Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
There is increasing anxiety within our Nation as we continued to be faced with the COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted the normal course of our existence. Many persons have died, and many more are suffering complications from the virus, and many persons remain burdened by the infliction of common ailments. In addition, as a people we are disturbed at the level of criminal activity involving abduction, abuse, robberies and murders. Also, there is a growing intolerance with commonplace corruption in business and governance.
Even though there have been growing concerns, by Christians, regarding the above anomalies within the Jamaican society, in recent times groups of Intercessors in Jamaica and other countries have been making a call for repentance. Such a call is not extraordinary, and is in fact timely, in view of the various challenges that are a cause for anxiety as religious activities, social engagement and economic pursuits are gravely affected with increasing debilitating impact on our existence.
This is indeed a time for more than routine prayer. This is time for intentional prayer by way of our Catholic practice through a Novena for the Repentance, Safety and Well-being of Jamaica.
1. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, using the Chaplet in Song available on YouTube. (You can sing along with the Chaplet or follow with your rosaries).
2. Use as a guide the Examination of Conscience and Praying the Repentance prayer: Psalm 51 and prayer for the Nation.
3. Close with The Lord’s Prayer and your favourite worship song(s) to the Lord our God.
4. Make arrangement to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
We are asking persons/families to dedicate time every day of the Novena to express contrition to our God, showing that we are sorry for sins we have committed individually or as a Nation. Hence, nurture an intentional attitude to forgive others and to seek forgiveness from those we have offended.
Prayer teams and groups may add appropriate praise and worship songs and prayers according to the time they can spend in this special Novena prayer, each day for nine days, Sunday October 4 - 12, 2020.
We look forward to your support of this effort and to the coming together of families in this time of repentance and worship, because families remain the bedrock of our Nation.
In addition to a general invitation to your Congregants, please entrust this cause to your Prayer Meeting Group, Legion of Mary, Youth & Young Adult Groups, and other groups so as to initiate a wide cross section of participation and dedication to the time of prayer and repentance that is called for.
Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Kenneth D. Richards, D.D.
Archbishop of Kingston
Examination of Conscience
• Harboured anger for God, blamed God for my failings?
• Disobeyed the commandments of God, the Church, and refused to accept what God has revealed as true?
• Neglected to nourish and protect my faith, despaired about my salvation or the forgiveness of my sins?
• Presumed God's mercy? Deliberately commit a sin in expectation of forgiveness, or ask forgiveness without interior conversion to practise virtue, hide a serious sin or told a lie in Confession?
• Loved someone or something more than God (money, power, illicit sex, ambition, etc)?
• Engaged in superstitious practices? (Incl. horoscopes, fortune tellers, obeah or occult practices, ouija board, worship of Satan, etc.)
• Used the name of God in cursing or blasphemy, used vulgar, suggestive or obscene speech?
• Failed to keep vows, promises, or resolutions that I have made to God, committed perjury, lie under oath?
• Watched television or movies, or listened to music that treated God, the Church, the Saints, or sacred things irreverently?
• Do I respect the life and dignity of other human persons from conception through natural death?
• Do I recognize the face of Jesus Christ reflected in other persons whatever their race, class, age, or abilities?
• Do I work to protect the dignity of others when it is being threatened?
• Am I committed to protecting human life and to ensuring that other persons are able to live in dignity?
• Do I try to make positive contributions in my family and in my community?
• Are my beliefs, attitudes, and choices such that they strengthen or undermine relationship in my family?
• Am I aware of problems facing my local community and involved in efforts to find solutions? Do I stay informed and make my voice heard when needed?
• Do I support the efforts to assist poor persons and work for change in their neighbourhoods and communities? Do my attitudes and interactions empower or undermine others?
• Do I recognize and respect the economic, social, political, and cultural rights of others?
• Do I live in material comfort and excess while remaining insensitive to the needs of others whose rights are unfulfilled?
• Do I take seriously my responsibility to ensure that the rights of persons in need are realized?
• Do I urge those in power to implement programs and policies that give priority to the human dignity and rights of all, especially the vulnerable?
• Do I give special attention to the needs of the poor and vulnerable in my community and in the world?
• Am I disproportionately concerned for my own good at the expense of others?
• Do I engage in service and advocacy work that protects the dignity of poor and vulnerable persons?
• As an owner and employer, do I treat workers fairly?
• As a worker, do I give my employer a fair day’s work for my wages? Do I treat all workers with whom I interact with respect, no matter their position or class?
• Do I support the rights of all workers to adequate wages, health insurance, vacation and sick leave? Do I affirm their right to form or join unions or worker associations?
• Do my purchasing choices take into account the hands involved in the production of what I buy? When possible, do I buy products produced by workers whose rights and dignity were respected?
• Does the way I spend my time reflect a genuine concern for others?
• Is solidarity incorporated into my prayer and spirituality? Do I lift up vulnerable people throughout the world in my prayer, or is it reserved for only my personal concerns?
• Am I attentive only to my local neighbours, forget those in other places?
• Do I see all members of the human family as my brothers and sisters?
• Do I belittle others in my speech?
• Do I live out my responsibility to care for God’s creation?
• Do I see my care for creation as connected to my concern for poor persons, who are most at risk from environmental problems?
• Do I litter? Live wastefully? Use energy too freely? Are there ways I could reduce consumption in my life?
• Are there ways I could change my daily practices and those of my family, school, workplace, or community to better conserve the earth’s resources for future generations?
THE FOLLOWING IS PRAYED EACH DAY OF THE NOVENA
Psalm 51 and Repentance for Jamaica
“ Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Have mercy on Jamaica Lord God, as a people we have sinned in so many ways and done evil in your sight. I repent Lord God for our Nation and seek your mercy and forgiveness
I repent, O God for the many sins of our nation, sins I may have contributed to, knowingly or unknowingly. Touch the hearts of the people of Jamaica, in particular our leaders in every sphere of life that they may repent also and seek your face.
In the days and weeks ahead, bring to mind any forgotten sin that as a nation we may repent and ask your forgiveness.
Forgive us Lord for failing to stand up for righteousness in this Nation.
We humbly seek thy Mercy oh God, In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.