This Labor Day: A Mass for Peace

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The Catholic version of Labor Day is the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1956 and celebrated on May 1st. For Monday, September 4th, I chose the texts provided in the Roman Missal for times of war or insurrection. The readings will be those of the feria. Violet vestments are suitable: a sign of penitence in the face of violence.


Thus says the Lord:
I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction;
you shall call upon me, and I will hear you,
and I will bring back your captivity
from every place (cf. Jer 29: 11–12, 14).


Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
that we may be ready to celebrate the sacred mysteries.

You were sent to heal the contrite of heart.
Kyrie, eleison.

You came to call sinners.
Christe, eleison.

You sit at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us.
Kyrie, eleison.

May Almighty God have mercy on us,
and lead us, with our sins forgiven,
into eternal life.


O God merciful and strong,
who make an end of wars and bring down the proud,
deign speedily to put cruelty and tears far from us,
that in truth all of us may be named your children.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.


That the universal Church, entrusted to the protection of Saint Joseph,
may continue to bear witness to the dignity of workers
and the value of work in the plan of God,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That, through the intercession
of the Mother of God, the Queen of Peace,
children may be spared the horrors of war,
refugees comforted in their flight,
and prisoners of war treated with humanity and respect,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That those affected by the violence in the Middle East
may be comforted;
that the wounded may be healed;
and that those mourning the death of loved ones may be consoled,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That the unemployed may find work;
that workers oppressed by injustice
may obtain the recognition and exercise of their rights;
and that employers may treat workers with integrity and respect,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That Catholics may be moved to practice
the virtues of hospitality and generosity,
and support every effort to secure justice
for those who have come to the United States
in search of a better life for themselves and for their children,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That we may persevere in ceaseless prayer,
and, in a spirit of compunction and reparation,
renounce everything in us and around us
that causes war and fighting,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.


O God, who have dominion
over all nations and governments,
who by striking heal, and by pardoning, save;
extend to us your mercy,
so that by your power we may enjoy peace and tranquility
and use them for our healing and amendment.
Through Christ our Lord.


Remember, O Lord,
that your Son who is Peace itself
has destroyed our hatreds by his Blood,
and looking with pity upon the evils that afflict us,
grant that this sacrifice
may restore tranquility and peace
to the people you love.
Through Christ our Lord.


It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

In Christ you have made all things new
and given us all a share in his fullness.

Though he was in the form of God,
he emptied himself
and by shedding his Blood on the Cross
he brought peace for the whole creation.

Therefore he was exalted above all things,
being made the source of salvation
for all who serve him.

And so, with all the powers of heaven
we glorify your name
in their unceasing hymn of praise:

Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled.
neither let them be afraid (Jn 14:27).


To us, O Lord,
who are filled with the sweetness of the one Bread
that strengthens the human heart,
give a happy victory over the ravages of war,
and grant that without wavering
we may keep your law of love and of justice.
Through Christ our Lord.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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