Apr 19, 2017

April 25th: Lay led liturgy

In response to our Diocesan Synod, we are developing a Minstry of Public Prayer in parishes. By offering a variety of resources, including lay led Liturgy, parishes are then able to consider their own needs, energy and resources.Thus we are united as a community of communities, but there is space for each faith community to pray as is most appropriate for it.

As part of this formation, on April 25th, every parish was asked to hold a lay led Liturgy. We are blessed that over 120 parishioners led liturgy in local faith communities and look forward to all God will continue to do through their minstry in the future.

(Photo Gallery details, resources incl Bishops letter at end of page)

  • What does ‘Ministry of Public Prayer’ mean?

In every parish in this diocese lay people already lead prayers – for instance family prayer (Grace before meals), personal or group prayer (pilgrimage, prayer group or devotional prayers) and public prayer (the Rosary before Mass, Adoration, Funeral Home prayers, or a Graveyard Service in November). At our synod the people of this diocese asked that every parish would support and develop local leadership, to lead public prayers and liturgies, so that every parish can say with confidence, ‘When we needed to gather together and pray, we were able to’. Every parish will now have a clear group who offer a Ministry of Public Prayer, including liturgy when a priest cannot celebrate weekday Mass in the parish – but each parish group will be different, according to the resources and needs of the parish itself.

  • What is Liturgy and is this moment relevant to me?

A Liturgy is an official public prayer of the church, (the Seven Sacraments, The Divine Office and Liturgy of the Word). Even though not everyone will be present at a parish liturgy, the liturgy always includes the whole parish especially those who would like to be present but cannot. So this is a prayer moment for the whole community – where some will gather to pray on behalf of us all. We ask everyone to support our prayer leaders by joining prayerfully with them on April 25th - in person if possible or through your prayers at home or work that morning.

  • Who will prepare and lead this liturgy on April 25th?

Our priests and Bishop Leahy will be gathered for a clergy conference on April 25th. The liturgy for that day will be prepared in the parish and will be led by parishioners who have attended formation and are using agreed diocesan resources. We hope this means that they feel supported and confident in their parish ministry, and that every parish feels united with the whole ‘community of communities’ that is our diocese. As with daily Mass, the support of sacristan, Minister of the Word and/or Music leader is both necessary and of great benefit to the liturgy leader on this morning.

  • What type of prayer or liturgy will this be?

Parishes have been asked to offer a Liturgy of the Word, in which we are nourished at the Table of the Word. The living Word of God in Scripture will feed us as we bring our lives and our prayers to God together on this morning.

There will not be a Communion Service as part of this liturgy for two reasons. Firstly we respect our Bishops request, and we respect other parishes by celebrating in unity. Secondly, the reception of Holy Communion should normally be part of the full celebration of the Eucharist. It is a long-held tradition that Communion can be brought to the sick. For a wide variety of reasons, pubic prayer with the distribution of Communion is normally reserved to particular circumstances such as on Sundays when parishes cannot celebrate the Eucharist, or to situations such as prayer services in nursing homes etc.


  • I would like to ask a question or know more

April 25th is a one day event, but is part of our on-going commitment to support good liturgy in strong local faith communities. For feedback or questions you can contact the Diocesan Office or the Diocesan Liturgy Commission, and the coordinator c/o Nóirin 061400133,



Letter from Bishop Brendan Leahy to be read at all weekend Masses in the Diocese on the weekend of April 22/23rd 2017 HERE

You can download this information as a flyer for parishes HERE

Some liturgy resouces for leaders (sent by post, and discussed in formation) HERE

Prayer Cards - a copy of the Liturgy of the Word can be seen HERE


PHOTO GALLERY - Some photos from parishes are available in our Photo Gallery HERE and the second issue of our Liturgy & Life newsletter was sent to those who lead liturgy this week (Copy HERE)

MEDIA REPORTS -  We don't endorse all the views in these reports but appreciate the interest of all who met with us, especially those who travelled to Limerick, to hear about this initiative. Click on the names to read/hear more:  Irish Times, TV3 5:30 news (about 13 mins in), Limericks Live95fm, SacredSpace102fm, The Irish Catholic Newspaper