Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vespers and Advent Prayers for an End to Hunger

The Bread and Blessings ministry at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Albuquerque every Sunday afternoon hosts a community meal for people who are homeless. "Every Sunday afternoon at 12:45, we are grateful to be able to serve a sit down, hot lunch to our guests-in-need. This ministry is made possible by a faithful group of volunteers who prepare and serve the meal.  Many volunteers are from other Catholic parishes as well as from other churches."

 (If you would like to volunteer with the Sunday meal, please drop a note to

A handful of  those same volunteers  are doing something special during Advent.  They are composing a special set of prayers based on the O Antiphons and sharing them with the parish and the community at large in the week leading up to Christmas.

"Traditionally, on the last eight days of advent, during Vespers, we pray the O Antiphons before the Magnificat. This advent, we're going to make an email available to parishioners to pray the O Antiphons on Dec. 17-23, bringing this tradition into the context of Mary's thanksgiving for God's justice as she awaits the birth of Jesus."

This is what they ask those with whom they share the meditations: "Pray with us for an end to hunger!"

Here are three of those meditations:

December 17
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.

O Wisdom, Hope of all mankind,

Your anticipated arrival gives solace to 
those experiencing homelessness and hunger 
and they are most deserving 
of dignity, respect and mercy.
Illuminate within us our compassion for our brothers and sisters.

Grant, we implore You, to allow us 
the capacity to carry on together in harmony; 
clothing the cold, 
feeding the hungry 
and comforting the distressed. 
Come alive in us as we hold on
 to the promise of Your advent.

Prayer by Abraham Placencio 

December 20
O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.

O Key of David,
by Your humble birth in a stable
teach us to recognize those in need, to be givers,
to reach out to our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
Give us the strength and courage
to always meet their fundamental needs.

Merciful Savior,
never allow our giving spirit to weaken,
strengthen our awareness of those in need
that we may give with an open heart,
never expecting anything in return.

Let us be comforted by knowing that we are doing Your will.

Prayer by Roberta Montoya 

December 22
O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.

Dear Blessed Mother Mary,

As Jesus' birth drew near,
you were prepared to provide your son
nourishment, protection, and security
at a time when he was so vulnerable.

Grant us your grace as we provide
physical and spiritual nourishment
to the many men, women, and children
that search for shelter and security every day.

Let us be nourished and strengthened
by following the example that your son,
the King of the Nations,
set for all of humanity.

Prayer by Maya Suazo

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