Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Da Pacem, Domine" 9/11 Anniversary this Sunday

Several weeks ago the USCCB released some Liturgical Considerations for September 11th, which is this Sunday, the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, which marks the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States.

The Bishops' release states:
The assigned Lectionary readings for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (no. 130) are particularly poignant, but may provide a particular pastoral challenge for preachers, as they address questions of forgiveness, vengeance, and God’s mercy. The first reading (Sirach 27:30—28:7) states, “The vengeful will suffer the Lord’s vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail. Forgive your neighbor’s injustice…” In the Gospel (Mt 18:21-35), Jesus addresses the question of forgiveness (“[H]ow often must I forgive?”) with the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.
It also makes a suggestion regarding the music selections for the day:
...appropriate intercessions and chants or other liturgical songs [can be] chosen to mark the observance of Patriot Day.
 If we look at the Mass propers for this Sunday, though, we see that the Church has supplied us with a perfect compliment to the readings which "address questions of forgiveness, vengeance, and God's mercy".

The first words of the liturgy this weekend are "Da pacem, Domine" (Grant peace, Lord). And this Entrance Chant can be sung this weekend by your parish if you wish, in a simple English setting:

Is there a better prayer to open the liturgy on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 than this compelling and beautiful scriptural text?

If you don't sing it at Mass this weekend, perhaps you can still pray it on the part of our country and world.  

Grant peace to those who are waiting for you, O Lord,
so that your prophets may be proved trustworthy;
hear the prayers of your servant
and of your people Israel. Amen.
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