The Elijah Cup
A Focal Point of Prayer for Vocations
Praying for vocations is the most powerful way to support vocations. A vocation is a call from the Holy Spirit, a gift from God that is nurtured in prayer. When we pray for vocations, we lift up to our Father those men and women who he is calling in a very special way. We hope that those who bring the cup home will continue to pray for vocations daily.
What is the Elijah Cup?
The purpose of the Elijah Cup, a consecrated chalice, is to provide a focal point of prayer. We are all aware of the need for vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate and to the religious life. But sometimes we forget just how powerful praying for an increase in vocations can be. If we pray with the faith of the widow of Zarapeth, our cup will never run dry! We will always have priests to bring us Jesus in the Eucharist.
In 1 Kings 17, during a drought, Elijah tells the poor widow of Zarapeth that if she makes him a small loaf of bread with the last of her flour and oil, her "jar of flour will not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the Lord sends rain upon the earth." In faith, the widow baked the bread and fed Elijah. For the next year, the widow, her son, and Elijah ate bread made from the bowl of flour and jug of oil.
The 2nd Vatican Counsel instructs us that it is the job of the laity to pray for and raise up vocations, and this has been echoed by Pope John Paul II in many of his teachings.
How does it work?
The Elijah Cup will be passed from family to family, each week at the 5:30pm Mass. The following Sunday they return the Elijah Cup with the gifts of bread and wine at the Offertory.
After the blessing of Children, the Elijah Cup will be presented to the next family. They receive a blessing and take the cup home, putting it in a place of honor. Each day for a week, during prayer time (morning, bedtime or at meals), they pray for an increase and perseverance of vocations.
A prayer journal also travels with the Elijah Cup. Each week the family, individual, or couple that has the cup enters a thought, prayer, or scripture verse. Over time, this diary will become a spiritual journal for the parish.
How will we manage/monitor it?
We will assign a Parish Coordinator who will:
Maintain a sign up process for families and individuals.
Contact the family who has the cup and the family who will be receiving the cup during the week they have it.
Maintain a display in a designated area of photos and other items of families with the Chalice. Not only will it become a way to pray for and promote vocations, but it will also build and foster community.
Who is sponsoring the Elijah Cup?
The Knights of Columbus, Catholic Daughters and the Youth Ministries have volunteered to purchase the Chalice and supplies.