To live in chastity, or continence, frees the baptized Christian to put on Christ, fight every form of evil, and realize that his or her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, a means to glorify God by following the path of life in step with the Spirit. The chaste Christian, having received a new heart and a new spirit, offers his or her body as a living sacrifice to God, observes the divine commandments, and seeks to not offend God by clinging to the desires and works of the flesh.
It is important for the Church to pray for various needs from time to time by selecting particular liturgical prayers and readings. The Mass formulary "For Chastity" was inserted into the current edition of the Missale Romanum in 2002 and implemented in 2011 as part of the Roman Missal, Third Edition. From 2002 to 2023, however, no separate suggestions for Lectionary readings were issued to accompany the Mass.
On March 20, 2023, the Holy See's Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments promulgated a series of suggested Lectionary readings for the Mass for Chastity. To facilitate their use, the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship provides a free PDF download of the readings in English. Readings in Spanish will follow in the future.
The suggested readings have been inserted in the Lectionary for Mass in the section of Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions, and will be printed in a future edition of the Lectionary.
Scripture citations below are based on the New American Bible translation as reflected in the current Lectionary for Mass and may differ slightly from some of the citations offered by the Holy See due to difference in versification.
952A – Reading from the Old Testament
- Sirach 2:15-18
Those who fear the LORD prepare their hearts.
- Ezekiel 36:24-29a
I will give you a new heart and a new spirit.
952B – Reading from the New Testament
- Romans 12:1-2, 9-18 or 12:1-2, 9-13
Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.
- 1 Corinthians 6:12-15a, 17-20
Glorify God in your body.
- Galatians 5:16-25
If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
952C – Responsorial Psalm
- Psalm 86 (85):1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 11, 12-13
R. (12a) I will give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with all my heart.
- Psalm 112 (111):1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9
R. (cf. 1) Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord's commands.
952D – Alleluia and Verse before the Gospel
- John 13:34
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
952E – Gospel
- Matthew 5:13-16
You are the light of the world.
- John 15:12-17
I appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.