Prayer for the New Year

Every New Year is a special time, inviting us to look back on the year that has gone and look forward to the year that is to come. The new gives way to the old, the relentless passage of time closes the door on one chapter and opens gently upon another. The New Year ushers in an exciting sense of renewal, recommitment and new horizons as resolutions are made and new opportunities are considered. It is a time that lends itself readily to examination, reflection and prayer.

The New Year affords us also a wonderful opportunity to renew and re-dedicate our lives to the Lord.  The work of the Holy Spirit in the world, in the Church, in our faith community and in our own lives is always focused on renewal, reform and refreshment. God is the God of new things, the God of unexpected and exciting surprises.

We are recipients of so much new life, so many blessing and so much grace. A New Year is certainly an exciting time but, over and above the joy of the season, for those of us who have received so much in Christ it can be a time to literally count our blessings and to renew our commitment to serve the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is our greatest dignity and our most noble vocation.

The greatest resolution we can make as we begin this New Year is to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s love for us. It is this knowledge and understanding, more than anything else, which helps us mature in our Christian life. And, so let us seek him in worship, in prayer and in meditation. Let us resolve to take advantage of the many opportunities the Lord offers us in our parish through the Sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Let us take advantage of our Scripture studies, our adult faith formation, our retreats and our opportunities for Christian fellowship.

We, the priests, deacons, staff and lay leaders of our many ministries, wish you all a blessed and peaceful New Year, and we assure you of our prayers. By God’s grace 2016 will be a time of renewal of our families and our faith community at St. Elizabeth, as well as a deepening of our faith as we grasp ever more firmly and securely the love God has for us and for everyone.


Adapted from Alive Publishing

The beginning of the New Year is a time for thanks and forgiveness!

 

Prayer for the New Year

 

Pope Francis' Prayer for Peace

 

On New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, the household gathers at the table or at the Christmas tree or manger scene. Many people make New Year’s Day a day of prayer for peace.

 

All make the sign of the cross. The leader begins:

Let us praise the Lord of days and seasons and years, saying:
Glory to God in the highest!
R/. And peace to his people on earth!

 

Then the Scripture is read:

Listen to the words of the Book of Genesis: 1:14-19

God said: “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.” And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.

(The family’s Bible may be used for an alternate reading such as Psalm 90:1-4.)

Reader: The Word of the Lord.
R/. Thanks be to God.

After a time of silence, members of the household offer prayers of thanksgiving for the past year, and of intercession for the year to come. On January 1, it may be appropriate to conclude these prayers with the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in Part VII: Litanies) since this is the solemn feast of Mary, Mother of God. In conclusion, all join hands for the Lord’s Prayer. Then the leader continues:

Let us now pray for God’s blessing in the new year.

After a short silence, parents may place their hands on their children in blessing as the leader says:

Remember us, O God;
from age to age be our comforter.
You have given us the wonder of time,
blessings in days and nights, seasons and years.
Bless your children at the turning of the year
and fill the months ahead with the bright hope
that is ours in the coming of Christ.

You are our God, living and reigning, forever and ever.
R/. Amen.

Another prayer for peace may be said:

 

Saint Francis of Asissi

 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
R/. Amen.

—Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi

The leader says:

Let us bless the Lord.

All respond, making the sign of the cross:

Thanks be to God.

The prayer may conclude with the singing of a Christmas carol.

 

Taken from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, revised edition (Washington DC: USCCB, 2007).
Copyright © 2007, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.

 

 

Oración por el Año Nuevo

 

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En la víspera de Año Nuevo o en el Día de Año Nuevo, la familia se reúne alrededor de la mesa o del árbol o pesebre de Navidad. Muchas personas dedican el día de Año Nuevo como día de oración por la paz.

Todos hacen la señal de la cruz. El líder comienza:

Alabemos al Señor del día y de las estaciones y de los años, diciendo:
¡Gloria a Dios en las alturas. R/. ¡Y a su pueblo paz!

El líder puede utilizar estas u otras palabras parecidas para introducir la bendición:

Nuestras vidas están hechas de días y noches, de las estaciones y los años, ya que somos parte de un universo de soles y lunas y planetas. Marcamos fines y hacemos comienzos y, en general, alabamos a Dios por su gracia y misericordia que llenan nuestros días.

