“I have come so that they may have life to the full.”(Gospel of John) 2010
Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI visited the UK between the 16th-19th September 2010. Thousands lined the streets to catch a glimpse of him, or queued to take part in the services and Masses that he celebrated. People listened carefully to the words that he spoke, especially to the Queen, to politicians and to children and young people. Many people from our schools in our Diocese travelled as pilgrims to be with him. At the ‘Big Assembly’ gathering, Bishop Malcolm welcomed him.
Bishop Malcolm announced to the Holy Father that we would be celebrating ‘A Year for Catholic Education.’ In announcing the year he said: We celebrate the wonderful sense of faith and community that characterises our schools. And we celebrate with you, our faith, our love, and our hope for the future.
In our own Diocese we will be having our own ‘Big Assembly’ and other celebrations but we would like to begin by praying together in our schools, our parishes & homes the very beautiful prayer known as the ‘Angelus.’
We will look at the ‘Angelus’ Prayer and some of the words that Pope Benedict spoke during his time in our country. The ‘Angelus’ is prayed by people all over the world especially at 12 o’clock lunchtime. The Pope prays this prayer every Sunday with the crowds who gather in Rome. There is a prayer card with the words of the ‘Angelus’ for people to take home.
The Angelus begins with Mary receiving a greeting from the Archangel Gabriel to ask her to be the Mother of Jesus, our Saviour. The ‘Hail Mary’ that we pray together uses the words of greeting from Gabriel to Mary. “The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary and she conceived of the Holy Spirit.”
Mary responds to Gabriel’s request with her ‘yes’ “Behold the handmaid of the Lord Be it done to me according to your word.”
The Angelus continues “And the Word was made flesh And dwelt among us.” These reflect the words from the opening of John’s Gospel. The ‘Word’ is God, who speaks the ‘Word’ and the earth is created. God becomes human and lives among us in the person of Jesus.
As Mary’s unique vocation was revealed to her, she made a conscious decision to accept her mission as Mother of the Saviour. So we ask her prayers that we too may discover more and more God’s plan for each one of us “Pray for us O Holy Mother of God That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”
From the words of Pope Benedict during his visit, we can identify five themes: • Sainthood • Service • Vocation • Communication • Prayer
As we pray our prayer together we will look at some of things that the Holy Father said on these themes: Sign of the Cross In the name of the Father & the Son & the Holy Spirit. Amen
COMMUNICATION Leader: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary All: and she conceived of the Holy Spirit.” Hail Mary… “I hope that you will want to share with everyone you meet the values and insights you have learned through the Christian education you have received.” (The Big Assembly: St Mary's University College, Twickenham, Friday, 17 September 2010).
SERVICE Leader: Behold the handmaid of the Lord All: Be it done to me according to your word. Hail Mary… "...our divine Master has assigned a specific task to each one of us, a "definite service", committed uniquely to every single person: ..."(Cofton Park, Sunday, 19 September 2010).
VOCATION Leader: And the Word was made flesh All: And dwelt among us. Hail Mary… “Dear young friends; only Jesus knows what ‘definite service’ he has in mind for you. Be open to his voice resounding in the depths of your heart; even now his heart is speaking to your heart.” (Hyde Park Vigil, Saturday 18th September 2010)
SAINTHOOD Leader: Pray for us O Holy Mother of God All: that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. “the call to be holy, to become the saints of the future. "What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. …the best thing for you is to grow in holiness." (The Big Assembly: St Mary's University College, Twickenham, Friday, 17 September 2010).
“Jesus is always there. Quietly waiting for us to be still with him and to hear his voice. Deep within your heart, he is calling you to spend time with him in prayer, … we need to make space for silence, because it is in silence that we find God. And in silence that we discover our true self. And in discovering our true self we discover the particular vocation which God has given us for the building up of his church and the redemption of our world.” (Message to Young People, Westminster Cathedral 18 September 2010)
Let us pray together: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen
The Angelus Prayer • Starting during Advent and for this Year of Catholic Education we will be praying the Angelus Prayer every day at lunchtime along with other schools, parishes and communities in our Diocese. • Listen for the Angelus bell which is our call to prayer.
For more resources click on the following websites www.nottingham-des.org.uk www.rucalled.com