"...that in the journey through this fickle life they may always be protected by your help."
The General Chapter of the Order of Preachers is held every 3 years. Every 9 years a new Master of the Order is elected by the brethren. This year, the General Chapter is being held in Rome from August 31-September 21st. The election of the new Master will take place on September 5th.
Although the nuns do not vote in Chapter business or in the election of a Master, the Chapters are still important for us because of our full incorporation into the Order. Technically, although now it is rare, the friars can create legislation for the nuns. Several nuns are always present at the Chapter and participate fully in discussions and in crafting documents.
Our monastery (like many others) continues the tradition of praying for the General Chapter for a whole month before it begins. These ancient prayers harken back to the days when it took weeks for the friars to make their way to the Chapter. They are a combination of the traditional travel prayers and prayers to the Holy Spirit for his help and inspiration.
We share this tradition so that perhaps you will remember the friars in your prayers.
PRAYERS FOR THE GENERAL CHAPTER
In a year in which a General Chapter is to be held, for a month before the day of the Chapter, there is said daily, after None, except on solemnities and feasts, psalm 122.
To you have I lifted up my eyes, *
you who dwell in the heavens;
my eyes, like the eyes of slaves *
on the hand of their lords.
Like the eyes of a servant*
on the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes are on the Lord our God *
till he show us his mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. *
We are filled with contempt.
Indeed all too full is our soul
with the scorn of the rich, *
(with the proud man's disdain).
Glory be to the Father and to the Son *
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be *
world without end. Amen.
Leader: Come Holy Spirit
All: Fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love; you who through the diversity of many languages, gathered the nations together in the unity of faith.
Leader: Lord, have mercy
All: Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.
All: Our Father…
Leader: Send forth your Spirit, and they will be created.
All: And you will restore the face of the earth.
Leader: Save your servants.
All: Who trust in you, my God.
Leader: Let us pray:
O God, who has instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that, in the same Spirit, we may relish what is right and ever rejoice in his consolation.
Listen, Lord, to our prayers and guide the steps of your servants along the path of your salvation; that in the journey through this fickle life they may always be protected by your help. Through Christ our Lord.