Mass petitions?

Where do the Mass petitions come from? I know the first few reflect prayers for the Pope, Bishops, priests… and then start to go local in nature.

But one was slipped in at Mass yesterday that left me angry. The petition was “Let us pray for all government officials to recognize that it’s the governments responsibility to provide all Americans with a home, food, health care (and something else).”

Is this a lay person injecting a political view into the petitions or would this come from the Priest?

There are a number of resources published by liturgical book publishers which provide petitions to use during Mass during the Prayer of the Faithful. At some churches also, the liturgy committee or parish priest may write the petitions or combine originally composed petitions with ones from other sources.

There is no Holy See-approved source of the petitions for use at Mass. They aren’t all written out in the Sacramentary and there is no Church document that has them.

Not at all. This rings of the fundamentals of Catholic social teaching. Let’s look at the Catechism.

The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:

*]in keeping with the country’s institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits (2211).

You see, everyone needs health care. Everyone needs food and shelter. The government has the responsibility to provide those necessities. Exactly how the government goes about doing that is another matter entirely.

So I guess my main beef with the petition is what I believe it implied.

I know that everyone needs what you mention but I think I just don’t appreciate what I believe the Prayer petition implied in that I took it to imply that we must support this current health care bill. And I got angry with that.

So I guess I can talk to the priest about making petitions such as this one a bit more clear so people aren’t misunderstanding the intent.

thanks for your response

The GIRM notes what intercessions should always be included at Mass:

  1. As a rule, the series of intentions is to be

For the needs of the Church;
For public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
For those burdened by any kind of difficulty;
For the local community.
Nevertheless, in a particular celebration, such as Confirmation, Marriage, or a Funeral, the series of intentions may reflect more closely the particular occasion.

Specific intercessions are, I would hope, prepared by the local parish community, though I’m sure many grab them off the Internet or some other generic resource. The intercessions prayed at Mass are prayed by all present, not just the laity or just the priest. That’s why they are called “General.”

Hope this helps.

Do you have any examples of these publications? Our parish has a team of four individuals who write the weekly Prayers of the Faithful on a revolving basis and I am one of them. We don’t have a tremendous amount of guidance other than the general format/order posted in this thread. I sometimes find my prayers seem stale or even recycled and I am looking for some additional resources and inspiration.


you say the government has an obligation to provide food for everyone? I think you need to re-read 2211. This is the kind of thinking that explains the current state of affairs. The people need to provide for others.

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