*I commend to you a charming and interesting little book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller, himself a modern-day shepherd, for a closer look at the connections between the Psalm's imagery and real-life sheep farming, line by line.
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY
Leader: ~ Holy Christ, Loving Shepherd, lead our souls to Your verdant pasture to lay aside our earthly wants for your eternal shelter. May our hearts and minds be nourished by Your Word and Sacrifice, learn to know Your voice as You know ours, and answer Your call.
~ Holy Christ, Loving Shepherd, in the violence, hatred, and desperation of Your times, You stood peaceably as those in authority maligned and executed You. Grant us courage and fortitude in our own desperate times to stand up, peacefully yet persistently, to urge the political leaders of our Planet, our Country, and our Community, to legislate and participate in peace, equity, and mercy, as well as economic and environmental justice for all. We pray especially for: Joseph, our President; Kamala, our Vice-President; add your own petitions
~ Holy Christ, Loving Shepherd, comfort the hearts, restore the hope, and give rest from anxiety, for all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, and for all who provide love and support. We now join our hearts together to pray for those in need… add your own petitions
~ Holy Christ, Loving Shepherd, we give great thanks, through our mortal tears, for those who have gone through the darkest valley to now live again and dwell forever in the brightest light of Your Holy House. We pray especially for… add your own petitions
~ Holy Christ, Loving Shepherd, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials… add your own petitions
~ Holy Christ, Loving Shepherd, with glad and generous hearts our Earthly Pastoral Shepherds break and sanctify the Bread of Life to bring You to us in prayer and teaching. Bless them in their work with and for us, that together we may feed all Your sheep with goodness and mercy. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
The Celebrant adds: Almighty God, Master of Creation, as You have anointed us for all the days of our lives, infuse us with the desire to walk the right pathways, gather all Your sheep into one flock, and to love, serve, and abide in and through the Risen Christ. We ask this though Jesus, our Shepherd and Redeemer; and the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of our souls; who together with You, reign as One God, forever and ever. Amen.