Praying for Rain in Oklahoma

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Answering Paula

Our dear friend Paula Cole (Oblate Sister Lioba), who lives outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, wrote me to ask that we pray for rain there. We will, of course, pray for a soaking downpour in Oklahoma. I also want Paula and her friends to know that the very Roman Missal used in her parish contains a special Collect for Rain. In the edition of the (Novus Ordo) Roman Missal in our library it is Collect 35.

O God, in whom we live and move and have our being,
grant us sufficient rain,
so that, being supplied with what sustains us in this present life,
we may seek more confidently what sustains us for eternity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Ask Your Parish Priest

In times past it was not uncommon for a bishop to command that the Collect for Rain be added to the Collect of the day at Holy Mass until the faithful obtained the needed deluge. There is no reason why this cannot be done now. A parish priest may also conclude the Prayer of the Faithful with the same Collect every day at Holy Mass. A parish might also mobilize all the faithful, men, women, and children in a solemn procession for rain. Make it known to your parish priest that you want a procession for rain.

In this painting, Saint Benedict is saying to Saint Scholastica, "God forgive thee, sister! What hast thou done?" She has just obtained by her prayers a mighty downpour of rain.

Benedict and Scholastica.jpg

Saint Scholastica

In some Benedictine monasteries, it is not uncommon to organize extraordinary processions for rain. These would include the Litany of the Saints, various Psalms, and antiphons to Saint Scholastica, who by her heartfelt prayer obtained a spectacular downpour from God to keep her brother, Saint Benedict, close to her for one final night together before her death. In other Benedictine monasteries the Collect for Rain is recited nightly after Compline.

In the Roman Ritual

The Roman Ritual -- that most under-used treasury among the liturgical books of the Roman Rite -- provides a procession for rain. The formulae are the same ones used for the Rogation Processions, until the invocation in the litany That you grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed. After this invocation the following is sung twice:

V. That you grant to your faithful the much needed rainfalls.

R. We beg you to hear us.

At the end of the litany the following is added:

P: Our Father (secretly, until)

P: And lead us not into temptation.

All: But deliver us from evil.

Psalm 146

O praise the Lord,
for it is good to sing praises to our God :
and to praise him is joyful and right.

The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem :
he is gathering together the scattered outcasts of Israel.

He heals the broken in spirit :
and binds up their wounds.

He counts the number of the stars :
and calls them all by name.

Great is our Lord, and great is his power :
there is no measuring his understanding.

The Lord restores the humble :
but he brings down the wicked to the dust.

O sing to the Lord a song of thanksgiving :
sing praises to our God upon the harp.

He covers the heavens with cloud,
and prepares rain for the earth :
and makes the grass to sprout upon the mountains.

He gives the cattle their food :
and feeds the young ravens that call to him.

He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse :
nor does he delight in any man's legs,

But the Lord's delight is in those that fear him :
who wait in hope for his mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

At the end of the psalm the following prayers are said:

P: Lord, cover the heavens with clouds.

All: And prepare rain for the earth.

P: That grass may spring up in the hills.

All: And vegetation for men's use.

P: Sprinkle the hills from the clouds up above.

All: And the earth will be saturated from the work of your hands.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

God, in whom we live and move and have our being, grant us rain in plenty, so that as we amply experience your gifts of the present time we may all the more confidently desire those of eternity.

Grant, we beg you, almighty God, that we who put our trust in you in this affliction may ever be shielded from all adversities.

Lord, give us, we pray, a plentiful rainfall, and graciously pour out on the parched earth moisture from the heavenly vaults; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: And with your spirit.

P: Let us bless the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

P: May the almighty and merciful Lord be pleased to hear us.
All: Amen.

P: May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
All: Amen.

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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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