Pray With Us

Leader:      We take some time now to pray, & to honour John

                    the Baptist, hoping to learn something from his example.

All:          Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,

is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen, alleluia!


We will sing the hymn together.

As earth that is dry & parched in the sun lies waiting for rain,

My soul is a desert, arid & waste; it longs for your word, O Lord.

Refrain: Come to the waters, all you who thirst, come now & eat my bread.

Though you have no money, come, buy my corn, & drink my red wine,

Why spend precious gold on what will not last?  Hear me & your soul will live. Refrain.

As one on a journey strays from the road & falls in the dark,

My mind is a wanderer, choosing wrong paths & longing to find a star. Refrain.

The Lord is your light, the Lord is your strength; turn back to him now.

For his ways are not the ways you would choose, & his thoughts are always new. Refrain.

As rain from the mountain falls on the land & brings forth the seed,

The word of the Lord sinks deep in our hearts, creating the flower of truth. Refrain.


We will sing the first antiphon & psalm as indicated.

Cantors:     There was a man sent by God

                    Whose name was John.

Side 1:  Dear God, who are the honoured guests in your tent?

            Who may dwell in your presence upon your holy mountain?

Side 2: Who may commune with those who are your heart’s desire,

         Lovingly embraced in the union of friends.

Side 1:  Those who lead incorrupt lives, & do the thing that is right,

            Who speak the truth from their hearts & have not slandered with their tongues.

Side 2: Those who have not betrayed their friends,

         Or rained down abuse on their neighbours,

Side 1:   In whose eyes the shifty have no honour,

             But hold in high esteem those who fear God.

Side 2: Those who give their word to their neighbour,

         And do not go back on their promise,

Side 1:  Who have not grown wealthy at the expense of the poor,

             Or grown sleek with flattery or bribes.

Side 2: Who depend on the mercy of God,

         And live the highest law that is love.

Side 1:  Those who are steadfast & kind, who are resilient & patient & humble,

             Who know the cost of a morsel of justice, a glimpse of compassion in savage times.

Side 2: Their roots are deep in the being of God,

         Their arms are spread wide in welcome embrace.

Side 1:  They are faithful, joyful & blessed,

             God’s sisters & brothers & friends.

All:   Glory be to the Father and to the Son,

      And to the Holy Spirit,

      As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,

      World without end, Amen.

All:     There was a man sent by God

         Whose name was John.

Please listen to, or join in with, a musical version of psalm 111.

(‘Where Love is Found’ Tr 17)



Refrain: Blessed are they who hear and live God’s command.

Blessed are they who hear and live God’s command.

Happy are they who honour God, delighting in God’s commands, For they shall rule the earth and be blessed from age to age. (Refrain)

Their homes will be filled with riches, their kindness will lavish the earth.

They walk as the light in the darkness to the upright, our mercy and peace command. (Refrain)

They’ll lavish the poor with love, forever their goodness will last.

Their horn shall blast in glory, blest are the ways of God. (Refrain)


Reading: No. 171 & 172. Gaudate et Exsultate – Pope Francis.

The Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways, at work, through others and at every moment. Yet we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us better to perceive God’s language, to interpret the real meaning of the inspirations we believe we have received, to calm our anxieties and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light. In this way, we allow the birth of a new synthesis that springs from a life inspired by the Spirit. Nonetheless, it is possible that, even in prayer itself, we could refuse to let ourselves be confronted by the freedom of the Spirit, who acts as he wills. We must remember that prayerful discernment must be born of a readiness to listen: to the Lord and to others, and to reality itself, which always challenges us in new ways. Only if we are prepared to listen, do we have the freedom to set aside our own partial or insufficient ideas, our usual habits and ways of seeing things. In this way, we become truly open to accepting a call that can shatter our security, but lead us to a better life. It is not enough that everything be calm and peaceful. God may be offering us something more, but in our comfortable inadvertence, we do not recognize it.

Pause for personal or shared reflection.


Please sing the Magnificat & its antiphon as indicated.

Cantors: The child that is born for us today is greater than any prophet; this is he of whom the saviour said,

             ‘Among those born of women there was no man greater than John the Baptist’.

Side 1:      My being proclaims your greatness,

And my spirit finds joy in you, God my Saviour;

Side 2:      For you have looked upon me, your servant, in my lowliness:

All ages to come shall call me blessed.

Side 1:      God, you who are mighty, have done great things for me:

Holy is your name.

Side 2:     Your mercy is from age to age

Towards those who fear you.

Side 1:      You have shown might with your arm,

And confused the proud in their inmost thoughts.

Side 2:      You have deposed the mighty from their thrones,

And raised the lowly to high places.

Side 1:      The hungry you have given every good thing,

While the rich you have sent away empty.

Side 2:      You have upheld Israel, your servant,

Ever mindful of your mercy-

Side 1:      Even as you promised our ancestors,

Promised Abraham, Sarah, and their descendants for ever.

All:   Give praise to the Father Almighty,

To his Son Jesus Christ our Lord

To the Spirit who dwells in our hearts,

Both now and for ever, Amen.

All: The child that is born for us today is greater than any prophet;

this is he of whom the saviour said,

     ‘Among those born of women there was no man greater

than John the Baptist’.


Reader:      God our Father, you chose John the Baptist to announce the kingdom of Christ to all people. May we use the opportunities we have to witness to that kingdom. ….pause ……. we ask,

All:          Lord, guide us in the way of peace.

Reader:      Even in his mother’s womb, you chose John to prepare the way for your son.  May we be open to what you call us to be & to do.  ….pause ……. we ask,

All:          Lord, guide us in the way of peace.

Reader:      You inspired the Baptist to recognise the Lamb of God: may we recognise you in those we meet  … pause ……. we ask,

All:          Lord, guide us in the way of peace.

Reader:      When John baptised you in the Jordan, the Spirit

                    of Justice rested on you.  Help us to play our part in

                    working & praying for a world of justice. …. pause

                    ……. we ask,

All:                 Lord, guide us in the way of peace.

Reader:      We pray for people who have died today and for those who will die tonight.  We also remember in prayer those whose anniversaries occur tomorrow, remembering especially:


Pause for people to add silently or aloud any further intentions.


Leader begins the Our Father….

Leader:  God our creator, you sent John the Baptist to the people of

              Israel to point them towards your son, Jesus.  Give us the

              wisdom & humility we need constantly to point to Jesus as the

                                                      source of all peace & joy.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord,

All:     Amen.

All:     Mindful of the suffering of the cross, may the joy of the

         Resurrection, & the living presence of Christ be with us

         always.  And we pray for each other as we ask for the

         blessing of the Eternal God, Creator & Sustainer, Risen Lord,

        Spirit of Love, to be upon us & all whom we love now & forever more.   Amen.