The Synod of Bishops is meeting [5-19 October] to reflect on Family life – pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization. About 150 are participating in the Synod, principally bishops from all over the world and various Vatican officials. Pope Francis has asked that we pray for this important international meeting.
The last time the Synod of Bishops discussed the family was in 1980. On 22 November 1981 Pope John Paul II issued a follow-up document Familiaris Consortio which can be read by clicking on the title.
Please say the following prayer during this second Synod dealing with a key issue in the Church. You might also like to make use of the Prayers of the Faithful as ‘food’ for prayer during the Synod. It is suggested that you could just pray and reflect on one or two of the prayers each day.
Prayer to the Holy Family for the Synod on the Family
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendour of true love; to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth; grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth: may families never again experience violence, rejection and division: may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth; may the approaching Synod of Bishops make us once more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, graciously hear our prayer. Amen.
Prayer of the Faithful
Sisters and brothers, gathered together as God’s family and inspired by our faith, we raise our minds and hearts to the Father. May our families, sustained by the grace of Christ, become true domestic churches where all live and bear witness to God’s love.
Our Response; Lord, bless and sanctify our families.
For Pope Francis: the Lord has called him to preside over the Church in charity; sustain him in his ministry of service to the communion of the episcopal college and the entire People of God, we pray to the Lord.
For those participating in the synod on the Family: May the Spirit of the Lord enlighten their minds and the minds of all other participants at the Synod, so that the Church might respond, in faithfulness to God’s plan, and the challenges facing the family at this time; we pray to the Lord:
For those who have the responsibility of governing nations: that the Holy Spirit might inspire programmes which acknowledge the value of the family as the basic unit of society in God’s plan and which offer support to families in difficulty, we pray to the Lord:
For Christian families: may the Lord who has sealed the union of husband and wife with his presence, make our families cenacles of prayer and ardent communities of life and love, after the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth, we pray to the Lord:
For couples undergoing difficulties: may the Lord, rich in mercy, be present to them through the Church’s motherly care and concern in showing understanding and patience in their journey towards pardon and reconciliation, we pray to the Lord:
For Refugee and Emigrant Families who, for the sake of the Gospel, or other reasons, are forced leave their fatherland: may the Lord who endured exile with Mary and Joseph, comfort them with his grace and open for them paths of fraternal charity and human solidarity, we pray to the Lord:
For grandparents: may the Lord who was received in the Temple by the elders Simeon and Anna, make them wise collaborators with parents in transmitting the faith and the raising their children, we pray to the Lord:
For children: may the Lord of life, who in his ministry welcomed them and made them a model for entering the Kingdom of heaven, inspire a respect for life in the womb and programmes in raising children which conform to the Christian outlook towards life, we pray to the Lord:
For young people: may the Lord, who made holy the Wedding at Cana, lead them to discover the beauty of the sacredness and inviolability of the family in God’s plan and sustain engaged couples as they prepare for marriage, we pray to the Lord:
Conclusion: O God, you never forsake the work of your hands, hear our prayer; send the Spirit of your Son to enlighten the Church as the journey of the Synod begins, so that contemplating the splendour of true love which shines forth in the Holy Family of Nazareth, she might learn the freedom and obedience to respond with boldness and mercy to the challenges of today’s world. We make these prayers through Christ Our Lord. Amen.