Prayers for when we cannot attend Mass
There are times when people are unable to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, through illness or due to their personal disposition. Even though some may not receive ‘sacramental’ Communion, all are united in some way by the Holy Spirit. The traditional idea of ‘spiritual’ Communion is an important one to remember and reaffirm. A deep spiritual communion is possible even when we do not share together the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. This prayer may be recited with the intention of receiving Holy Communion when one cannot attend Mass and or when one is viewing Mass on the webcam. (cf. Celebrating the Mass 212)
I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
— based on a prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori
Prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic by Pope Francis
O Mary, you shine continuously along our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, health of the sick,
who at the cross were near to the pain of Jesus,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman people,
know what we need,
and we trust that you will provide for those needs
so that, as at Cana of Galilee,
joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us,
He who took our sufferings upon Himself,
and took up our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test –
and deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Prayer in time of Pandemic
(adapted from Kildare and Leighlin diocese)
Loving and healing God, we, turn to you in prayer,
confident that you are with us and with all people in every moment.
We stand before you as people of hope,
trusting in your care and protection.
May your faithful love support us
and soothe the anxiety of our hearts.
fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old,
that we may look after one another in these challenging days.
Bring healing to those who are sick with the virus
and be with their families.
May those who have died rest in your eternal embrace.
Comfort their family and friends.
Strengthen and protect
all medical professionals caring for the sick
and all who work in our medical facilities.
Give wisdom to leaders in healthcare and governance
that they may make the right decisions for the well-being of people.
We pray in gratitude for all those in our country
who will continue to work in the days ahead
in so many fields of life for the sake of us all.
Bless them and keep them safe.
O God of creation and life,
we place ourselves in your protection.
May the mantle of your peace enfold us this day
and in the days ahead.
Family Prayer in time of pandemic
Lord Jesus Christ, you travelled through towns and villages
“curing every disease and illness.”
At your command the sick were made well again.
Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of this virus,
that we may experience your healing love.
Lord, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty
and give us your peace.
In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.
Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother,
to thee do I come,
before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate despise not my petitions,
but in your clemency hear and answer me.
Prayer for those affected by the virus
(adapted from the catholic Bishops of England and Wales)
Merciful God, come to the help of your people.
Be our shelter in this time of peril
and strengthen the bonds of our community.
Bring healing to all who suffer the ravages of disease
and assist those whose skill and art can put an end to this affliction.
Through Christ our Lord.
From Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
(from The Family Prayer Book – Council for Marriage and Family of IEC)
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left.
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I bind to myself today the strong name of the Trinity.
Be like the Good Samaritan
(Pope Benedict XVI World Day of the Sick, 2005)
May the Holy Virgin comfort those who are afflicted by illness,
and support those who, like the Good Samaritan,
soothe their physical and spiritual wounds.
Lend me your hand
(Fr Peter Murphy – World Day of the Sick prayer book, 2013)
Jesus, remember me at this time.
I have questions and concerns.
I am worried.
As you journey with me, Jesus,
in your promise of everlasting friendship,
help me to place myself in your care
as you lend me your hand through the care of my carers.
Help us, Jesus, to allow God’s light
to shine through our hopes and concerns.
For the sick
(from the Veritas Book of Blessings)
All-powerful and ever-living God,
the lasting health of all who believe in you
hear us as we ask your loving help for the sick;
restore their health,
that they may again offer joyful thanks in your Church.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Scripture readings for comfort from anxiety
O Lord, come to my rescue, Lord, come to my aid. Psalm 39:14
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14
Lord, save me. Matthew 14: 30
Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
Blessing for one another in our families
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May he look upon you with kindness,
and give you his peace.
Cultivating A Relationship With God
There are many ways to pray and pathways to prayer. Prayer is an abandoning or surrendering oneself into a deeper relationship with God, our Creator. It is an act of reciprocal surrender without asking for anything in return, without expecting anything, and just being with each other Prayer is above all an act of love, gratitude, and being present to the One who created you and loves you. Prayer is centered on letting oneself be looked at by the Lord and looking at him.
Ignatian Spirituality – The Examen or The Awareness Prayer
The Jesuits talk about “to find God in all things”? What does this mean? In the short (12 minute) video below, listen to Fr. Laurence Murphy SJ or the Manresa Retreat Centre, talk about how he prays and reflects on his day, using the The Awareness Prayer.
Useful Websites for Prayer and Reflection
The following are some links to website which are provide helpful resources for daily prayer and reflection.
- Pray as you go
Pray As You Go is a daily prayer audio podcast, to help you pray whenever you find time. A new prayer podcast is produced every day of the working week and one for the weekend. It is a framework for your own prayer. Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.
- Sacred Space
Sacred Space is a prayer website which has achieved considerable fame since its foundation in 1999. The site is updated daily, guiding users through a ten-minute session of prayer, centered on a passage of scripture.