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Star icon animated'Blydhen Nowydh Da' ('Happy New Year')
NEW YEAR PRAYERS & more (compiled by a parishioner)
Prayers | Choosing a Companion Saint for the year | Auld Lang Syne | Facing the New Year | Links

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Light of the World painting by William Holman Hunt

The Light of the World
~ William Holman Hunt (1827 - 1910)

"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

On Christmas Day 1939, King George VI gave a brief radio address to the nation, already at war with Germany. The king offered words of encouragement and ended his remarks by quoting a poem by Louise Haskins (see below), It has since become known around the world:

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.'

And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.'

~ Miss Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957) ~ a  lecturer at the London School of Economics, wrote this as the introduction to a poem called 'The Desert' in 1908.

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"We may not know what the New Year holds,
but we know Who holds the New Year."

Prayers for the New Year (1):

Sacred Mystery, waiting on the threshold of this new year, you open the gates and beckon to me:
"Come! Come! Be not wary of what awaits you as you enter the unknown terrain, be not doubtful of your ability to grow from its joys and sorrows. For I am with you. I will be your Guide. I will be your Protector. You will never be alone."

Guardian of this new year, I set aside my fears, worries, concerns, I open my life to mystery, to beauty, to hospitality, to questions, to the endless opportunity of discovering you in my relationships, and to all the silent wisps of wonder that will draw me to your heart.

I welcome your unfailing Presence and walk with hope into this new year.

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Prayers for the New Year (2):
Jesus, I adore You. You are my Lord, You are my God, who wants me to turn and follow You all my life, so that I can be with You for ever. Thank You, Lord, for such an invitation. help me always to remember just how much love You have for each one of Your people.
Lord, in this year, which You have started for me, help me to remember just how precious each day can be if it is used to come closer to You. Help me to remember just how easy it is to waste Your gift of time, and neglect those invitations to be with You in what I am asked to do. I offer to You, my Saviour, my God, each moment of every day You give me this year, to be used as You ask. All that I can ask is that I am open to the invitations to grace, to life, to You, as I live this year as Your presence, Your instrument, Your servant.
Send Your Spirit, to guide me on this path, to encourage me, and to give me strength to do Your will.

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Our Father in Heaven, we praise and thank You for Your faithfulness that is seeing us on into this brand new year. Help us to take courage for the journey by reflecting on your faithfulness in the past - not only to us but more importantly to all who have followed You down through the ages.  As there has not failed one single promise of Yours in the past, we have every reason to trust You for the future.  We praise and thank You.  In Jesus' precious Name.  Amen.

"Courage For The Future" "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" ~ Joshua 1:9

Loving God, bless this new year with your presence. As I look at the new calendar, each of its days waiting to be filled, I wonder what it will bring in terms of new relationships, family, friends, sickness, work, play, prayer and devotion. Help me to see your loving care in all that happens day by day. Amen. ~ Jean Royer 

Bless this year for us, Eternal God: may its produce bring us well-being. Bestow Your blessing on the earth, that it may have a future and a hope, and that all may share its abundance in peace. - May this New Year be a truly blessed time for us all. – 

We can’t always choose the destination, or even the road we take, but we can choose, every day, to travel with hope.

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Prayer of John Paul II for a New Year: (composed for the Jubilee year - and every year thereafter)

Blessed are you, Lord, Father in heaven, who, in your infinite mercy, stooped down to us in our distress and gave us Jesus, your Son, born of a woman, to be our Saviour and friend, our brother and Redeemer.

We thank you, good Father, for the gift of this New Year; make it a time of favour for us, the year of a great return to the Father's house, where, full of love, you await your straying children to embrace them in your forgiveness and welcome them to your table, in their festive garments. We praise you, Father, forever!

Father most merciful, during this Holy Year may our love for you and for our neighbour grow ever stronger: may Christ's disciples promote justice and peace; may they proclaim the Good News to the poor, and may the Church our Mother direct her love especially to the little ones and the neglected. We praise you, Father, forever!

Father of Justice, may the Great Jubilee, and the years following, be the fitting time for all Catholics to rediscover the joy of living by your word and obeying your will; may they know the goodness of fraternal communion, as they break bread together and praise you in hymns and inspired songs. We praise you, Father, forever!

Father, rich in mercy, may this year be a time of openness, of dialogue and encounter among all who believe in Christ and with the followers of other religions: in your immense love, be bountiful in mercy to all. We praise you, Father, forever!

O God, Almighty Father, as we make our way to you, our ultimate destiny, may all your children experience the gentle company of Mary, most holy, image of purest love, whom you chose to be Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.We praise you, Father, forever!

To you, Father of life, eternal source of all that is, highest good and everlasting light, be honour and glory, praise and thanksgiving, with the Son and with the Spirit, for ages unending. Amen.

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Choosing a Companion Saint for the New Year  

This explanation is taken from the Divine Mercy Diary  where Sister, (now Saint) Faustina explains further about the custom in her Convent of picking a companion saint (or does the saint choose you? !) Many believe there are special Graces with this - see notes further below.
NEW YEAR 1935
"Jesus likes to intervene in the smallest details of our life and He often fulfills secret wishes of mine that I sometimes hide from Him, although I know that from Him nothing can be hidden.

