We hope that you stay safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty. In the midst of these difficult times, we are pleased to offer some resources so that our parishioners may continue to nourish their spiritual lives and stay in communion with one another.
Family Prayer Service for Sundays
Though we cannot attend Mass at this time, we are still asked to “keep holy the sabbath.” There are many ways one can continue to honor the sabbath. This family prayer service is one of those ways.
This prayer service includes a “spiritual communion.” When the Sacrament of Communion is not available, a spiritual communion allows the faithful to unite themselves spiritually to Jesus in the Sacrifice of the Mass which is still being offered every day by countless priests around the world. St. Teresa of Avila wrote that “the love of God will be greatly impressed on you” when making a spiritual communion. For more information on spiritual communions, visit check the “Spiritual Communion” tab on this page.
Before you begin this prayer service you will need to:
- Print out the readings for the day. They can be found by going to usccb.org and clicking on the proper date on the calendar on the right side of the page.
- Print out the Order of Worship.
- Print participant sheets. Those who participate in this service will need access to the prayers which they are asked to pray.
- Assign roles. The “Leader” will lead most of the service. The “Readers” will read the readings and the prayers of the faithful. You may choose to assign multiple readers for the different readings and prayers.
- Prepare the location for this service. It may be done anywhere in the family household, but it might be nice to light a candle and have a crucifix or other religious image present.
- You may consider singing a hymn at the beginning and end, though this is not necessary. There are many resources for hymns on the internet.
Watch Saint George Mass Online
St. George will be broadcasting our Sunday Mass on local TV and on the internet. It is available for viewing on Sundays at 10:00am on the channel 35-1 (ENN+) as well as on our parish youtube channel (please subscribe).
When deprived of the Sacrament of Communion it is laudable for the faithful to unite themselves spiritually to Jesus in the Sacrifice of the Mass which is still being offered by countless priests around the world for our salvation. St. Teresa of Avila wrote that “the love of God will be greatly impressed on you” when making a spiritual communion.
This prayer can be said privately or in a group. When said privately it need not take much time, and can be done multiple times throughout the day. St. Leonard of Port Maurice said that “If you practice the holy exercise of spiritual Communion several times each day, within a month you will see your heart completely changed.”
How to Make a Spiritual Communion
- Begin with the Sign of the Cross
- In prayer, form an intention for your spiritual communion. Please consider adding an intention for deliverance from our worldwide crisis.
- Make an examination of conscience.
- Recite an Act of Contrition. This is the traditional version:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.
- Pray the Prayer for Spiritual Communion.
As I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit at the foot of Thine altar; I unite with the Church, which by the hands of the priest, offers Thee Thine adorable Son in the Holy Sacrifice; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and thank Thee, imploring Thy mercy, invoking Thine assistance, and presenting Thee the homage I owe Thee as my Creator, the love due to Thee as my Savior.
Apply to my soul, I beseech Thee, O merciful Jesus, Thine infinite merits; apply them also to those for whom I particularly wish to pray. I desire to communicate spiritually, that Thy Blood may purify, Thy Flesh strengthen, and Thy Spirit sanctify me. May I never forget that Thou, my divine Redeemer, hast died for me; may I die to all that is not Thee, that hereafter I may live eternally with Thee. Amen.
- Pray a private prayer of thanksgiving.
- End with the Sign of the Cross.
Information on Masses, Funerals and Weddings
In light of the worldwide emergency, the Diocese of Erie is suspending all public gatherings until further notice. This includes all parish meetings, dinners, and public devotions.
Funerals and weddings will still occur, though with a very limited crowd. Please call the parish office for more information.
All parish Masses will still be prayed by the priests, but they will happen without a congregation. If you have arranged for a Mass intention, know that it will be fulfilled, and the spiritual graces will still be bountiful, though you will not be able to attend that mass. Mass intentions are still being accepted by the office – do not hesitate to arrange for a Mass to be said for a family member or a particular cause.
In the absence of Mass, please consider arranging a Family Prayer Service on Sunday (found in the “Family Prayer Service” tab) or watching St. George Mass on Sundays at 10:00am on channel 35-1 (ENN+) as well as on our parish youtube channel (please subscribe).
Supporting Saint George Church Financially
St. George Church operates because of your generosity. Please consider signing up for Automatic Weekly Offertory Payments. Fill out the form below and mail it, with a voided check, to St. George Church. If you have any questions, please call our Business Manager Krista Jeffreys at 864-0622 ext. 350. You can also send in your envelopes by mail or make an online donation here.
Message from Bishop Persico
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
It saddens me to share this with you, but I have decided to suspend all public Masses in the Diocese of Erie effective Wednesday,, March 18 until further notice.
This is not a decision I wanted to make; nor did I make it lightly. But given the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an important decision made for the good of the community, especially the most vulnerable among us.
We are working to make a number of resources available for the faithful, some of which I will share with you in this letter. But first, in the midst of this challenging moment, I want to provide you with spiritual encouragement and strength.
It is understandable that people are feeling overwhelmed – there’s so much uncertainly in our lives in the face of this pandemic, something we have never experienced. In recent days, our lives have changed considerably. Families are scrambling to figure out how they are going to address the needs of children who are suddenly no longer leaving the house to go to school. Many of us are not allowed to visit elderly relatives who are in nursing homes. It’s difficult not to wonder what additional limitations may be imposed at any given moment.
We are all human, and our concerns are natural. We can’t help but worry about how. we will navigate these changes in our lives. In addition to those whose health is at risk, I am particularly concerned for those whose livelihoods will be compromised for what could be a significant period of time.
There is no better time to grow in our faith than in a moment of trial. While the stress is real, our faith teaches us to trust in the Lord. “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him,” Jesus said, just before he gave us the Lord’s Prayer.
Public Masses have been suspended, I want to assure you every priest in the diocese will continue to offer a private Mass each day. I have asked that they remember the intentions of their parishioners at each Mass; that will be my intention as well.
In addition, we each still have an obligation to “keep holy the Sabbath.” Please give serious consideration as to how you will accomplish this, particularly throughout Holy Week and Easter. I am asking families to worship together in their homes each Sunday. Our website will have a link to the readings for Sunday Mass, and we expect to livestream a Mass from St. Peter Cathedral in Erie, the mother church of the diocese, each Sunday morning. Please reference www.ErieRCD.org for final details, including the time. I have every confidence the Lord will bless us as we find new and creative ways to welcome him into our lives.
I have asked pastors to keep their churches open for visitation as much as possible. Many parishes will offer Exposition so people will be able to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, even if it must be done while remaining an acceptable distance away from others. We also will soon publish information about how baptisms, reconciliation, confirmation, weddings, anointings and funerals will be handled in the coming weeks and months.
There are many Scripture verses that can help us, and we have begun to provide spiritual resources for you at www.ErieRCD.org/inspiration.html. Be intentional about setting aside time to read and pray so you will remain centered. Remember to pray for others at this moment: for our leaders, for researchers, for healthcare workers, for the sick, for our communities, for those who will suffer financial hardship, and for those who have died, as well as their families, among others. As a Christian community, we must intercede on behalf of each other.
We’ve included a link to Pope Francis’ prayer to Our Lady, Salvation of the People of Rome, among the resources we’ve posted. And although our site also includes a Spiritual Communion prayer, given that we will have no public Masses until further notice, I want to share it with you here. I recommend you pray it every day:
“My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot receive you at this moment sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were
already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, pray for us.
St. Patrick, patron of the Diocese of Erie, pray for us.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Laurence T. Persico
Diocese of Erie Resources
The Diocese of Erie has more prayer resources at ErieRCD.org/inspiration.html.