13 August 2013

The Universal Prayer of St Peter Canisius

A short essay on this vernacular sixteenth century re-emergent form of the Prayer of the Faithful within the classic Latin Roman rite, popular for 450 years in the German-speaking Catholic Church, with a translation and three suggested workings for use in either the Ordinary or Extraordinary Forms of Mass.

Download the article here, to read the background and liturgical versions. Here is the translated prayer itself, with the groupings of intentions as St Peter Canisius intended, allowing for a response from the faithful after each, and with the introductory invocation and the concluding prayer to be said by the celebrant priest:

The Universal Prayer of Saint Peter Canisius

Almighty, eternal God, Lord, heavenly Father, look with Your eyes of undeserved compassion on our sorrow, misery and need.

Have mercy on all the Christian faithful, for whom Your only-begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, was content to give Himself into the hand of sinners and shed His precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.

For the sake of the Lord Jesus, most gracious Father, avert our well-deserved punishments, present danger and future threats, harm and outrage, arms and warfare, dearth and misfortune, sickness and sorrowful, miserable times.

Enlighten and strengthen in all goodness our spiritual leaders and earthly rulers, that they may do everything to further Your honour as God, our salvation, the common peace, and the welfare of all Your people.

Grant us, O God of peace, a true unity in faith, free of all division and separation. Convert our hearts to true repentance and amendment of life. Kindle in us the fire of Your love; give us hunger and zeal for justice in all things, so that we, as obedient children through life unto death, may be pleasing to You and find favour in Your sight.

We also pray, O God, as You willed that we should pray, for our friends and enemies, for the healthy and the sick, for all Christians in sadness and distress, for the living and the dead. 

To You, O Lord, be entrusted whatever we do, whatever our path, our work and our dealings, our living and dying. Let us delight in Your grace here in this world, and attain the next with all Your chosen ones, to praise, honour and extol You in unending joy and blessedness.

Grant us this, O Lord, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.