Liturgy for the Feast of St Valentine

February 14.
In Europe, this is also the Feast of Saints Cyril & Methodius, Patrons of Europe, and whose feast takes precedence.

Entrance Antiphon
This truly is a Martyr, who shed his blood for the name of Christ, who did not fear the threats of judges but attained the heavenly kingdom.

Opening Prayer
Almighty ever-living God,
By whose gift blessed Valentine fought
For righteousness’ sake even until death,
Grant, we pray, through his intercession,
That we may bear every adversity for the sake of your love
And hasten with all our strength towards you
Who alone are life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

First Reading
A reading from the letter of St James. (James 1:2-4, 12)

You will always have your trials, but when they come, try to treat them as a happy privilege; you understand that your faith is only put to the test to make you patient but patience too is to have its practical results so that you will become more fully developed, complete, with nothing missing.
Happy the man who stands firm when trials come. He has proved himself and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

The word of the Lord.

Gospel
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John. (John 12:24-26)

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you
and your joy be complete.
This is my commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends, if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants anymore,
because a servant does not know his master’s business;
I call you friends,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learned from my Father.
You did not choose me, no,
I chose you;
and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit,
fruit that will last;
and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.
What I command you, is to love one another.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Prayer of the Faithful
Lord, as we come to praise and worship you as Lord of our lives on this, the feast of St Valentine, help us to imitate his love for you and for each other. We ask you to listen and to grant our prayers:

We pray for all who have entered the Sacrament of Marriage: that they may be strengthened through prayer and the sacraments; that they may be a witness to the world of the joy of their lives together.
Lord, hear us.

For those who have recently become engaged: we thank God for them and pray for them that the Lord will help them in practical ways as they prepare for their lives together and that they will be blessed with good health and material blessings.
Lord, hear us.

We hear of many for whom marriage has broken down or where sickness or sadness seems to be their lot: Lord, you have promised we are never on our own, be with those who suffer and grant them your healing in their painful situation.
Lord, hear us.

We pray that the ideals of Christian Marriage may always be preserved: those ideals which value friendship, life, mutual help and love. May our homes be as that of the Holy Family – open to God and neighbour.
Lord, hear us.

Finally, let us pray that, like the seed that falls to the ground and dies, we may die daily to our own selfishness so that the true wheat of love may grow in our lives for others to see and take heart.
Lord, hear us.

Let us pray,
Lord, home is where love is meant to be and where you tell us you are present. Help us to make that presence real in our homes and communities by banishing evil and installing instead your grace. We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord.

Blessing of Rings
Lord,
bless these rings.
Grant that those who wear them
may always be faithful to each other.
May they do your will
and live in peace with you in mutual love.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Prayer over the gifts
We offer you sacrificial gifts, O Lord,
To commemorate your blessed Martyr Valentine,
Whom no temptation could separate
From the unity of the Body of Christ.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

Preface
The Preface of Martyrs may be used

Prayer after Communion
Made new by these sacred mysteries, we pray, O Lord,
That, imitating the wondrous constancy of blessed Valentine,
We may merit an eternal reward for suffering endured.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.