Good and gracious God,
Our most glorious Creator,
As we greet the signs in nature around us of Spring once again regaling us in bloom,
In the songs of returning birds and fields soon to be planted,
We give you praise for an even greater sign of new life: the resurrection of your Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ, that we especially celebrate at this time.
The sadness and despair of his death has given way to the bright promise of immortality,
For the Resurrection is our guarantee that justice will triumph over treason, Light will overcome darkness, and love will conquer death.
As we celebrate we also dare to ask for your grace that we may live the promise given to us,
By imitating the life of Jesus in reaching out to the poor, the marginalized, the least among us,
As we strive to be neighbor to all those we meet.
We ask your special blessings each and every day on our President, Barack Obama.
Working with him may we strive to make this great country of ours a beacon of hope And justice in a world hungry for peace and so in need of your love.
We praise you in this Easter season. Change our lives, change our hearts to be messengers of Easter joy and hope. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord forever.
-Prayer offered by Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, at the fourth annual White House Easter Prayer Breakfast on April 8, 2013
Let Us Fast
While fasting with the body,
brothers and sisters,
let us also fast in spirit.
Let us loose every bond of iniquity;
let us undo the knots of every contact
made by violence;
let us tear up all unjust agreements;
let us give bread to the hungry
and welcome to our house
the poor who have no roof to cover them,
that we may receive mercy from
Christ our God.
A Lenten Prayer
When We Sin
Jesus, Master, when we sin,
Turn on us thy healing face;
It will melt the offence within
Into penitential grace.
Beam on our bewildered mind
Till its dreamy shadows flee;
Stones cry out where thou hast shined,
Jesus, musical with thee.
-John Henry Newman
Come, My Light
Come, my Light,
and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life,
and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician,
and heal my wounds.
Come Flame of divine love,
and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart
with the flame of thy love.
-Dimitrii of Rostov
An Easter Prayer
May the glory
and the promise
of this joyous time of year
and happiness to you
and those you hold most dear.
And may Christ,
Our Risen Saviour,
always be there by your side
to bless you
most abundantly a
and be your loving guide.
As the world sings triumphant cries to heaven over death that you conquered, help us, Lord, tomorrow as well, when the dresses are put away and the candy is all eaten and on with life we go let us not forget.
The celebration of your resurrection over death is a celebration of life that should continue well beyond the sunrise service and the music, rehearsed for days prior; it is beyond the sign of spring, beyond the lily, beyond new lambs grazing in open fields.
Resurrection is a daily celebration over fear; man's greatest and most powerful enemy. Fear of tomorrow, fear of our yesterdays, fear of what shall become of our young our old our unborn. Resurrection is replacing fear with physical action.
This alone, the most touching and profound of your signs that fear is dead and belief in you brings, not just hope but life.
What better living parable could You have brought? All fear death. All. Even in the garden, You took on our fear if for only moments, it was as real as our fears can be real and You knew then that this single enemy must be destroyed.
And, You sacrificed your life, leaving those who had been comfort, and follower; You left them behind, to conquer fear.
I shall cling to this now, and the tomorrows given me.
Peace and thanksgiving lifted unto you.
Easter Table Prayer
Creator God and Lord of Life,
You who call forth from the darkness of death
all those who love You,
we rejoice, on this Easter Sunday,
in the resurrection from the dead
of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Visit our home and this table
with Your bright blessing of peace and life.
We pause in the midst of this prayer
to remember all the holy dead of our family
who live now in You and who await
the final and glorious resurrection of the dead.
Pause for silent reflection.
May they and we,
because of our faith in You, our God,
taste in the victory of life over death.
May the Risen Christ, our Lord and Savior,
be our guest as we celebrate His resurrection
with this Easter Sunday dinner.
Bless those whose work to prepare this meal
has truly been a work of prayer,
and bless all of us who shall share it
with Easter love and joy.
Hays, Edward, Prayers for the Domestic Church: A Handbook for Worship in the Home (Kansas: Forest of Peace Books, 1979), 125.
Easter Prayer of Saint Hippolytus
Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead,
the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are his forever and ever.
-St. Hippolytus of Rome
The Fast Life
Fast from judging others;
Feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from fear of illness;
Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute;
Feast on speech that purifies.
Fast from discontent;
Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger;
Feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism;
Feast on hope.
Fast from negatives;
Feast on encouragement.
Fast from bitterness;
Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern;
Feast on compassion.
Fast from suspicion;
Feast on truth.
Fast from gossip;
Feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm;
Feast on prayer that sustains.
Fast from anxiety;
Feast on faith.