home. This way, in your home, you can continue to keep Sunday holy, despite the circumstances, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.

To continue to sanctify this day, it would be good to reconnect with the venerable tradition of Vespers by celebrating as a family, towards the end of the afternoon, the office of the Liturgy
of the Hours. Alternatively, you can pray today’s Evening Prayerwhich can be found here. 

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

 

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