USCCB REPORT: On Saturday, November 27th at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate a “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” coinciding with first vespers of the First Sunday of Advent. The Holy Father has also requested that “all Diocesan Bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements.”An outline for the Vigil was provided from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for the Family. Given the importance of the Holy Father’s request, the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship and the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities have collaborated in developing Vigil prayer aids for dioceses and parishes.Acknowledging that in the U.S. the Vigil falls on Thanksgiving weekend and that many parishes have complicated Mass schedules on Saturday evenings, four different options are provided:
Full Option One: Evening Prayer, Rosary and Benediction
Full Option Two: Marian Procession, Rosary, Evening Prayer and Benediction
Simplified Option One: Evening Prayer and Benediction (no Rosary)
Simplified Option Two: Marian Procession, Rosary and Benediction (no Evening Prayer).
All options for the Vigil include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, and each of the worship aids follows the directives given by the Vatican and approved by the USCCB. Many dioceses may have already made plans to celebrate this special Vigil in union with our Holy Father and the Church all around the world. For those still considering how their parishes and organizations might participate, these materials should be helpful.
Notes on Using Worship Aids
For each option a worship aid is offered in three formats:
Microsoft Word Formatted (formatted with images)
Microsoft Publisher (formatted with images and easily modified)
Microsoft Word Unformatted (unformatted text without images) A rubric is also provided for priests and liturgy directors. All documents can be printed out in both English and Spanish. These worship aids are easily customized for local use. Please modify as appropriate based on hymnal availability and local practices for Evening Prayer (such as assigning leaders and responders). The use of an appropriate Marian, Advent or Eucharistic hymn at the time indicated is up to your discretion. Supplications are expected to be forthcoming from the Holy See. They will be posted here as soon as the USCCB receives them. Should you need to print worship aids prior to their availability, the following Supplications are offered as a sample that you may use or adapt. The Microsoft Word “Formatted” files are laid out so as to be printed double-sided with landscape orientation. DO NOT change the formatting of these Microsoft Word “Formatted” files as this will move the text to different pages and make it unwieldy to print. But these files are laid out so you can simply insert the name and city of your parish on the front page and insert the appropriate reference in your song book (i.e., Comfort, Comfort, O My People – Worship #370). The Microsoft Publisher versions of the worship aids are much more adaptable to editing and the format should not be disrupted by your modifications.
Worship Aid Resources
All options for the Vigil include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, and each of the worship aids follows the directives given by the Vatican and approved by the USCCB.
Full Option 1: Evening Prayer & Rosary
1 Formatted English
1 Publisher English
1 Unformatted English
1 Rubric English
1 Formatted Spanish
1 Publisher Spanish
1 Unformatted Spanish
1 Rubric Spanish