Celebrating grandparents in our families and parishes

Clergy have been encouraged to highlight the role of grandparents in our families and parishes today, the Feast of Ss Joachim & Ann, the grandparents of Jesus.

In a letter to priests across the diocese, Fr Jeremy Milne of the Marriage and Family Life commission said: "The recent coronavirus lockdown has hit grandparents hard in separating them from their families for an extended period.

"Some of the most poignant images of this time have been those of young children and their grandparents greeting each other by joining hands on either side of a glass door or window. It highlighted the special relationship that exists between the generations."

In his letter he included a bidding prayer and blessing for priests to mention at Mass today. He also included Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI 's Prayer for Grandparents (see below).

He added: "As we slowly emerge from the lockdown restrictions it seems particularly fitting to give thanks and to commend all grandparents in prayer and affection to almighty God on the Feast of Ss Joachim & Anne, parents of Mary, grandparents of Jesus."

Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer for Grandparents

Lord Jesus,
you were born in the Virgin Mary,
the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them! They are a source of enrichment
for families, for the Church and for all of society.
Support them!  As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardians of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Lord Jesus,
help families and society
to value the presence and role of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which you give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of life without end. Amen.