Entonces la Escritura se lee, libro de Génesis 1: 14-19:

Escuchen las palabras del libro del Génesis:

Dijo Dios: “¡Que haya luces en el firmamento que separen el día de la noche; que sirvan como señales de las estaciones, de los días y de los años, y que brillen en el firmamento para iluminar la tierra!” Y sucedió así. Dios hizo los dos grandes astros: el astro mayor para gobernar el día, y el menor para gobernar la noche. También hizo las estrellas. Dios colocó en el firmamento los astros para alumbrar la tierra. Los hizo para gobernar el día y la noche, y para separar la luz de las tinieblas. Y Dios consideró que esto era bueno. Y vino la noche, y llegó la mañana: ése fue el cuarto día..

(Se puede usar la Biblia de la familia si se desea usar otra lectura, como por ejemplo el Salmo 90: 1-4.)

Lector: La Palabra del Señor . R/. Demos gracias a Dios.

Tras un momento de silencio, los miembros de la familia ofrecen oraciones de acción de gracias por el año pasado, y de intercesión por el año venidero. El 1 de enero, sería apropiado concluir estas oraciones con la Letanía de la Santísima Virgen María ya que es la fiesta solemne de María, la Madre de Dios. Al final, todos unen sus manos para para orar el “Padre Nuestros”. Entonces el líder sigue:

Pidamos ahora la bendición de Dios para el Año Nuevo.

Tras un breve momento de silencio, los padres pueden imponer manos sobre sus hijos en bendición mientras que el líder dice:

Acuérdate de nosotros, Señor,
pues de edad en edad eres nuestro consolador.
Tú nos has dado la maravilla del tiempo, y nos
haz bendecido de día y de noches, por estaciones y años.
Bendice a tus hijos al final de este año
y llena los meses del año venideros con la esperanza resplandeciente
que hemos recibido con la venida de Cristo.

Tú eres nuestro Dios, que vives y reinas por los siglos de los siglos.
R /. Amén.

Se puede decir otra oración por la paz, por ejemplo:

Peace Dove

Señor, hazme un instrumento de tu paz:
donde haya odio, que lleve yo el amor;
donde haya ofensa, que lleve yo el perdón;
donde haya duda, que lleve yo la fe;
donde haya error, que lleve yo la verdad;
donde haya desesperación, que lleve yo la esperanza;
donde haya oscuridad, que lleve yo la luz;
donde hay tristeza, que lleve yo la alegría.

O Divino Maestro, haz que yo no busque tanto
ser consolado, sino consolar,
ser comprendido sino comprender,
ser amado como amar.
Porque es dando que se recibe;
perdonando que se es perdonado;
muriendo que se nace a la vida eterna. R/. Amén.

-Attribuido a San Francisco de Asís

El líder dice:

Bendigamos al Señor.

Todos responden, haciendo la señal de la cruz:

Demos gracias a Dios.

La oración podrá celebrar con el canto de un villancico.

 

Taken from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, revised edition (Washington DC: USCCB, 2007). Copyright © 2007, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.

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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR COUPLES

 

What can you do for your marriage in 2015? Try making a New Year’s resolution to improve your relationship. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Schedule several “date nights” for the first few months of the year.
  • Would you like to improve your communication skills? Start by taking one or more of the Marriage Quizzes on www.foryourmarriage.org.
  • Draw up your 2015 household budget together. Discuss spending priorities, including charitable donations.
  • Take turns selecting a favorite scripture passage to pray about each week. Share your reflections with each other.
  • Resolve to read at least one book on how to strengthen your relationship. Are you unsure where to start? Browse through the book reviews on www.foryourmarriage.org.
  • While it’s important to strengthen the marriage relationship, marriage is also a sacrament of service. It’s true that marriage benefits the couple, but it’s also good for their family, community, and the Church. Resolve to do at least one service activity this year, as a family or a couple. Perhaps bring canned goods to the local food pantry on a regular basis or help out with a parish fundraising project.

 

Adapted from the USCCB website: www.foryourmarriage.org.