We are blessed and called to be God’s people.
We respond by being a blessing to others
1. WELCOME: When the processional ministers are ready at the rear of the Church, the master of ceremonies welcomes the people, introduces the ministers for the service, announces the entrance hymn, and asks the congregation to remain seated to better see the procession and the symbol. Because there is no formal ending, all announcements are made before the service.
2. ENTRANCE HYMN, PROCESSION, AND ENTHRONEMENT OF THE WATER: The procession includes the following ministers, who process in the order listed: water bearer, 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 water bearer in the customary reverence.
The presider takes the pitcher from the water bearer and fills the bowl placed on the table in the sanctuary. When the presider finishes, the music should come to a close. Facing the people, 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.
My dear friends,
in the first line of Genesis we read:
“In the beginning, when God created…a mighty wind
swept over the waters.”
As we gather this evening,
we ask God to stir up the power of the Holy Spirit
within us. (Pause)
Let us pray.
Loving God, we come together as your people
who have been graced with the sacrament of baptism.
Deepen our awareness of what this sacrament calls us to become,
and give us the courage to live it to the fullest.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, who is Lord forever and ever.
3. COMMISSIONING: The master of ceremonies introduces the commissioning. The missionaries stand before the presider who presents them with their mission cross (supplied by the Redemptorist) and commissions them to preach with these words:
“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.
Go forth and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
Preaching the Word of God is a most important task.
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 in confidence
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. R/ Amen.
4. PRAYER OVER THE PREACHER: The presider pauses a moment then 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. (Pause)
The water bearer gathers with the Presider around the preacher and places a hand on the preacher’s shoulder when the presider raises his hands for the blessing.
your word is a strength for your people.
As we begin our renewal,
We ask you to fill us with a great love
for the sacrament of our faith.
We beg you
to send the power of the Holy Spirit
into the mind and heart of Fr. ____________
as he speaks your Word this night.
Guide him and help all of us
to recognize your voice in his message.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. R/ Amen.
5. GOSPEL PROCLAMATION: An Alleluia or Lenten gospel verse is sung. The preacher proclaims a gospel of his choosing.
6. 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. BLESSING OF THE WATER: The presider and water bearer go to the table on which the glass bowl of water sits. The water bearer picks up the bowl of water and elevates it. The presider begins:
This water will be used to remind us of our baptism.
Let us ask God to bless it
and to keep us faithful to the Spirit entrusted to us.
After each invocation, your response is: Blessed be God.(Pause briefly)
Praise to you, God, all powerful Creator,
For you have gifted us with water
to cleanse and to give life. We pray.R/ Blessed be God!
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
Word made flesh
offered for us on a cross;
for in the blood and water flowing from your side,
and through your death and resurrection,
the Church was born. We pray. R/ Blessed be God!
Praise to you, God the Holy Spirit,
for you anointed Christ at the waters of the Jordan
so that we might all be baptized in you. We pray. R/ Blessed be God!
Lord God almighty,
hear the prayers of your people
as we celebrate our creation and redemption.
Bless + this water.
May it remind us of our baptism
and the joy of living as your people
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. R/ Amen
8. RENEWAL OF BAPTISMAL COMMITMENT: The presider continues:
Please stand. (Pause to allow people to stand and get settled)
I invite you to respond “I do”
to each of the following questions
as a sign to the Lord
that you will continue to strive
to make these promises a reality in your life.
Do you recognize God the Father
as Creator of heaven and earth,
who is recreating us
in his image and likeness,
and as the One who is Sovereign
over all nations and peoples? R/ I do.
Do you accept Jesus
as Son of the Father
and source of eternal life,
sent to redeem us
from our bondage to sin and death,
and as a model
for how to live your life? R/ I do.
As a disciple of Jesus,
do you agree to pray daily,
to meditate on the Scriptures,
to build community,
and to celebrate the sacraments,
especially the Eucharist? R/ I do.
As a disciple of Jesus,
do you acknowledge your need
for compassion and forgiveness
and your call to be compassionate and forgiving
toward those who offend you? R/ I do.
As a disciple of Jesus,
do you commit yourself
to a gospel spirit of poverty and detachment
and to resist our culture’s spirit
of consumerism and materialism? R/ I do.
As a disciple of Jesus,
do you dedicate yourself
to seek justice in your dealings with others,
to help others in their need and oppression,
and to witness to your faith
by your hope in God and your style of living? R/ I do.
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sin,
the resurrection of the dead,
and life everlasting? R/ I do.
Then may our loving God,
who has brought us to life
by the death and resurrection of Jesus,
and made us truly his children
by baptism in water and the Holy Spirit,
keep us faithful on our journey
to his Kingdom forever and ever. R/ Amen.
The presider pauses and together with the master of ceremonies distributes the blessed water into additional bowls. (The number of additional bowls needed is dictated by the number of communion stations used during Sunday Mass.) One bowl of blessed water is then placed at each communion station. Soft introductory music for “Come to the Water” should begin as the water is distributed. The music continues in the background as the presider continues.
Every time we enter the church,
we dip our hand into holy water
and make the sign of the cross.
This action reminds us that our baptism
gives us the right to be here.
When we leave the church,
we repeat the action to remind ourselves
that we are sent to be “Christ” to our world.
There is no formal closing song
or procession to conclude our service this evening.
Instead, come forward like you do for communion,
dip your hand into the holy water,
and make the sign of the cross with this holy water
as a reminder that you are sent to be Christ to our world.
Once you have blessed yourself with this holy water
you are free to leave the church for the social.
As you leave the church this evening,
go in peace and be a blessing to all you meet:
your spouse, your family,
your siblings, coworkers and classmates,
neighbors, and fellow parishioners.
Let your baptism come alive in our world.
9. DEPARTURE: The presider, followed by those in the procession, goes to the nearest bowl of holy water placed at one of the Sunday communion stations. All sign themselves. Then the presider and master of ceremonies gesture to the congregation to come forward and do the same. There is no formal procession out of ministers. Meanwhile, the choir sings or musicians continue to play an instrumental of “Come to the Water” until the church is empty.