National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

2017 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday Resources

Scripture Readings


First Reading

A reading from the second book of the Kings                  4:8-11. 14-16

That is the holy man of God, let him remain there.


One day as Elisha was on his way to Shunem, a woman of rank who lived there pressed him to stay and eat there. After this he always broke his journey for a meal when he passed that way. She said to her husband, ‘Look, I am sure the man who is constantly passing our way must be a holy man of God. Let us build him a small room on the roof, and put him a bed in it, and a table and chair and lamp; whenever he comes to us he can rest there.’


One day when he came, he retired to the upper room and lay down.

‘What can be done for her? He asked. Gehazi (his servant) answered, ‘Well, she has no son and her husband in old.’ Elisha said, ‘Call her.’


The servant called her and she stood at the door. ‘This time next year,’ Elisha said ‘you will hold a son in your arms.’


The word of the Lord.


Responsorial Psalm

R For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord;

Through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth.

Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever,

That your truth is firmly established as the heavens.  R


Happy the people who acclaim such a king,

Who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,

Who find their joy every day in your name,

Who make your justice the source of their bliss.    R


For it is you, O Lord, who are the glory of their strength;

It is by your favour that our might is exalted;

For our ruler is in the keeping of the Lord;

Our king in the keeping of the Holy One of Israel.   R


Second Reading

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans                  6:3-4.  8-11


Having been buried with him through baptism, we shall walk in a new life.


When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.


But we believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more.


When he died, he died, once for all, to sin, so his life now is life with God; and in that way, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.


The word of the Lord.


Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia!

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy people.

Praise God who called you out of darkness and into his marvellous light.



Gospel Procession

In the spirit of our ancestors the Message Stick can be carried forward (and upright) with the Gospel Book. It should be held upright during the Gospel reading. There are other symbols and actions that can be used according to local sacred tradition and need to be discussed according to local practice.



A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew                         10:37-42


Anyone who does not accept his cross is not worthy of me. Anyone who welcomes you, welcomes me.


Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘ Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.

‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.

‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man because he is a holy man will have a holy man’s reward.

‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.”


The Gospel of the Lord.


Prayers of the faithful


Celebrant: Sisters and Brothers, let us pray for the needs of our world, especially the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Reader: We pray for Pope Francis, our Bishops, Clergy, Deacons and Religious, may they continue to guide all cultures to live in harmony and peace.

We pray to the Lord

R. Lord hear our prayer


Reader: We ask forgiveness for the times when we have treated others with disrespect and ignorance.  May our hearts and minds be filled with God’s love and peace to spread his good news to all people.


We pray to the Lord

R. Lord hear our prayer


Reader: We pray for the sick and dying, the homeless and imprisoned, those in detention and refuge centres- may they experience compassion and understanding from those intrusted with their care.


We pray to the Lord

R. Lord hear our prayer


Reader: We pray the Holy Spirit touches the lives of all peoples, bringing trust and hope to friends and communities throughout Australia and the world – so they may be guided by your gifts; to love, respect and honour all people of all cultures, and bring much needed justice and peace to all God’s people.


We pray to the Lord

R. Lord hear our prayer


Reader: We pray for our Aboriginal community who have lost loved ones, may they be comforted in knowing that they are at peace with the Lord.

We pray to the Lord

R. Lord hear our prayer


Reader: We pray for our young people – may they discover the way of life God has planned for each one of them, through strong leadership from community Elders.


We pray to the Lord

R. Lord hear our prayer


Reader: We pray for all our departed Elders, family and community members, may they experience the fullness of God’s love.


We pray to the Lord

R. Lord hear our prayer


Entrance Processional

May be accompanied by a Didgeridoo



Entrance Hymn: No 20-Shout to the Lord

Mass setting: Local choice


Gospel Acclamation:

“Alleluia” as per local choice


Aboriginal Our Father: (If appropriate. Contact your local Catholic Aboriginal Community)


Offertory Hymn:

No 54-I give you my heart


Communion Hymns:

No 15-My Soul give thanks

No 26-Jesus take me as I am


Recessional Hymn:

(Recessional May be accompanied by the Didgeridoo. Aboriginal Elders join if applicable)

No 23-The Power of your Love


Additional prayer suggestions


Prayer of Healing

God of Mercy and Compassion,

Our hearts too, are heavy with the pain of our people.

We are sorry.

Hopelessness and despair of life has caused much hurt and anger

They have lost their way.

