Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Patron Saint of the Single

With Single's Awareness Day* rounding the bend, I set out on a task from God.

I don't know if other denominations do this, but in the Catholic Church, we have a time after the Homily, and before the Eucharist in which we offer up prayer petitions.
They usually include prayers for the sick, prayers for our nation's leaders (smart move) and other special intentions followed by the congregation saying together: "Lord, hear our prayer."

It's nice. When I was a kid in Catholic school we were encouraged to add our own... we asked for rain, good crops... and when one of my cousins was pregnant (I was around 8 years old) I prayed each day for nine months that she would have a happy and healthy baby. Today he is a handsome young man, safely back from a lengthy tour in Iraq. God does answer prayers.

I know I'm not the only one who recognizes how singles are left out of almost everything at church - so today I called the church office asking for the person responsible for coordinating the petitions for this weekend's services.

When I reached her, I said that I thought it would be appropriate, in light of Valentine's day - to offer a prayer for the single adults of the parish.

I fully expected her to ask for an example - and had one prepared - but all she said was that she would have to check with Father.

Okay. At least I made my hopes and prayers known. I will report back to let you know how it went over.

But may I encourage you to do the same? Ask your priest or pastor to recognize, and pray over the pain in many lives. And if you're married - wow - it would blow me away if you could make this happen.

Here's the intention I composed in case she asked:

For the Single Adults in our parish. That they might experience God's love in a tangible way, through our church community.


During this season in which we witness love in our family and in our marriages, we pray for Single Adults in our parish who might instead experience the sting of loneliness. May they feel God's love in our church community.
I guess my priest's response will tell me just how seriously he takes it. He does understand, a little. Although his response is that priests feel the same loneliness. Of course I pointed out that priests choose the priesthood - we don't usually choose to be alone. Touche, said he!

Oh - and when I decided on the title of this post, I thought I'd better see whether there really is a Patron Saint for the Single (Other than Bridgette Jones! Ha ha) Turns out there are two! Guess who's going to be called upon at prayer time tonight?!!

* In case you didn't get it - Single's Awareness Day = Valentine's Day - because isn't that really what it is? Round up all the couples so you can tag the singles!!


dave.heather said...

My Valentine's wish for this year is that you may find your partner, your soul mate, your one and only, the love of your life.


In Mexico they call it Dia del Amor y Amistad: Day of Love and Friendship

I like that. Everyone can be included. Besos.

Gail and Keith said...

Or, as my single daughter calls it
"Loser Day," because that's what she feels like. Our church has, in the past, had a Valentine's party/dessert-game night and invited singles and married couples, but really, if you're a single, why would you want to go to a Valentine's party, she says.

What a great thought you have to include singles in your church prayer petitions. Gail

Doris said...

What a great post...and I got the first line of your post immediately! I have a Valentine now for three years, but I spent four times that many Valentine's Day feeling just like you. I love this idea, I'll have to call the Church office today!

Laura said...

I know it's completely inappropriate of me, but I had a little giggle fit when I read the first sentence.

Now I keep picturing Elwood Blues (Dan Akroyd) saying, "We're on a mission from God," and then getting whacked in the hand by The Penguin.

Anyway, I will be thinking about you and my other Single Friends this weekend. And if I can get my act together after these last few weeks of total chaos, I will be lighting candles for you all, and for myself, as things are not as smooth sailing as I'd like for them to be.

I think we can all use a few prayers, and you will most definitely be in mine, even if I don't get to the candle part.

Stacey said...

I'm praying for you and other singles this weekend. I think your suggestion at church is a great idea. I wish I had the guts to do something similar for Mother's Day at my church!

knit_tgz said...

FWIW, I've once been on a parish for Mother's Day where they prayed for everybody, (loving mothers, unloving mothers, mothers with kids in trouble, etc, etc) including "for all the mothers who did not have children, that God may hear their cries". I cried at that line (single, and childless, at 32, when I believe I'm called to marriage and I'm open to having a big family). It's like God told me: "you don't have kids yet, you don't even have a boyfriend, but you're a mother in My eyes. A mother who does not have a child. But your cries will be heard." I hope so.

TRS said...

Knitz... my church does something similar: Just suggesting that all women are mothers because that is how God created us.
It's really nice.

One of my friends thought it was silly - because she doesn't want kids and doesn't even have the desire. It's strange for me to relate to that part of her. I think she found it as strange as if the priest had said that men were mothers too.