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.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!
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.
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!!