We ask you to touch the hearts of our broken people.

Mend their paths and walk with them.

May they feel the Spirit of our Ancestors.

May the Spirit of our Ancestors strengthen and guide us,

On our journey back to the light of hope,

And the love of life in Christ


Written by AICCQ Working Group 27 October 2000


Aboriginal Thanksgiving Prayer

God of Holy Dreaming, Great Creator Spirit, from the dawn of creation you have given your children the good things of Mother Earth.

You spoke and the gum tree grew.

In the vast desert and the dense forest, and in the cities and at the water’s edge creation sings your praise.

Your presence endures at the rock at the heart of our Land.

When Jesus hung on the tree you heard the cries of all your people and became one with your wounded ones: the convicts, the hunted, the dispossessed.

The sunrise of your Son coloured the earth anew, and bathed it in glorious hope.

In Jesus we have been reconciled to you, to each other and to your whole creation.

Lead us on, Great Spirit, as we gather from the four corners of the earth;

enable us to walk together in trust from the hurt and shame of the past into the full day which has dawned in Jesus Christ. Amen.

[Permission to use this prayer was given by Lenore Parker.]


Jubilee Prayer

Father Our Creator,

You created all things, seen and unseen,

Listen to my silent prayer as I stand here before you.

As my weary eyes look back over distant horizons,

Back to those days where my people walked.

The footprints of my grandfathers are imprinted on the earth

And their images become real to me.

I see my Grandfathers standing tall and strong, warriors of long ago

I hear them singing I see them dancing

And my spirit moves within me.

They told of the emus fighting

And the kangaroos picking up the scent of our hunters

The images fade away as I feel the hurt of my people.

I can hear the cries of my Grandmothers as they cry for their children

Grandfather, you can see me as I stand here and feel this hurt

Father Creator, is this the purpose of my being here

Or is it your plan to reshape my people

To be once again the proud race it once was?

Let me walk with you and my Grandfathers

Towards the dawning of a proud and new nation.

I thank you for my Sacred Being.


(NATSICC Leadership Gathering November 1995)


Prayer of the Aboriginal People

Father of all, You gave us the Dreaming,

You have spoken to us through our beliefs,

You then made your love clear to us in the person of Jesus

We thank you for your care.

You own us, you are our hope.

Make us strong as we face the problems of change.

We ask you to help the people of Australia

to listen to us and respect our culture.

Make the knowledge of you grow strong in all people,

So that you can be at home in us and we can make a home for everyone in our land.


Prepared by Aboriginal people for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Alice Springs 1986


Homily notes

Every primary school child knows that Captain Cook ‘discovered’ Australia in 1770.  But such a simple statement masks the fact that, in the centuries before Captain Cook, seafarers from several countries had visited our region and a made a number of landings on the coast of this country.  But most significantly of all, before any of these newcomers came our way, the country had already been discovered and inhabited for some 60,000 years.


In that almost unimaginable length of time the original discoverers of this land developed and sustained a radically non-material culture that was supported by a profoundly spiritual understanding of the world around them.  Part of the enduring tragedy for modern Australia is that when European Christians eventually began to occupy this country they had neither the eyes to see nor the ears to hear the richness of what they were encountering.  The people who lived the ancient spirituality of this land found no welcome in the material culture that overtook them.  There was no welcome either for the prophets and the holy men of the Dreaming and so much of what could have enriched our Christian spirituality was ignored.


But hope still prevails.  We are an Easter people and today we stand ready to take up the cross of lost opportunity.  Today, as a Christian people, we stand ready to work together towards a genuine reconciliation and a truly inclusive Australian Church.


Much has already been achieved.  Legal discrimination that was once a soul destroying part of the daily life of Indigenous people has been substantially removed.  Constitutional recognition, treaties and sovereignty are being proposed.  All this is good.  But the law has no jurisdiction over the heart and no amount of legislative or constitutional reform can, by itself alone, achieve the goal we seek.

Genuine reconciliation and a truly Australian Church depend upon what we hold in our hearts and the personal relationships we can each build between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of our country.


Offering a cup of cold water may be a beginning but we long for the day when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and Australians of other backgrounds can all take their place together around the same table to partake of the banquet that could be ours to enjoy.


Fr. Robert Greenup

Indigenous Connections – Mareeba, QLD





National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

'The peak Indigenous advisory body to the Catholic Church'

80C Payneham Rd.

Stepney SA 5069   |   | 08 8363 2963


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