St. Alphonsus Liguori

St. Alphonsus Liguori

With him is plentiful redemption


Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Our Mother of Perpetual Help


Sunday Evening Service
God's plan of salvation and our response

1. WELCOME: the master of ceremonies welcomes the faithful. After introducing the ministers for the service and the evening’s symbol and theme, he concludes with these or similar words

Love is conveyed by words and confirmed in deeds.
Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God
and that the Word of God is Jesus Christ.
The words of the Bible proclaimed
and heard in faith make Jesus present.
Let us pray for a deeper willingness to live this Word
in a way that the presence of Christ is confirmed
and his deeds on our behalf continue.

The congregation is instructed to remain seated during the entrance hymn to see better the symbol as it is carried through the church. The master of ceremonies announces the entrance hymn.

2. ENTRANCE HYMN, PROCESSION, AND ENTHRONEMENT OF THE BIBLE: The procession includes the following ministers, who process in the order listed: Bible bearer, censer and boat bearers, preacher (Redemptorist), and presider.

While the entrance hymn is sung, the ministers process down the center aisle and each minister takes his/her assigned place at the sanctuary steps to await the arrival of the presider.

On arriving at the sanctuary, the presider leads the ministers except the Bible bearer in the customary reverence.

The presider takes the Bible from its bearer, steps to the center of the sanctuary, raises the Bible, solemnly shows it to the congregation, and then enthrones it in the prepared place, usually on a pedestal in front of the altar. The presider returns to the center of the sanctuary. At this point the entrance hymn should conclude, and the presider begins:


In the name of the Father, + and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

R/ And with your spirit.

3. INCENSING OF THE BIBLE: Following the greeting, the censer and boat bearers approach the presider. The presider puts incense in the censer, moves to the place of enthronement, and proceeds to incense the enthroned Bible while the master of ceremonies says the following:

Worshipers have always made use of incense.
Its pleasing smoke rises like prayer to the heavens.
When the Word took flesh in Jesus,
the Magi offered him incense.
We continue this act of homage.

On completion of the incensing, the censer and boat are carried to the sacristy, even outside. The presider returns to the center of the sanctuary.

4. COMMISSIONING OF THE REDEMPTORIST PREACHER(S): The Redemptorist missionary(ies) stand(s) before the presider, who while holding high the mission crucifix (supplied by the Redemptorists) so all can see the crucifix, commissions the preacher(s) with these words:


Christ said to his apostles:
“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.
Go forth and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
Christ commissioned the apostles to preach,
and the Church continues this saving mission.

In the name of Christ the Good Shepherd,
I, as pastor,
hereby commission Fr. _____________ and Fr. _______________
to preach the Word of God here at _____________ Parish,
in the manner of the great apostle Paul.
May the Lord bless their work
and make it fruitful.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
R/ Amen.

5. PRAYER OVER THE PREACHER: The preacher of the evening kneels before the presider and the presider continues:


As the minister in the procession joins me near Father __________,
Please join me in this blessing prayer
by extending your hands when I extend mine
and silently praying along with me.

The ministers in the sanctuary form a semicircle around the preacher and place a hand on the preacher’s shoulder when the presider raises his hands for the blessing.

Lord God,
we thank you for the gift of your love in our lives.
Tonight we ask that you pour that love into each of us.
Open our minds and hearts
so that we may truly hear your word.
Bless our preacher, who is your son and our brother.
May the words of Fr. ____________
touch our hearts and lead us to you.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Savior forever and ever.
R/ Amen

6. SERMON: The presider and ministers take a seat in a convenient place from which to see the preacher and hear the sermon. Reserve a pew for this purpose.

The Redemptorist preacher proclaims the evening sermon. The sermon is followed by two or three minutes of soft background instrumental music that is not a distraction and allows people time to think and reflect on what they have just heard.

7. VENERATION OF THE BIBLE: The master of ceremonies introduces the planned response to the preached word in these or similar words.

Every weekend, we, the people of God,
gather to listen to God’s Word and share the Eucharist.
We welcome the Word of God, especially the gospel,
when we sing out “Alleluia” or another appropriate phrase.
As a sign that we believe that God is present in the Scriptures
and that God speaks to us through these sacred writings,
that we welcome God’s message,
and commit ourselves to its direction for our lives,
we invite you to come forward now, communion style,
to venerate the inspired Word of God
by touching or bowing to the holy Scriptures.

Ministers come forward and take their places with their Bibles. The presider enters the sanctuary, retrieves the Bible from the place of enthronement, and goes to his assigned place. Throughout the veneration a hymn is sung or instrumental music played.

8. GOSPEL PROCLAMATION: When all have reverenced the Bible, the assisting ministers return to their places within the congregation and the musicians lead the congregation in an Alleluia or a Lenten gospel verse. Meanwhile, the presider, with Bible in hand, processes to the ambo and there proclaims the selected gospel reading (selected beforehand by the preacher). The presider introduces the reading with the customary greeting, The Lord be with you; awaits the response; continues with the announcement, A reading from the holy gospel according to N., and makes the sign of the cross on the book and then on his forehead, lips, and breast.

9. GENERAL INTERCESSIONS: The general intercessions immediately follow the gospel reading. The presider begins:


My brothers and sisters,
we have listened to God’s Word.
We respond to the Word preached to us
with our intercessions on behalf of the Church and all people.
To the following petitions, respond: God, hear our prayer.

1. That all of us may come to believe that we are sacred
and made in the image and likeness of God.
We pray to God.
R/God, hear our prayer.

2. That God’s unconditional love for us
may inspire us to a deep life of faith.
We pray to God.
R/God, hear our prayer.

3. That we may always love the written Word of God
and allow it to ignite within us a passion for life.
We pray to God.
R/God, hear our prayer.

4. That we may truly learn to love one another
in joy and in sorrow,
in the best of times and the worst of times.
We pray to God.
R/God, hear our prayer.

5. That those who do not know God’s love
and anyone here tonight who is hurting in any way
may experience the comfort of the Lord’s love for them.
We pray to God.
R/God, hear our prayer.

Lord God,
we thank you for the gift of your love in our lives.
You love us unconditionally
and call us to love one another.
Help us always to be open to your love,
and may we love our sisters and brothers
as you love us.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

The Alleluia or Lenten gospel verse is repeated.

10. SOLEMN BLESSING WITH THE BIBLE: During the singing of the Alleluia or Lenten gospel verse, the presider takes the Bible from the ambo, processes to the center of the sanctuary, faces the congregation, and silently blesses the congregation with the Bible. He then returns the Bible to its place of enthronement.

11. ANNOUNCEMENTS: The master of ceremonies makes the following announcements: an invitation to fellowship after the recessional hymn; the number and title of the recessional hymn; the time for daily Mass with the missionary(ies); and the symbol, topic, and time for tomorrow evening’s service.

12. DISMISSAL: At the conclusion of the announcements, the presider goes to the center of the sanctuary and dismisses the congregation in these words:


God’s living Word proclaims our salvation in Christ.
Let us take what we have heard tonight
into our homes, workplaces, and schools.
Now go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
R/ Thanks be to God.

13. RECESSIONAL: The presider and other ministers from the opening procession gather at the foot of the sanctuary. With the presider, all make the appropriate reverence, turn, and process down the center aisle lead by the Bible bearer. The Bible remains enthroned in the sanctuary.