Election Day Eve Prayer

You are invited to pray with the Ursuline Sisters this afternoon wherever you are, as we prepare for Tuesday’s election.

Evening Prayer

Election Day Eve – November 5, 2012

Call to Prayer:

Leader: O God, open our lips.  R/   And our mouths will proclaim Your praise.

Leader: Glory to You, Source of All Being, Eternal Word, and Holy Spirit.

Response: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

Suggested Hymn:     This Is My Song (found in BB, #650)

[As you read the selections below antiphonally, pause just a fraction longer between each set.]

Antiphon 1:    Learn to do good: seek justice . . . defend the orphan and plead for the widow. [Isaiah 1:17]

L/      Whoever receives one child in my name receives me;

and whoever receives me, receives not me but the one who sent me  .              [Matthew 8:5]

R/     You, our God, do see trouble and grief;

The victim commits herself to you.                     [Psalm 10:14]

L/      When an alien resides with you in your land, do not molest her.

You shall treat her no differently than the native-born among you.

Have the same love for her as for yourself,

for you too were once aliens.                             [Leviticus 19:33-34]

R/     For I was a stranger and you welcomed me.      [Matthew 25:35]

L/      The heavens belong to God;

but the earth has been given to us.        [Psalm 115]

R/     You have made us little less than a god,

and crowned us with glory and honor.

You entrust us with the works of your hand,

to care for all your creation.                   [Psalm 8]

Repeat Antiphon 1

Antiphon 2:    In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.        [All are from Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: The U.S. Bishops’ Reflection on Catholic Teaching and Political Life]

L/      Catholic teaching about the dignity of life calls us to oppose torture, unjust war, and the use of the death penalty; to prevent genocide and attacks against noncombatants; to oppose racism; and to overcome poverty and suffering.

R/     Human dignity is respected and the common good is fostered only if human rights are protected and basic responsibilities are met. Every human has a right to life . . . and a right to have access to those things required for human decency – food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing, freedom of religion and family life.

L/      While the common good embraces all, those who are weak, vulnerable, and most in need deserve preferential concern. A basic moral test for our society is how we treat the most vulnerable in our midst.

R/     We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions and requires us to eradicate racism and address the extreme poverty and disease plaguing so much of the world.

L/      We have a moral obligation to protect the planet on which we live . . . as stewards called by God to share the responsibility for the future of the earth, we should work for a world in which people respect and protect all of creation and seek to live simply in harmony with it.

Repeat Antiphon 2

Reading:   [Matthew 25:31-40]

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.”

Then the righteous will answer him and say, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?”

And the king will say to them in reply, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least of my people, you did for me.”


  • Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me. Now enter into the home of my Father.              R/   Whatsoever you do . . . .
  • When I was hungry and thirsty, you gave me to eat and drink.       R/   Now enter into the home of my Father.
  • Glory to you Source of All Being, Eternal Word, and Holy Spirit.     R/   Whatsoever you do . . . .

Mary’s Canticle:    [your choice]        Antiphon: For I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

Intercessions:            Response is: “Open our hearts to share your blessings.”

  • We pray that all immigrant children have access to education and adequate health care.
  • We pray that fathers and mothers have access to the means to support their families.
  • We pray that boundaries do not stop us from upholding human rights.
  • We pray that we become personally, communally, nationally, and globally welcoming communities.
  • We pray that we learn how best to cherish and protect the earth and all its gifts.
  • We pray for insight and guidance as we respond to the call of our conscience and faith in these elections.
  • We pray that our President and Congress and all elected leaders work together and act with compassion.

Our Father

Closing Prayer:   You welcome all Your children and embrace even the prodigal ones. Help us open our hearts and root out fear from our souls. Let us remember that, with Your grace, there are enough loaves and fishes to go around if we come together as Your family. Give us the courage and compassion to respect the rights of all in this country of abundance. Let us rely on the guidance of Your spirit and the conscience of our hearts as we fulfill our call as citizens of this land. In faith and hope we pray.                                                          AMEN


  1. Birgit Atherton Jones

    We pray for the five non-negotiable issues which our Holy Father, Vicar of Christ here on earth, admonishes us to give the most moral weight: abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, cloning and the sanctity of marriage. Opposition to Church teaching on these intrinsic evils is gravely sinful.

    These most important of issues are given priority in the USCCB Faithful Citizenship document. They are points with no wiggle room. They are absolutely to be obeyed. Catholics of good faith are, however, given the right to conscientiously disagree on the death penalty, just war, and how to best serve the poor. All of this can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, encyclicals, and statements by popes throughout the ages!

  2. Rebecca Coomes

    Like Mrs. Atherton, I find it incredibly disturbing that on the eve of this most important election, the sisters are absolutely silent in their prayers on the subject of abortion, the sanctity of marriage, and the HHS Mandate.

  3. Theresa Alloy

    Thanks for the beautiful reminder, Birgit. These ARE non-negotiable, and one’s conscience must be formed according to the Magisterium.

    This website has some great sermons regarding this issue. Look for a November 4th sermon to be posted soon.

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