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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Blessing of Those Appointed as Catechists

Description:

491 A suitable celebration of the word of God or a eucharistic celebration, as provided in this chapter, is the preferable occasion for celebrating the rite for the blessing of those who are appointed to serve the local Church as catechists.

492 The present order may be used by a priest or deacon. While maintaining the structure and chief elements of the rite, the celebrant should adapt the celebration to the circumstances of the place and the people involved.

Prayer:

A. ORDER OF BLESSING WITHIN A CELEBRATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

INTRODUCTORY RITES

493 When the community has gathered, a suitable song may be sung. After the singing, the celebrant says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

494 The celebrant greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture. May God the Father of mercies, who wills that all be saved, be with you.

All make the following or some other suitable reply. And also with you.

495 In the following or similar words, the celebrant briefly addresses those present, in order to prepare them for the celebration and explain the rite. For the pastoral activity of the Church the cooperation of a great many people is needed, so that communities as well as individuals may advance to full maturity in faith and continually show forth their faith through the celebration of the liturgy, through study, and through their manner of life.

This cooperation is provided by those who devote themselves to catechesis. Enlightened by God's word and the teaching of the Church, catechists impart to others an initiation or a deeper formation in those realities that they themselves have learned as truths to be followed in living and to be celebrated in liturgy.

In this celebration we will bless the name of the Lord for giving us such co-workers and pray that through the Holy Spirit they will receive the grace they need in their service to the Church.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

496 A reader, another person present, or the celebrant reads either the following text of sacred Scripture or one taken preferably from the readings given in the Lectionary for Mass in Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, "For the Spread of the Gospel" (see endnote 17) or "For the Ministers of the Church" (see endnote 18). Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the apostle Paul to the Romans:

10:9-15 How beautiful are the feet of those who bring tidings of peace, joy, and salvation. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. For the scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!"

497 As circumstances suggest, the following responsorial psalm may be sung or said, or some other suitable song.

R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Psalm 96 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. Sing to the LORD, bless his name. R.

Announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. R.

Give to the LORD, you families of nations, give to the LORD glory and praise; give to the LORD the glory due his name! R.

Say among the nations: The LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the people with equity. R.

498 As circumstances suggest, the celebrant may give those present a brief explanation of the biblical text, so that they may understand through faith the meaning of the celebration.

INTERCESSIONS

499 The intercessions are then said. The celebrant introduces them and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the intentions. From the following intentions those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The celebrant says: Since God wills the salvation of all, let us pray to him in these words:

R. Lord, draw all people to yourself.

Or: R. Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting minister: Father, grant that all people will come to know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: Send workers into your harvest, so that your name will be glorified among the nations. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: You sent the disciples of Jesus to preach the Gospel; help us to spread the victory of his cross. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: Make us docile to the teaching of the apostles and our lives consistent with the truths we believe. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: As you call us to serve you in our brothers and sisters, make us the ministers of your truth. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: Keep us as faithful ministers of your Church, so that, having taught others, we ourselves may be found faithful in your service. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: May the grace of the Holy Spirit guide our hearts and our lips, so that we may remain constant in loving and praising you. (For this we pray:) R.

PRAYER OF BLESSING

500 With hands outstretched, the celebrant says the prayer of blessing.

With your fatherly blessing, Lord, strengthen these servants of yours in their resolve to dedicate themselves as catechists. Grant that they will strive to share with others what they themselves derive from pondering your word and studying the Church's teaching. And let them gladly join those they teach in honoring and serving your name.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

501 Or: Lord God, source of all wisdom and knowledge, you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us and to proclaim his message of faith, hope, and love to all nations.

In your goodness bless our brothers and sisters who have offered themselves as catechists for your Church. Strengthen them with your gifts that they may teach by word and example the truth which comes from you.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All reply: Amen.

CONCLUDING RITE

502 Facing the catechists, the celebrant concludes the rite by saying: In Christ God has revealed his love and his truth. May he make you witnesses to the Gospel and to the divine love. R. Amen.

The Lord Jesus promised to be with his Church until the end of the world. May he give power to your actions and your words. R. Amen.

May the Spirit of the Lord be with you, so that you may help the ministers of his word. R. Amen.

Then he blesses all present. And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son + and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.

503 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

B. ORDER OF BLESSING WITHIN MASS

504 If the rubrics permit, the Mass, "For the Laity," provided in the Roman Missal in Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions, may be used, as circumstances suggest, with the readings that are provided in the Lectionary for Mass (see endnote 19).

505 The homily follows the gospel reading. In it the celebrant, basing himself on the sacred text, gives an explanation of the celebration pertinent to the particular place and the people involved.

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

506 The general intercessions follow, either in the form usual at Mass or in the form given here. The celebrant concludes the general intercessions with the prayer of blessing, unless it is thought better to have the prayer of blessing at the end of Mass as a prayer over the people. From the following intentions those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The celebrant says: Since God wills the salvation of all, let us pray to him in these words:

R. Lord, draw all people to yourself.

Or: R. Lord, hear our prayer.

Assisting minister: Father, grant that all people will come to know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: Send workers into your harvest, so that your name will be glorified among the nations. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: You sent the disciples of Jesus to preach the Gospel; help us to spread the victory of his cross. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: Make us docile to the teaching of the apostles and our lives consistent with the truths we believe. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: As you call us to serve you in our brothers and sisters, make us the ministers of your truth. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: Keep us as faithful ministers of your Church, so that, having taught others, we ourselves may be found faithful in your service. (For this we pray:) R.

Assisting minister: May the grace of the Holy Spirit guide our hearts and our lips, so that we may remain constant in loving and praising you. (For this we pray:) R.

PRAYER OF BLESSING

507 With hands outstretched, the celebrant says the prayer of blessing.

With your fatherly blessing, Lord, strengthen these servants of yours in their resolve to dedicate themselves as catechists. Grant that they will strive to share with others what they themselves derive from pondering your word and studying the Church's teaching. And let them gladly join those they teach in honoring and serving your name.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Or: Lord God, source of all wisdom and knowledge, you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us and to proclaim his message of faith, hope, and love to all nations. In your goodness bless our brothers and sisters who have offered themselves as catechists for your Church. Strengthen them with your gifts that they may teach by word and example the truth which comes from you.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All reply: Amen.

508 But as an alternative, if this seems more opportune, the prayer of blessing may be used at the end of Mass after the following or some other invitation. Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing.

After the prayer of blessing, the celebrant always adds: And may almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son, + and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.

Endnotes: 17. See Lectionary for Mass (2nd ed., 1981), nos. 872-876 (Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, I. For the Church, 11. For the Spread of the Gospel). 18. See ibid., nos. 848-851 (6. For the Ministers of the Church). 19. See Lectionary for Mass (2nd ed., 1981), nos. 862-866 (Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, I. For the Church, 9. For the Laity).

Prayer Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989
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