Day 1

Novena to Mary Untier of Knots

Day 1 – Sunday 22 September 2019 – Untying the Knot of ill health and suffering

Opening Hymn: Love Divine all loves excelling 

Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down,
Fix in us your humble dwelling; all your faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, you are all compassion; pure, unbounded love you are;
Visit us with your thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe your loving Spirit into every troubled breast;
Let us all in you inherit; let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty, to deliver; let us all your life receive;
Suddenly return, and never, never more your temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, serve you as your hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee without ceasing, glory in your perfect love.

Finish then your new creation; pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see your great salvation perfectly restored in thee:
Changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before you, lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Welcome and Introduction: Fr John

Bishop: God our loving Father, as we gather in the name of your Son we ask for healing. We pray that in this Sacrament we may today meet with Jesus who took pity on the sick. We make our prayer through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

A Reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans (8:18-27)
I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first fruits of the spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.
The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God. The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.   

Hymn: For you my soul is thirsting: Our choir will sing the verses and we all join in response

For you my soul is thirsting Oh God my God;

For you my soul is thirsting Oh God my God

 A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (7:19-23)

John, summoning two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or must we wait for someone else?’ When the men reached Jesus they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ”Are you the one who is to come or have we to wait for someone else?”’ It was just then that he cured many people of diseases and afflictions and of evil spirits, and gave the gift of sight to many who were blind. Then he gave the messengers their answer, ‘Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, the Good News is proclaimed to the poor and happy is the man who does not lose faith in me.’ The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise be to you Lord Jesus Christ


Bidding Prayers

Bishop: The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. With confidence we bring the needs of all those who are suffering before the Lord


  • For those who suffer in body, mind or spirit, that even in suffering, they may see more clearly the face of Christ who seeks to bind our wounds and to anoint us in our affliction. Lord hear us.   All Respond – Lord graciously hear us
  • For the stability of our National Health Service: that all who go to hospital, or reside in care homes might be given the service and attention they need; and that all who minister there might do their work with skill and patience. Lord hear us   All R – Lord graciously hear us
  • We pray for doctors and nurses and other health professionals. We pray especially for those from other countries who care so devotedly for our loved ones who are sick and infirm. Lord hear us   All R – Lord graciously hear us 
  • For healthcare chaplains, and Ministers of Holy Communion, that they may be given the grace to walk closely and faithfully with the sick and suffering, and imitate in thought, word and action the compassion of Christ. Lord hear us    All R – Lord graciously hear us
  • For people with disabilities in our society who are fearful for their futures because of cuts in benefits and services; may we, and all those in authority, have a true concern for the needs of those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. Lord hear us   R – Lord graciously hear us
  • For all the knots in our lives that we bring to Mary during our Novena in these coming weeks; knots of grief and loss; physical and mental illness, separation, loneliness and isolation, guilt and fear, addiction and relationship breakdown. Lord hear us   R – Lord graciously hear us 

We pray with Mary, Health of the Sick, who brings our needs to the attention of her Son: Hail Mary….

We bring our silent petitions to the Father… 

Bishop: God, open our eyes, that we might recognise and respond to human suffering. Give us a deep love for you that we might see your love at work in this world, and that we might go and do likewise. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  All: Amen

Reminder of our Knots We acknowledge the various knots in our lives. Today we focus on the knot of sickness and ill health and ask Mary to bring this suffering to her Son. We may also have other knots in our lives which need healing; knots of loss, grief, separation, injustice, fear, disappointment, betrayal, jealousy, envy, resentment, depression, anxiety, physical and mental suffering, addiction, helplessness, anguish at the mistakes we see our children making, witnessing addiction in a loved one, relationship breakdown …. You are asked to knot the ribbon you received on the way into church with each knot representing the particular suffering or anxiety you wish to bring to Mary.  We are then invited to place our knotted ribbons in Mary’s hands. We will first bring the basket to those with mobility difficulties and then invite the rest of the congregation to come forward to place their ribbons in the basket in front of Mary’s picture.

During the procession we will play the chant ‘Come to me all you who carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest’.

Novena Prayer to Mary, Untier of Knots 

O Virgin Mary, faithful Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of your children; 

Mother whose hands never cease to help, because they are moved by the loving kindness that exists in your Immaculate Heart, cast your eyes of compassion upon me and see the snarl of knots that exists in my life. You know all the pains and sorrows caused by these tangled knots. Mary, my Mother, I entrust to your loving hands the entire ribbon of my life. In your hands there is no knot which cannot be undone. Most Holy Mother, pray for Divine assistance to come to my aid. Take these knots into your maternal hands this day; I beg you to undo them for the glory of God, once and for all, in the name of your Divine Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Anointing of the sick

Bishop Tom now explains who the Sacrament of the Sick is for. 

Bishop: Lord God, you have said to us through your apostle James ‘Are there people sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church, and let the priests pray over them anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick persons, and the Lord will raise them up. If they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them.’
Lord we have gathered here in your name and we ask you to be among us to watch over our brothers and sisters who seek healing and peace at your hands. We ask this with confidence for you live and reign for ever and ever.

