How to Use Each Issue of Sunday by Sunday

Sunday by Sunday provides adults a ready-to-use tool for reflecting on the Sunday gospels.  Many people use Sunday by Sunday alone but the prayer, gospel in reader parts, and questions have groups in mind.  This distinctive format grows out of the spiritual practice the Sisters of St. Joseph call Sharing of the Heart.  

PDF Version of How to Use Each Issue of Sunday by Sunday

The sisters originated in small groups of devout women, who experienced God grasp them to respond to the needs of their time when 90% of the people were poor (1650, France).  The first sisters divided the city, rolled up their sleeves, and depended on Sharing of the Heart to direct their work and life together.

In the give and take of Sunday by Sunday conversations, people witness how the Holy Spirit acts in each other’s lives.  We remember Jesus’ story and link it to our own.  We glimpse ways to transform ourselves, our homes, our workplaces, our parishes, and our human future together.  

We live in Jesus’ promise to be with us whenever two or more gather in his name.  We are church when we gather together. 

1.  Pray 

Each Sunday by Sunday issue provides prayer and small rituals to begin and end sessions together. 

2.  Share Life Experience 

The cover introduces life experiences and themes that link to the gospel.  Have one person read the cover aloud or take turns reading paragraphs.  The stories on the cover aim to generate stories in the group.  Take direction from the question.

3.  Proclaim the Gospel 

The gospel is printed in reader parts, which brings to life Jesus’ dialogues with people in the stories and invites us hearers into the conversation.  Take parts and proclaim the Word.

4.  Reflect on the Gospel and Life 

Sunday by Sunday involves readers in interpreting the gospels, using bible background, and asking creative questions scholars are asking today.  Questions are what Sunday by Sunday does best, encouraging participants to connect their life experience and Jesus’ message.  

Take turns reading sections and responding to questions that interest the group.  Open-ended questions invite talk that transforms us.

5.  Explore the First Reading 

Each weekly issue provides historical background on the first Sunday reading, reflection on the reading itself, and questions for faith sharing.  Issues sometimes use parts of the second readings for prayer.

6.  Prayer 

The closing prayers often invite petitions or commitments that draw the session toward future service in the  local or global world.

Do Something

Each Sunday by Sunday suggests ways for groups and individuals to put faith into action.  The works of charity—staffing food shelves, for instance—help provide for people’s basic needs.  The work of justice involves us in changing systems that have adverse effects on our neighbors in our city, country, and world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Use a mutual invitation process.  The first person to respond to a question invites another to speak.  The second person can comment or pass and in turn invites a third person to respond.  Continue until all have joined in.  Consider agreeing as a group to allow all to make a first comment before anyone makes a second.

Engage the questions that interest the group.  Questions aim at different age and interest groups.  No one group needs to talk about them all.

Almost anyone.  SUNDAY BY SUNDAY is ready to use.  A leader simply helps move a group through an issue.  Because SUNDAY BY SUNDAY is about living the gospel, everyone is an expert.  Participants can take turns leading.

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