January 15. Sunday 2A. On this Sunday, expecting that most people would be back from holidays and starting school and work, Fr Fidelis and the PPC had prepared a Parish Dedication ceremony. They saw this as keeping the call to synodality in mind with its themes of communion, participation, mission. “You are all called to be disciples, followers of Christ,” Fr Fidelis told the congregation, “so everyone can be commissioned to do the work you have to do, couples, parents and children, teachers and catechists, workers out in the world and those who assist in the Church. Let us dedicate ourselves to God and to building up God’s kingdom.”
Scripture. Paul called by God to be an apostle and our brother Sosthenes to those sanctified in Christ Jesus called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours, ‘Grace and peace.’ 1 Cor 1. Pope Francis. It is this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium.” This journey, which follows “renewal” proposed by the Second Vatican Council, is a gift and a task. By journeying together and reflecting together on the journey that has been made, the Church will be able to learn through experience which processes can help her to live communion, to achieve participation, to open Herself to mission.
DEDICATION CEREMONY AND BLESSING. Introduction.
At the beginning of a new year in homes, school or parish many dedicated people take up their task and mission of witnessing to their faith, expressing love, mercy and care for creation in the Church and the World as a Family of Families. Witnessing is an outward expression of faith with the tasks of worship, teaching and service in ministry to one another, to God and in care of creation. The parish priest, deacons, assistant ministers of the Eucharist and of the Word, members of the Parish Pastoral Council, choir, liturgy committee, catechists and teachers all have a recognized form of ministry. Members of different sodalities and many Catholics who work in a voluntary capacity in the wider community perform acts of service as an expression of their faith and merciful love. Family members too, as the domestic church and the first carers of God’s creation, perform the same tasks as they pray, teach and serve each other with merciful love. They are bread-winners in the world and home-makers carrying out their chores, large and small, as well as pray and play together. This responsibility, started with Baptism, and the call to missionary discipleship, concerns all people and all of creation.
(The themes of DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT can be incorporated into the Sunday liturgy where all members are asked to recommit themselves to their forms of service.)
COMMISSIONING by priest, deacon or pastoral council
I commission you, the People of God, to serve God and one another as you dedicate yourselves to your particular tasks of worship, teaching and service in order to build up the Kingdom of God in all of creation. Through our common commitment may we build the Church in our homes, the parish and the wider community to be a visible sign of God’s presence in the world. I pledge my support to you as we work together in our ministry.
We, the People of God, in our families and the community commit ourselves to our tasks of worship, teaching and service and dedicate ourselves to build up God’s kingdom in all of creation to the best of our ability.
BLESSING. May almighty God, the Father bless you, the Son accompany you and the Holy Spirit inspire and guide you in your tasks ahead.