The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer
and penance, called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.” Resources to aid in observing this occasion are provided below.
Full relevant section from the GIRM
“373. Masses for Various Needs and Occasions are used in certain situations either as occasion arises or at fixed times.
Days or periods of prayer for the fruits of the earth, prayer for human rights and equality, prayer for world justice and peace, and penitential observances outside Lent are to be observed in the Dioceses of the United States of America at times to be designated by the Diocesan Bishop.
In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion. The liturgical celebrations for this day may be the "Mass For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life
” (no. 48/1 of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions), celebrated with white vestments, or the Mass “For the Preservation of Peace and Justice” (no. 30 of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions), celebrated with violet vestments.”
Choices of Readings for Mass
On January 22, the celebrant may use the readings of the day
or any readings from the “Mass for Peace and Justice,” 887-891 in the Lectionary for Ritual Masses
, vol. IV.
The readings listed in nos. 887-891 are as follows:
• First option: Isaiah 9:1-6
• Second option: Isaiah 32:15-18
• Third option: Isaiah 57:15-19
• First option: Philippians 4:6-9
• Second option: Colossians 3:12-15
• Third option: James 3:13-18
• First option: Ps 72:2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 11-12, 13-14
• Second option: Ps 85:9 and 10, 11-12, 13-14
• Third option: Ps 122:1-2, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
890 (Alleluia verse and verse before the Gospel):
• Matthew 5:9
• John 14:27
• First option: Matthew 5:1-12a
• Second option: Matthew 5:38-48
• Third option: John 14:23-29
• Fourth option: John 20:19-23
provides bullet points which priests and deacons are welcome to use in whole or in part for their homilies for January 22.
Suggested Prayers of the FaithfulIntercessions
Return to January 22 Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children