PRAYER FOR THE FIRST WORLD DAY FOR GRANDPARENTS AND THE ELDERLY
I thank You, Lord,
for the comfort of Your presence:
even in times of loneliness,
You are my hope and my confidence,
You have been my rock and my fortress since my youth!
I thank You for having given me a family
and for having blessed me with a long life.
I thank You for moments of joy and difficulty,
for the dreams that have already come true in my life and for
those that are still ahead of me.
I thank You for this time of renewed fruitfulness to which You
Increase, O Lord, my faith,
make me a channel of your peace,
teach me to embrace those who suffer more than me,
to never stop dreaming
and to tell of your wonders to new generations.
Protect and guide Pope Francis and the Church,
that the light of the Gospel might reach the ends of the earth.
Send Your Spirit, O Lord, to renew the world,
that the storm of the pandemic might be calmed,
the poor consoled and wars ended.
Sustain me in weakness
and help me to live life to the full
in each moment that You give me,
in the certainty that you are with me every day,
even until the end of the age.
I Am Always With You
The First World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly – July 25th 2021
Pope Francis has decided to institute a Church-wide celebration of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. Starting this year, it will be held on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus.
The Holy Father explained he has done this because “grandparents are often forgotten, and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on” what the elderly have received.
He emphasized the importance of grandparents and grandchildren getting to know one another, because “as the prophet Joel says, grandparents seeing their grandchildren dream,” while “young people, drawing strength from their grandparents, will go forward and prophesy.”(Vatican News)
Here in the Catholic Archdiocese of Cardiff, the Family Life Commission, are inviting our families, parishes and schools to mark this special day of prayer in some special way by celebrating our own grandparents, and would like to offer our suggestions with those of the Pope, his Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, and others.
Even though we are still living under restrictions of the pandemic, there are many opportunities still open to us to enable us to celebrate; we just need to think creatively and with the experience and new skills learnt during the past year or so.
- Celebrate one of the Sunday Masses of July 25th for the intentions of all grandparents and the elderly of our parish community, especially those who have been impacted by the pandemic.
- Include bidding prayers for the elderly and for grandparents
- Make the Pope’s message to Grandparents and the Elderly available to all via social media, email or letter as appropriate
- Remember grandparents and the elderly in prayers during July
- Hold a special assembly, that could be live streamed, celebrating grandparents and the elderly
- Ask pupils (and staff) to complete the following, “My Grandparents (Grandmother/Grandfather) is/ are special because………………….”
- This can be written down, spoken as a recording or as a video
- Your school could compile a celebratory video to show how important our grandparents and elderly friends are to us
- Your compilations, or individual responses, could then be shared with the Family Life Commission by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 16th
- With your permission, compilations and a selection of responses will shared via social media to celebrate collectively the grandparents and elderly of our archdiocese – we will also include them in an article for the August edition of the Catholic People (which is now available online)
- Remember grandparents and the elderly in prayers during July
- If possible, visit a grandparent or older member of your family
- If it’s not possible to visit, ring or chat with them virtually
- Draw a picture, write a letter or make a card especially for a grandparent or older member of your family to show them you care and that they are always in your thoughts
- Grandchildren (of any age) to complete the following, “My Grandparents (Grandmother/Grandfather) is/ are special because………………….”
- Grandparents (of any age) complete the following, “The joy of being a grandparent is……..”
- These responses can be written, spoken as a recording or as a video
- Responses should be sent to email@example.com by July 16th
- A compilation of responses will be produced and shared via social media to celebrate collectively the grandparents and elderly of our archdiocese, as well as an article in the August edition of the Catholic People (which is now available online)
There are many websites offering creative ideas of things to make and do as ‘gifts’ for grandparents and the elderly so have some fun! For example, the Catholic Grandparents Association is inviting families and parishes to ‘Plant a Tree in their Memory’ as part of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, on Sunday 25 July.
The First World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly is being celebrated midway through the year dedicated to family by the Holy Father on the fifth anniversary of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
The “Amoris Laetitia Family Year” is an initiative of Pope Francis, which aims to reach every family around the world through several spiritual, pastoral and cultural proposals that can be implemented within parishes, dioceses, universities, ecclesial movements and family associations.
The experience of the pandemic has highlighted the central role of the family as the domestic Church and the importance of community ties between families. Such ties make the Church an authentic “family of families” (AL 87).
‘The family deserves a year of celebration, so that it can be given a central place in the commitment and care of every pastoral and ecclesial reality.’(Dicastery for Laity, Family & Life)
To find out more about the Amoris Laetitia Family Year 2020 – 2021 please visit the website http://www.laityfamilylife.va/content/laityfamilylife/en/amoris-laetitia.html
However you celebrate the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, please don’t forget to let us know… and we’ll let others know too! firstname.lastname@example.org