When Mass cannot be said publicly

Gathering together to celebrate Mass is the heartbeat of our life as Christians, and at this time when public worship is suspended it feels as if our world is turned upside down. In these difficult times when so many of the familiar patterns of life are removed from us we turn to God and rely on his mercy and loving compassion for us all.


This sheet is to help you pray along at the same time the Mass is being celebrated on your behalf in church on Tuesday to Sunday at 12noon. We can unite ourselves to these celebrations by joining in prayer and making an act of Spiritual Communion at the point in the service when you would wish you could be receiving Holy Communion yourself, uniting your heart to the heart of Jesus in the Eucharist.  


As our pattern of life changes, we should endeavour to keep a pattern of prayer and praise in our days, until we’re able to come together as a church family once again. In the meantime please be assured I carry you in my heart to the altar.




You might find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or other holy image, and a lighted candle.


The Angelus


In St Stephen’s we’ll begin the 12 noon Mass with the Angelus, a prayer that celebrates the incarnation of Christ and which is traditionally recited in the early morning, at midday and at 6pm.


The angel of the Lord brought tidings to Mary. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.   


        Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

            Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.


Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.


        Hail Mary…


        And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt among us.    


        Hail Mary…


        Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ, by the message of an angel, so by his  cross and passion we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Sign of the Cross


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




Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect. For what am I grateful to God for today? Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do. How might I do better tomorrow? What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in his love. You may wish to conclude by saying:

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.


The Word of God


The readings for the Mass of the Day can be found online at Universalis https://universalis.com/mass.htm either read all the texts or choose just to read the Gospel of the Day. If you can’t access these, or if time is short you could use these readings:


Psalm 85 (1-6, 11, 15-16)


Turn your ear, O Lord, and give answer for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am faithful: save the servant who trusts in you. You are my God, have mercy on me, Lord, for I cry to you all the day long. Give joy to your servant, O Lord, for to you I lift up my soul. O Lord, you are good and forgiving, full of love to all who call. Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer and attend to the sound of my voice. Show me, Lord, your way so that I may walk in your truth. Guide my heart to fear your name. You, God of mercy and compassion, slow to anger, O Lord, abounding in love and truth, turn and take pity on me.


Gospel, Mark 4:35–41


On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’


Silent reflection


Pause for a moment of silent reflection.


Prayers Intercessions


If the following intercessions are said with others you may wish to conclude each one with the response:

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.


For all who are affected by coronavirus, through illness or isolation or anxiety,

that they may find relief and recovery:


For those who are guiding our nation at this time, and shaping national policies,

that they may make wise decisions:


For doctors, nurses and medical researchers, that through their skill and insights

many will be restored to health:


For the vulnerable and the fearful, for the gravely ill and the dying,

that they may know your comfort and peace:


We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray, to the mercy and protection of God.


Our Father…


An Act of Spiritual Communion


My Jesus, I believe that you are present in this Holy Sacrament of the altar.

I love you above all things and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

come spiritually into my soul so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever. Amen.




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

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