“Almighty ever-living God, lead us to a share in the joys of heaven,
so that the humble flock may reach where the brave Shepherd has gone before.”
- From the Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter
The Fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Vocations Sunday or Good Shepherd Sunday, and is marked as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The purpose of this day is to fulfil Jesus' instruction to “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38). While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates her attention on raising up shepherds for God's people - vocations to Holy Orders (the priesthood and diaconate) and to the religious life - while encouraging all who are discerning their vocation to pray more earnestly that they may hear and respond to God's call.
The Diocesan Vocations Office produces materials for our parishes, schools and universities to mark this day. Physical copies of posters and prayer cards are sent to parishes and schools in the diocese and digital copies can be downloaded below.
Prayer for Vocations Sunday 2021 - 25th April
God our Father,
you call each of us to follow Jesus, your Son,
on the path he has marked out for us -
the way of charity, service and fulfilment.
May the homes and parishes
of the Archdiocese of Birmingham
be blessed with ever-renewed dedication
to the work of building up your kingdom here on earth.
May those whom you call
to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life
faithfully give themselves
to the service of your Church.
Prompted and strengthened by your Holy Spirit,
may I respond generously to the call
to follow you each day and live out my vocation,
to give you glory, for the good of those around me
and for my own happiness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Vocations Sunday 2022 will be marked on 8th May.