Prayer for the Beginning of the School Year

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					                     Prayer for the Beginning of the School Year

Gathering Song

Greeting            In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
                    + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Principal or AP may wish to greet each Year group and say something special about that
group in 2008. For example:

We welcome the Year 3’s who will be doing ……
We welcome the Year 6’s who are beginning their final year of primary school and will …
We welcome the Year 7’s who are beginning secondary school and will be ….
We welcome the year 11’s who are beginning senior school and many of whom will be attending
WYD in July…..

Penitential Rite

Leader:       To all in the school community, let us praise the name of Jesus who calls us to be
              God’s holy people. Let us take a moment to reflect on how faithful we have been to
              our God since we last gathered.

Leader:       Jesus, you call all people into your family:
              Lord have mercy. R. Lord have mercy

Leader:       Jesus, you comfort those who are in need of your protection:
              Christ have mercy. R. Christ have mercy

Leader:       Jesus, you forgive those who offend you and call them to conversion:
              Lord have mercy. R. Lord have mercy

Leader:       May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting
              R. Amen

Opening Prayer:             Let us pray.
                            All pray silently for a moment.

                            Loving God,
                            you sent Jesus to show us how to live with one another
                            and how to take care of one another.
                            Open our ears that we may hear your word.
                            Open our hearts that the teachings of Jesus will grow within us,
                            and open our hands to one another in peace.
                            We ask this in the name of Jesus, your Son, who lives and reigns with you
                            and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. R. Amen

Beginning of School Year Prayer                                                            Page 1 of 4
Liturgy of the Word

Reading       A Reading from the prophet Ezekiel 34.11-16
              The Lord says: I myself shall take care of my flock.

              The Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view.
              As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his
              scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever
              they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I shall bring them out of the
              countries where they are; I shall gather them together from foreign countries and
              bring them back to their own land. I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in
              the ravines and in every inhabited place in the land. I shall feed them in good
              pasturage; the high mountains of Israel will be their grazing ground. There they will
              rest in good grazing ground; they will browse in rich pastures on the mountains of
              Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the
              Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the
              wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the strong and healthy. I shall
              be a true shepherd to them.

              The Word of the Lord
              R: Thanks be to God

Psalm         Psalm 100
              Response: God is good and his love is everlasting.

              Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,
              Serve Yahweh with gladness,
              Come into his presence with songs of joy! (R)

              Be sure that Yahweh is God,
              He made us, we belong to Him,
              His people, the flock of his sheepfold. (R)

              Come within his gates giving thanks,
              To his courts singing praise,
              Give thanks to him, and bless his name! (R)

              For Yahweh is good,
              His faithful love is everlasting,
              His constancy from age to age. (R)

Gospel Acclamation            Alleluia (sung)
                              Let us praise the Lord. He is our shepherd and we the sheep of his flock.

Gospel        Luke 15.4-7
              Rejoice with me, I have found my sheep that was lost.

              Jesus spoke this parable to the scribes and Pharisees:
              ‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-
              nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he
              found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home,
              call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have
              found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing
              in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no
              need of repentance.’

              The Gospel of the Lord
              R: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

Beginning of School Year Prayer                                                              Page 2 of 4
               Prayers of Intercessions

Leader:        Lord God,
               Eternal Shepherd of your people,
               we gather trusting in your faithful love and protection.
               We now place before you our needs and the needs of your church and the entire

 Response: Lord hear our prayer

                 1. We pray for the Catholic Church: may she be a sign and sacrament of Christ’s
                    love and hope for all people. We pray especially for Pope Benedict and all who
                    are entrusted with the leadership and care of your people. Lord hear us: (R)

                 2. We pray for all peoples of the world, especially in the Middle East: may leaders
                    everywhere work for lasting peace, true justice and understanding among
                    people. Lord hear us: (R)

                 3. We pray for all in special need of your love: we commit to your care those who
                    hunger for food, those who hunger for justice and those who hunger for you, the
                    Bread of Life. Lord hear us: (R)

                 4. We pray for all within our ------- School community: may we all come to know
                    Jesus the Good Shepherd and may we grow in love for one another. We pray for
                    those who are in special need of your strength and care at this time. Lord hear
                    us: (R)

                 5. We pray your blessing on all in our school community as we begin this year; we
                    pray for all teachers and staff, and for all students and their families. May we
                    support one another and celebrate the many gifts we have received. Lord hear
                    us: (R)

                 6. We pray for all who have died, whose faith is known to you alone. We remember
                    especially members of our own school community and family members who
                    have died. Lord hear us: (R)

 Presider:       Father,
                 With faith in your love and goodness,
                 we entrust to you these prayers and all the prayers of our hearts.
                 We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, your Son.
                 R: Amen.

 Lord’s Prayer

 Leader:       Jesus assured us that God hears our prayers, so let us pray in the words he taught

 All:          Our Father, who art in heaven . . . but deliver us from evil. Amen.

 Beginning of School Year Prayer                                                            Page 3 of 4
Final Blessing:

God has been a faithful shepherd of his People.
May you know God’s comfort and peace, and may goodness and mercy be with you all the days
of your life. R: Amen

Jesus assures us: I am the Good Shepherd; I lay down my life for my sheep.
May he feed you in green pastures and lead you by refreshing waters. May you experience his
love at all times and come at last to the Father’s house. R: Amen
Jesus commands his disciples: Feed my sheep.
May you be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to be the compassionate and loving face of Christ to
all in our school community. R: Amen

Blessing            Lay presiders say the words in parentheses:
                    May the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit
                    come upon you (us) and remain with you (us) for ever. R: Amen

Dismissal           This prayer is ended. Let us go into this school year in peace. R: Amen

Closing Song Like A Shepherd He Leads His Flock. (Suggested)

Beginning of School Year Prayer                                                            Page 4 of 4

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