Rite of Investiture and Commissioning of the Saint John Berchmans Society
Rite of Investiture and Commissioning of the Saint John Berchmans Society, a society dedicated to service of Jesus prese...
RITE OF INVESTITURE AND COMMISSIONING IN THE SOCIETY OF SAINT JOHN BERCHMANS The rite described takes place during Mass. It may be used only for those candidates are to be commissioned after completing the required period of formation. The Mass may correspond to the liturgy of the day, or the Votive Mass of Saint John Berchmans may be used, in accordance with the rubrics. It is proper for the Superior/Head Chaplain who will invest and commission the members to preside over the Eucharistic sacrifice. The investiture ordinarily takes place at the chair; if circumstances so dictate, the chair may be placed in front of the altar. Seats should be so arranged in the sanctuary for those to be invested that the faithful have a complete view of the liturgical rites. It is desirable that the paschal candle is placed prominently in the sanctuary. If using candles for the rite, it would be appropriate for those who are going to be invested to carry them at the entrance procession, placing them near the paschal candle and retake them for the rite. Enough bread and wine for consecration should be prepared for the ministers, those to be invested, and their parents, relatives, and fellow members. If only one chalice is used, it should be sufficiently large.
INTRODUCTORY RITES When the people and those who will be invested and commissioned are assembled and everything is ready, the procession moves through the church to the altar in the usual way, while the choir and people sing the entrance antiphon of the Mass. Those to be invested and commissioned may fittingly join in the procession. The soutane and surplice may be carried by a companion of the men to be invested. When they come to the sanctuary all make the customary reverence to the altar and go to their places; then Mass continues.
LITURGY OF THE WORD The Liturgy of the Word takes place as usual.
RITE OF INVESTITURE The rite of investiture begins after the Gospel. The presider sits at the chair.
CALLING OF THE CANDIDATES The candidates are called by the Moderator of the Society.
Those to be invested with the sacred cassock, please come forward. Then their names are called by the Moderator. Each one answers: Present, and goes to the Presider, before whom he makes a sign of reverence.
PRESENTATION AND ELECTION OF THE CANDIDATES When all the candidates are in their places before the Presider, the Moderator continues:
Reverend Father, may I present to you the candidates who desire to be invested with the sacred cassock. Then the Presider addressed the Moderator:
Do you judge them to be worthy? The moderator responds:
Upon careful examination, and having entrusted the matter to the Lord, who calls in prayer, I have found these candidates worthy to be invested with the cassock. Then the Presider addressed the Moderator:
Relying on the mercy of God, we choose these men, for service in the liturgy. The people responds:
Thanks be to God.
HOMILY The Presider delivers the homily, choosing particular themes related to the rite that will be celebrated.
EXAMINATIONS After the homily, those to who will be invested and commissioned stand, and the Presider examines them on their readiness to serve the Lord in the Liturgy, the Eucharist, and the Priesthood. The Presider then questions them:
In baptism, you have been consecrated by God: are you resolved to unite yourself more closely to Him and the mission of our Church by your service in the altar? They answer:
I am. The presider continues:
Do you resolve to be authentic witnesses of the love of God in living out your lives as Christians? They answer:
I am. The presider continues:
Do you resolve to devote yourselves to prayer, for your needs and the needs of others? They answer:
The presider continues:
Do you resolve to discharge the ministry being entrusted to you with humility and love, in the service of Christ and his people? They answer:
I am. Then, the Presider confirms their intentions by saying:
May Almighty God grant you His grace to fulfil what you resolve.
THE PROMISE The Presider then invites the candidates to read the formula of their promise:
My dear candidates, declare now your intentions, before the Lord and His people. The candidates kneel down and read the following formula:
In praise and glory of the Most Holy Trinity, I, (N.N.) desire to respond to the Lord’s invitation to serve at His altar by living the Eucharistic Mystery in all its fullness. Inspired by the self-giving of Christ Jesus, and together with my brothers in the ministry, I commit to the live, in the Church, at the service of the Liturgy, the Eucharist, and the Priesthood. I entrust myself to the help of Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and Saint John Berchmans, our patron; to the prayers of my brothers in the Ministry, and that of the entire Christian people. May God look with favor on this humble offering before His Divine Majesty. The Presider then says:
May God accept your good intentions by offering yourselves through your humble servanthood, and assist, bless, inspire, and strengthen you, in carrying out your ministry. The candidates reply:
PRESENTATION OF THE CASSOCK Accompanied by sponsors, each candidate comes before the Presider, carrying with them the cassock. He kneels before the Presider. The Presider hands over the cassock to the candidate, saying:
Receive this garment: by wearing it faithfully, may you conform yourself to Jesus, who came to Earth to serve. The candidate stands, makes a sign of reverence, and returns to his place. When all the candidates have received their cassock, they put it on, followed by the surplice. Meanwhile, an appropriate hymn is sung.
COMMISSIONG TO THE MINISTRY After vesting, the candidates stand before the presider. Then, the presider, standing and with hands extended, commissions the candidates:
God of glory, Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, has shown us that true worship comes from a humble and contrite heart. Bless our brothers who have responded to the needs of our Chaplaincy, and who wish to commit themselves to Your service as humble servants of Your Altar. Grant that their ministry may be fruitful and our worship pleasing in your sight. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. All reply:
Amen. After the commissioning, the newly commissioned Altar Servers are welcomed by the Presider and the other members of the Society who are serving in the celebration. Meanwhile an appropriate hymn may be sung.
GENERAL INTERCESSIONS The rite fittingly concludes with the general intercessions (prayer of the faithful). Then the mass continues, as usual.