There is no one right way to pray for your parish priests. What will work best for your parish is dependent upon many things such as your parish’s charism, existing prayer processes and the wishes of your priests. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Pray a Hail Mary for the celebrant before or after every Mass. Ideally, a Hail Mary would be prayed for the priest about to celebrate Mass as a starting point for every parish initiative. This can be announced and prayed after announcements and before the processional hymn if announcements in your parish are read prior to the start of Mass. Otherwise, the cantor can introduce and lead the Hail Mary at the start of Mass or before the processional.
- Hold a Holy Hour each month for priests. A Holy Hour is a powerful way to help your parish come together to pray for priests. Ideally, you will also have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
- Ask participants of your Adoration program to pray for priests. If you already have an Adoration program running, email participants and ask them to pray specifically for priests at least one Holy Hour per month.
- Start a prayer group that commits to praying for your priests one day each week before the Blessed Sacrament. This would be a special group that is devoted to prayer and ensures your priests are covered by prayer every day of the week. The Seven Sisters movement (link) is a great example of a special prayer group.
- Ask parishioners to commit to taking a day each month to pray the Rosary for your priests. Much like the 31 Club prays for vocations, parishioners choose a day each month where they specifically pray the Rosary for the priests who serve your parish. This is even more effective when families commit to praying together for your priests.
- Ask parish groups to rotate in praying for your priests. One group commits to praying at the beginning of their meeting or event so that your priests have people praying for them at least once per week.
- Involve your parish school in the effort. Work with the school to get students praying for the priests on a regular basis.
- Use MRC printed or audio prayers to pray for priests. You can easily insert the names of your priests into the prayers.
- Insert short educational features on the priesthood in your bulletin. These short features will help to educate your parish members on the beautiful, mystical nature of the priesthood and help them begin to see your priests as more than CEO’s of the parish business, reduced to their ability to deliver a homily, or simply as someone there to serve their needs.