At our parish we do indeed have a Book of Petitions - a blank diary type book with pages for each week that people write down the names of people they would like to have prayed for - for us the reason is not written down, simply the name of the person or a description like “my mother” or “the lady at the store” etc.
Anyone is welcome to write in it.
I know the book stays there for the entire year … then, I honestly don’t know. It’s a good question that I’ll bring up next time I see our Parish Associate.
The petitions we hold in our heart - I believe - are the things we are thinking of right then. Might be the same as what was written down, might be something different or that someone does not want to write down in public.
Ex. I have written down my mom in our book of prayer intentions because of her challenges dealing with becoming both blind and a widow in the same year. I pray for her privately but appreciate the congregation including her in their prayers (through the petitions) as well. On a particular Sunday, I might still wish for prayers for her - but am holding the petition in my heart that our van will keep running until we can afford to repair it the next Friday. Or perhaps that God will give me the right words to ease tension over a fight I had with my teen earlier that morning.
We have a “prayer basket” . . anyone can write anything they wish on a slip of paper and put it in the prayer basket. That basket is brought forward with the gifts of bread and wine at the offertory. And, during the Prayers of the faithful, usually the priest says, "For all those intentions in our prayer basket and all we hold dear in our hearts . . . . " Must be kinda the same thing as the book you mention. Yes, the entire community has the option to write an intention and it’s cool to know those intentions are included in the prayer of the Mass.
In our parish, there is a petition prayer book in the Chapel. People write down their prayer intentions there. Our charismatic prayer group prays for the intentions in the book everyday. But there is no mention about it at any Mass. As far as I know the filled petition prayer books are kept somewhere in the church.
Our parish has a “Parish Book of Intentions” which is always referenced during the Prayers of the Faithful.
Sometimes practices such as having a book of petitions are simply done at the parish level; Sometimes these are ideas that come from the diocesan level and are then adopted by many of the parishes within the diocese and/or province.
We also have a “Book of Petitions” which is referenced during the Prayers of the Faithful, and also a Prayer Wall where people can post their prayers on the wall for people to pray for them. That also is mentioned with the Book of Petitions.
I do like the Prayer Wall, it reminds me of the Wailing Wall, and I love to see people standing in front of it praying. Many children post on the prayer wall, their prayer requests are so honest and refreshing. Of course we have tons of candles lit, too, and people are praying there, too. It is reassuring to know one has community support when they have a prayer need.