     There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Years' Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year.  In the morning during meditation, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past.  But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that.  When we came to refectory for Breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons.  When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn't read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes.  Suddenly, I heard a voce in my soul;  I am your patron. Read.  I looked at once at the inscription and read, "Patron for the Year 1935 -  the Most Blessed Eucharist"  My heart leapt with joy, and I slipped quietly away from the sisters and went for a short visit before the Blessed Sacrament, where I poured out my heart.  But Jesus sweetly admonished me that I should be at that moment together with the sisters. I went immediately in obedience to the rule."

Suggestions: #1 Print Saint's names with the quotation & prayer, cut individually, place folded in a basket for people to choose one. Sister Emmanuel writes in her book, 'Medjugorje in the 90's', that the Saint will protect you; guide you on the right path, and share with you his/her special charism. #2 You could choose a companion saint from the list of the patrons of your past occupation(s) and find a saint unknown to you. Read (print out) a short resume of their life which might be not only fascinating but in so many ways inspiration to follow their example. May your Saints bring you courage and strength in the coming year.

Example Quote: "If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire. Let the truth be your delight...proclaim it...but with certain congeniality." ~ St. Catherine of Sienna, Doctor of the Church. Prayer: "Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Church."

External Links: Saints list #1 pdf / Saints list #2 pdf / Saints #3 / Saints #4 / Saints list #5 / Patron Saints information / Random Saint's name generator

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Facing the New Year (1) "LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP…" LUKE 5:4 (NIV)

After fishing all night with not even a mackerel to show for it, Jesus tells His disciples, ‘Launch out into the deep…’ Why? Because when you want what you don’t have, you’ve got to risk going where you haven’t been yet! 

A visit to The World Trade Centre would help set your priorities in order this year. Many who survived the attacks changed careers immediately afterwards. Initially they’d taken the job for a lucrative pay cheque. But when the world’s tallest buildings fell, some of the world’s best-paid workers realised how fickle it all can be. So they went home, wept, hugged their families, re-evaluated their lives and realised that you can have half as much, yet be ten times better off in every way. Sad, isn’t it, that it takes tragedy to get us there?

Know what’s even sadder? To be given chance after chance and still not ‘get it’. Don’t wait until the bottom falls out before you count the cost of what you’re living for. The Bible says, ‘…make every minute count…find out what the Lord wants you to do’ (Ephesians 5:16-17 CEV). Did you get that? Make sure that what you want is what God wants for you. Once stretched by a God-given vision, you never snap back into your original shape again.

As you face another year, stop and take stock; compare the price tag on God’s will for your life against what you’re already spending; then compare the rewards of both. Once you see beyond where you are – you’ll never look back. 


Facing the New Year (2) "LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP." LUKE 5:4 (NIV)

Mediocrity is just the best of the worst and the worst of the best. Is that what you want? No? Then be willing to forfeit the safety of being what you are, in order to become what God wants you to be. Helen Keller said, ‘Security is a myth. The reason we don’t experience it is because it doesn’t exist. Avoiding danger or failure is no safer in the long run than out right risk. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.’ Smart lady, eh? She also said, ‘The only thing that’s worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.’ 

The danger in not wanting much is that you usually get it. So ask yourself, ‘What do I want this year that’s worth risking everything for? Like 30 minutes’ sleep each morning in order to pray, read my Bible and work on my relationship with God? To pursue that degree? Or that business opportunity? To work on my marriage? To break that destructive habit?’

‘Launching out’ means: 
(1) setting goals, establishing a plan to reach them, and becoming accountable 
(2) staying tuned to God’s ‘leadings’ in your life 
(3) confronting old fears and discovering the incredible rewards on the other side of them 
(4) looking in the mirror and respecting what you’re becoming 
(5) devoting your life to something greater than yourself, and being blessed in doing it 
(6) having a ‘Thou art with me’ attitude and attempting great things for God. So, are you ready to launch out this year?

From United Christian Broadcasters (post 911) ~ visit their web site to obtain a free daily devotional

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AULD LANG SYNE The song, "Auld Lang Syne" (midi file), is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scottish tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days." (below)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

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Links ~ external links automatically open in a new window or tab

  • January 1st is 'World day of Prayer for Peace' (introduced in 1967 by Pope Paul VI: more information)
    Pope Francis 2017: 'Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace', see Catholic Bishops England & Wales website
    messages for the day from Pope Francis: 2015 or as pdf | 2014 or as pdf

  • Homily 'I do not need anything new, I need to become new', by Fr. Marinko Sakota. (Midnight Mass, New Year’s Eve, in the church of St. James, Medjugorje)

  • Epiphany Traditional New Year House Blessing "20 + C + M + B + 17" "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" (“May Christ bless this house”). read pdf

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Last updated January, 2017  v3.05 ~  ê¿ê

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