Praying with the Prodigal Son



The below is a suitably Lenten preface for Eucharistic prayers that takes up the story of the prodigal son / indulgent father as its basic narrative of forgiveness and celebration. (The illustration above is a painting from 1872 by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.

This preface may be particularly suitable for Lent 4, when that provides the gospel story in churches following the Roman Catholic / Revised Common Lectionary.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places to give you thanks and praise,
most gracious and long-suffering God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

From the time you brought humanity into being,
you have always patiently attended to us,
yet we, unwilling to accept your gifts of love,
sought our own way and wandered far from you.

In Jesus Christ you have come to meet us,
to bring us to our selves, that we might return to you,
and know you as our Father once again.

In these forty days you call us to prepare our hearts and minds,
that we may know the joy of being your children,
and delight in the feast which you have prepared
for all who come to the table of your kingdom.

And so we bless you for your mercy,
and join with saints and angels,
for ever praising you and singing (saying):

(And here’s a reminder that – like most of the rest of this blog – this preface is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence, so you can use it freely in your liturgy and worship)