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The anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States is an important and moving occasion for many Americans. To help clergy and pastoral ministers prepare for this anniversary, the Secretariat of Divine Worship offers a few suggestions as to ways this anniversary might be commemorated within the context of the Sacred Liturgy.
September 11 is a free day in the Liturgical Calendar, and usually occurs on a weekday in the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time. Therefore, it would be permitted to use one of the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions on this day (see General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 377). Several formularies would be fitting for the occasion, such as the Mass for Peace and Justice (with white vestments) or the Mass in Time of War or Civil Disturbance (with purple vestments). In some circumstances, a Mass for the Dead might be appropriate as a memorial Mass for the victims of the terrorist attacks, especially at churches and oratories with particular ties to individuals who died that day or are closest to the sites of the attacks (New York, NY, Arlington, VA, and Shanksville, PA). The assigned Lectionary readings of the current weekday could be used, though readings may also be drawn from volume IV of the Lectionary for Mass: Masses for Various Needs and Occasions.
When September 11 falls on a Sunday, the Mass and readings for the day
would typically be used. However, as this is a Sunday in Ordinary Time, one of
the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions could also be used at the direction
of or with the permission of the Diocesan Bishop (see General Instruction of
the Roman Missal, no. 374). Regardless of the Mass prayers that are used,
the homily and the Intercessions could highlight the significance of this day
for our country and for those who grieve the loss of their loved ones.
These may be included among the intercessions at Masses on September 11:
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