Bishop: My brothers and sisters, in our prayer of faith let us appeal to God for our brothers and sisters:    

Come and strengthen them through this holy anointing: Lord have mercy

Lord have mercy
Free them from all harm: Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy
Free them from sin and all temptation: Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy
Relieve the sufferings of all the sick here present: Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy

Assist all those dedicated to the care of the sick: Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy
Give life and health to our brothers and sisters on whom we lay our hands in your name: Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy

The Bishop and priests silently raise their hands over the heads of the sick persons

Prayer of Thanksgiving over the Blessed Oil

Praise to you, God the almighty Father. You sent your Son to live among us and bring us salvation.    All:  Blessed be God who heals us in Christ
Praise to you God the only begotten Son, you humbled yourself to share in our humanity and you heal our infirmities.    All:  Blessed be God who heals us in Christ
Praise to you God the Holy Spirit, the Consoler. Your unfailing power gives us strength in our bodily weakness.   All:  Blessed be God who heals us in Christ

God of mercy, ease the sufferings and comfort the weakness of your servants here present whom the Church anoints with this holy oil.
All:  Amen


The bishop and priests will then go to those at the front with mobility difficulties. After this other people wishing to receive the Sacrament will be invited to come forward for anointing row by row as directed. The sick are anointed on the forehead and the palms of their hands as the bishop or priest says these words:

Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.
All: Amen

May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up
All: Amen

During the anointing we sing the following hymns as time allows

Immaculate Mary (Lourdes Hymn)

Immaculate Mary our hearts are on fire, that title so wondrous fills all our desire.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!

We pray for God’s glory, the Lord’s kingdom come. We pray for his vicar, our father, and Rome.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!

We pray for our mother the church upon earth, and bless, sweetest lady, the land of our birth.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!

For poor, sick, afflicted thy mercy we crave; and comfort the dying thou light of the grave.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!

There is no need, Mary, nor ever has been, which thou canst not succour, Immaculate Queen. 
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!

In grief and temptation, in joy or in pain, we’ll ask thee, our mother, nor seek thee in vain.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!

O bless us, dear lady, with blessings from heaven. And to our petitions let answer be given.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!

In death’s solemn moment, our mother, be nigh; as children of Mary help us when we die.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!
And crown thy sweet mercy with this special grace, to behold soon in heaven God’s ravishing face.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!

To God be all glory and worship for aye, and to God’s virgin mother an endless Ave. 
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave, ave Maria!

Lay your hands  

Lay your hands gently upon us
Let their touch render your peace
Let them bring You forgiveness and healing
Lay your hands gently lay your hands
You were sent to free the broken hearted
You were sent to give sight to the blind
You desire to heal all our illness
Lay your hands gently lay your hands.
Lord we come to You through one another
Lord we come to You in our need
Lord we come to You seeking wholeness
Lay your hands gently lay your hands

Be not afraid 

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst

You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way

You shall speak your words in foreign lands and they will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.

      Be not afraid, I go before you always

Come follow me, and I will give you rest  

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.

If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow’r of hell and death is at your side

Know that I am with you through it all 

      Be not afraid, I go before you always

Come follow me, and I will give you rest  

Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs.

Blessed are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you

      Be not afraid, I go before you always

Come follow me, and I will give you rest  

Final prayer

Father in heaven, through this holy anointing grant your servants here present comfort in their suffering. When they are afraid give them courage, when afflicted give them patience, when dejected afford them hope and when alone assure them of the support of your holy people. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen

Bishop: The Lord be with you
All: And with your Spirit
Bishop: May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit come down upon you and remain with you forever.
All: Amen

Daily Novena Hymn:  Hail Queen of Heav’n, the Ocean Star 

Hail, Queen of Heav’n, the ocean Star, guide of the wand’rer here below!
Thrown on life’s surge we claim thy care, save us from peril and from woe.
Mother of Christ, Star of the sea, pray for the wanderer, pray for me

O gentle, chaste, and spotless Maid, we sinners make our prayers through thee
Remind thy Son that He has paid the price of our iniquity.
Virgin most pure, Star of the sea, pray for the sinner, pray for me.

Sojourners in this vale of tears, to thee, blest Advocate, we cry,
Pity our sorrows, calm our fears, and soothe with hope our misery.
Refuge in grief, Star of the sea, pray for the mourner, pray for me.

And while to Him who reigns above, in Godhead One, in Persons Three,
The source of life, of grace, of love, homage we pay on bended knee;
Do thou, bright Queen, Star of the sea pray for thy children, pray for me

Thank you for coming to our Novena – Please feel free to take this copy service sheet away with you

Please stay behind for refreshments

A quote from Pope Francis:

“Illness, above all grave illness, always places human existence in crisis and brings with it questions that dig deep. Our first response may at times be one of rebellion: why has this happened to me? We can feel desperate, thinking that all is lost, that things no longer have meaning.

In these situations, faith in God is on the one hand tested, yet at the same time can reveal all of its positive resources. Not because faith makes illness, pain, or the questions which they raise, disappear, but because it offers a key by which we can discover the deepest meaning of what we are experiencing; a key that helps us to see how illness can be the way to draw nearer to Jesus who walks at our side, weighed down by the Cross. And this key is given to us by Mary, our Mother, who has known this way at first hand.”

(Message for the 24th World Day of the Sick, Sept. 15, 2015)