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Labor Day Mass: Sanctifying human work


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Philip Kosloski - published on 09/06/21

The Church has a special set of prayers for Mass that honor human labor.

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The United States’ celebration of Labor Day was originally instituted to honor the sacrifice and hard work of laborers across the country, and to stress the importance of their just treatment.

This intention is still there, though it is primarily seen as a holiday weekend and the last “hurrah” before school starts.

While not every parish offers public Mass on Labor Day, which always falls on a Monday, the Church does provide Mass texts that can be used on this day.

It is found in the appendix of the Roman Missal, under the title, For the Sanctification of Human Labor.

The prayers there are a beautiful complement to the celebration of Labor Day and reminds all of us how our work can be sanctified and given to God as a worthy sacrifice.

Here are a few selections that highlight this theme.

O God, Creator of all things,
who have commanded the human race to bear the burden of labor,

grant that the work we are beginning
may bring progress in this life
and, by your favor,
advance the spread of the Kingdom of Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

O God, who through human labor
never cease to perfect and govern the vast work of creation,

listen to the supplications of your people
and grant that all men and women
may find work that befits their dignity,
joins them more closely to one another
and enables them to serve their neighbor.
Through our lord Jesus Christ, your son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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