Skip to comments.Ad-libbing the Prayers of the Faithful (Follow Up)
Posted on 08/18/2004 6:49:36 AM PDT by NYer
Follow-up: Ad-libbing the Prayers of the Faithful
Several correspondents noted that I forgot to mention in the July 20 column that the proper place for reading the general intercessions, or prayers of the faithful, is the ambo.
This fact was included in the document I quoted. But it serves as a reminder that the ambo is reserved for the proclamation of God's word, preaching and the general intercessions. Commentators, choir directors and others who intervene in the celebration should preferably not use the ambo.
A reader from Spain asks if it is proper to recite the Hail Mary to conclude the general intercessions.
This custom, fairly widespread in some countries, is usually introduced by a phrase asking for Mary's intercession with respect to the other intentions. Since, as we mentioned in our previous note, the intercessions are above all intentions, and not prayers or petitions directed toward God, then there is no reason why we cannot invoke Mary's intercession in presenting our intentions to God.
However the Hail Mary should not substitute the priest's closing prayer.
A correspondent from Ontario in Canada asks if there is any particular format for writing the intentions of the general intercessions.
The official documents limit themselves to asking that the "intentions announced should be sober, be composed freely but prudently, and be succinct, and they should express the prayer of the entire community" (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 71).
The documents also state that the intentions more or less should follow the suggested order: universal and local Church (Pope, bishop, etc.); for the salvation of the world (for those responsible for civil government) and those oppressed by any burden (those who suffer, the sick); and for special categories of people (those who prepare for baptism, for those dedicated to some special mission, etc.).
Being brief and to the point prevents the intentions from mutating into long prayers or verbose pious exhortations.
Expressing the prayer of the entire community means that they should not be too personalized either by reflecting too closely the spiritual interests of an individual or group within the community or my mentioning very particular individual needs.
This would not exclude particular mentions on special occasions such as funerals and confirmations nor the custom of some parishes of asking the parish community to pray for those members who are gravely ill or recently deceased.
There are many worthy editions of books with formulas for the general intercessions, even some covering every day of the year.
These books may be used for the general intercessions themselves or as resources in preparing intercessions tailored to the needs of a particular community.
Always a good source of reference.
The "ambo"? Care to define for we poor of the Novus Ordo generation who did not learn certain terms?
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