Songs are sung
To begin the prayer, one or two songs of praise are sung.
A Psalm is read.
Jesus prayed these age-old prayers of his people. Christians have always found a wellspring of life in them. The psalms place us in the great communion of all believers. Our joys and sorrows, our trust in God, our thirst and even our anguish find expression in the psalms.
Scripture is read
Reading Scripture is a way of going to “the inexhaustible wellspring by which God gives himself to thirsting human beings” (Origen, 3rd century). The Bible is a “letter from God to creatures” that enables them “to discover God’s heart in God’s words” (Gregory the Great, 6th century).
Songs are Sung
There is Silence
When we try to express communion with God in words, our minds quickly come up short. But, in the depths of our being, through the Holy Spirit, Christ is praying far more than we imagine.
Although God never stops trying to communicate with us, this is never in order to impose. The voice of God is often heard only in a whisper, in a breath of silence. Remaining in silence in God’s presence, open to the Holy Spirit, is already prayer.
The road to contemplation is not one of achieving inner silence at all costs by following some technique that creates a kind of emptiness within. If, instead, with a childlike trust we let Christ pray silently within us, then one day we shall discover that the depths of our being are inhabited by a Presence.
Intercessions or Litany of Praise are lifted up
A prayer shared by all is composed of short petitions or acclamations, can form a kind of “pillar of fire” at the heart of the prayer.
Praying for others widens our prayer to the dimensions of the entire human family; we entrust to God the joys and the hopes, the sorrows and the sufferings of all people, particularly those who are forgotten. A prayer of praise enables us to celebrate all that God is for us.