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Celebrations of the Liturgy of the Word in your family…

Celebrations of the Liturgy of the Word in your family…
Reading the Bible
Reading the Bible (CC0 Joel Muniz on Unsplash)

With the inability to go to Sunday Mass for many families, many parishes are offering live streaming of Mass. I think this a good option for many. However, for some families doing the liturgy of the Word together may be a better option. As I could not find a clear document online for this, I threw one together based on the Celebrations of the Word and Communion without a priest. I think for most printing out THIS PDF would be ideal but I paste it all below as well.

This was prepared for times when families gather at home to pray a paraliturgy when attending Mass is impossible.


Before you lead the celebration, you should prepare the following:

  1. Set the Lectionary for the readings of the day. See:
  2. Get the right prayers for the day. See:
  3. Prepare anything you will say in the celebration that is not scripted, for instance, introductory remarks, reflection on the readings, intercessions, concluding announcements.
  4. Assign one person to leader the celebration. Usually it is best to have a senior member of the family such as a parent or grandparent take this role.

It is good to have moments of silence and singing during the liturgy.

Entrance Chant

  1. An opening song may be sung. All stand.


  1. All stand as the leader says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
    1. All respond:
  2. The leader greets those present: Blessed be the God of all consolation, who has shown us his great mercy. Bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
    1. All respond: Blessed be God for ever.


  1. The leader introduces the celebration in these or similar words.
    Once again, we gather to be the Church of Christ.
    Christ is with us, as he promised:
    present in this assembly of his people,
    in the proclamation of God’s word,
    and in the Communion of his Body and Blood.
    As our Priest cannot be with us
    we are unable to celebrate the Eucharist.
    Let us reflect on the word and pray together
    Today we celebrate…
    (name the saint of the day/feast, in a sentence prepared beforehand.)

Penitential Act

  1. The leader invites the faithful, saying: Brethren (brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
    A brief pause for silence follows.
    1. Then all recite together the formula of general confession:
      I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters,
      that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words,
      in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
      [And, striking their breast, they say:]
      through my fault, through my fault,
      through my most grievous fault;
      therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
      all the Angels and Saints,
      and you, my brothers and sisters,
      to pray for me to the Lord our God.
    2. The leader says:
      May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
    3. The family replies:
  2. The Kyrie, eleison (Lord Have Mercy) invocations follow
    Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.


  1. On Sundays outside Lent or Advent and on Solemnities:
    Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace to people of good will.
    We praise you, we bless you,
    we adore you, we glorify you,
    we give you thanks for your great glory,
    Lord God, heavenly King,
    O God, almighty Father.
    Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
    Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
    you take away the sins of the world,
    have mercy on us;
    you take away the sins of the world,
    receive our prayer;
    you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
    have mercy on us.
    For you alone are the Holy One,
    you alone are the Lord,
    you alone are the Most High,
    Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
    in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


  1. The leader says the Collect: the assigned prayer of the day above [link in preparation].

Liturgy of the Word

  1. All sit. After each reading a brief silence is observed. Any family members can read.
    First Reading
    Second Reading
    Gospel Acclamation
  2. Gospel: The leader should proclaim the Gospel
    They say: A Reading from the Gospel according to St. [Matthew/Mark/Luke/John].
    All Respond: Glory to You, Lord.
    [The Gospel]
    Leader: The Gospel of the Lord [and kiss it].
    All respond: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. Homily or reflection period: the leader can give a brief exposition of the Gospel to the family or the family can briefly discuss what the texts of the readings meant to them.

General Intercessions

  1. After an introduction by the leader, petitions are offered for the whole Church and for the world, as well as for the local community and other needs. The following order is a model:
    1. for the needs of the Church;
    2. for the public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
    3. for those oppressed by any need;
    4. for the local community.

Texts may be found in Appendix V of the Roman Missal or in the link with the collect above [link in preparation section]. This should be conclude with a brief prayer such as:

O God, our refuge and our strength, hear the prayers of your Church,
for you yourself are the source of all devotion, and grant, we pray, that what we ask in faith we may truly obtain. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

  1. The leader says: At the Savior’s command, and formed divine teaching, we dare to say:
    All Respond: Our Father, who art in heaven,
    hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.
    Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread,
    and forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us,
    and lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

    The leader continues: Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
    graciously grant peace in our days,
    that, by the help of your mercy,
    we may be always free from sin
    and safe from all distress,
    as we wait the blessed hope
    and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    The family concludes the prayer, acclaiming:
    For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever.

Sign of Peace

  1. The leader invites all to exchange peace: Let us offer each other the sign of peace.
    All exchange a sign of peace.

Spiritual Communion

  1. The family prays a Spiritual Communion together. Here is one possible example:
    My Jesus,
    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. Amen.


  1. After spiritual Communion, a period of silence is most appropriate so that all may praise God in silent prayer.

Final Blessing

  1. The Leader prays while making the sign of the cross: May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.
    All respond:

Song of Thanksgiving

  1. All stand. To thank God for the Blessing of this time of prayer in song.
    If no song is known, one of the following Biblical Hymns can be recited: Benedictus (Luke 1:68-79) or Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55)

The End of the paraliturgy.

Update: St. Paul’s seminary is making a weekly version of this. Here is Sunday, March 22, 2020.

Based on Celebrations of the Word & Communion for Sunday & Weekday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest Revised edition 2013

This incorporates texts from the translation of the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal. The following texts are copyright:

Excerpts from the English translation of the Roman Missal © 2010 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Corporation. (ICEL). All rights reserved.

Other texts and layout © 1996, 1999, 2011 Liturgy Office.

Spiritual Communion Prayer: EWTN © 2020:

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