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Fervent Supplication

Fol­low­ing the read­ings from the holy scrip­tures and the litur­gi­cal ser­mon, the Litur­gy of the Word, also called the Litur­gy of the Cat­e­chu­mens, comes to an end with the so-called Litany of Fer­vent Sup­pli­ca­tion. This litany is the one through which the peo­ple pray for their own par­tic­u­lar needs, as well as those of the entire Church, their neigh­bors, their coun­try and the entire world.

At this time the inter­ces­sions are not made gen­er­al­ly, as in the Great Litany, but very specif­i­cal­ly on behalf of all per­sons in need of God’s bless­ings, strength and guid­ance. Thus prayers are made for the sick, the suf­fer­ing, the needy, the afflict­ed and the depart­ed by name; as well as for such spe­cif­ic things as nation­al guid­ance, deliv­er­ance from some par­tic­u­lar threat, etc. Also at this time spe­cial prayers of thanks­giv­ing and praise may be offered in response to some par­tic­u­lar bless­ing of God. ‘Because the offer­to­ry will fol­low, prayers are also made at the end of the litany “for those who bring offer­ings and do good work” in the par­tic­u­lar community.

After the com­ple­tion of the Litany of Fer­vent Sup­pli­ca­tion, the cat­e­chu­mens are prayed for and dis­missed from the Divine Litur­gy since, as not yet bap­tized, they are not com­pe­tent to offer and to receive the eucharis­tic gifts. In the ear­ly Church all those under penance for their sins, and all who for one rea­son or anoth­er were not receiv­ing Holy Com­mu­nion, also left the litur­gi­cal gath­er­ing at this time.

At present the dis­missal of the cat­e­chu­mens has become only the­o­ret­i­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant since it is not the case that non-com­mu­ni­cants, or even the non-bap­tized, leave the gath­er­ing for the eucharis­tic part of the ser­vice which, we have not­ed, is still offi­cial­ly called the Litur­gy of the Faith­ful.

the prayer that God would illu­mine the cat­e­chu­mens with the Gospel of Truth and unite them to his Holy Church, grant­i­ng them “in due time the laver of regen­er­a­tion, the remis­sion of sins and the robe of incor­rup­tion” in bap­tism; and after their the­o­ret­i­cal dis­missal from the litur­gy, two prayers are read for the faith­ful who are already mem­bers of the Church, that God would hear their prayers and would make them wor­thy to offer and to receive the gifts of Holy Communion:

And enable us also whom Thou hast placed in this Thy ser­vice by the pow­er of the Holy Spir­it, blame­less­ly and with­out offence, in the pure wit- ness of our con­science to call upon Thee.…

… to wor­ship Thee blame­less­ly with fear and with love, and to par­take with­out con­dem­na­tion of Thy Holy Mys­ter­ies, and to be account­ed wor­thy of Thy Heav­en­ly Kingdom….