Dublin Diocesan Celebration of the Day for Consecrated Life 3 February 2014
Entrance Song Alleluia, Praise the Lord All You Nations (Fintan O’Carroll)
All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia
Opening Prayer Let us pray,
God of love and providence,
You invite women and men to consecrate their lives in the service of the Gospel.
Bless their generosity in responding to your call
Sustain them in their ministry
Renew their commitment to their vocation.
Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Psalm 141 My Prayers Rise Like Incense (Chant)
All sing: My prayers rise like incense,
My hands like the evening offering.
Intro 1 Early Christian Communities
The followers of Jesus remained faithful to the values of the community and the prayers that they experienced through his ministry and to the breaking of the bread. Some Christians sought a closer relationship with Jesus in prayer, contemplation and isolation. St. Anthony of Egypt, sometimes called the ‘Father of Monasticism’, who died in 356, lived such a life of solitude but also influenced many others to live in communities of hermits. John Cassian is noted for bringing the ideas and practices of Egyptian monasticism to the early medieval West in his famous institutes from which this quote is taken.
Reflection Preface – The Institutes (John Cassian) (Addressed to St. Castor of Apt in France)
‘You are setting out to construct a true and spiritual temple for God not out of unfeeling stones but out of a community of holy people, one that is not temporal and corruptible but eternal and impregnable; and you also desire to consecrate very precious vessels to the Lord, not forged out of the dumb metal of gold and silver but out of holy souls that shine in the fullness of innocence, righteousness, and chastity and that bear within themselves the indwelling Christ the King.’
Song The Hermit’s Song (Liam Lawton)
Intro 2 Irish Monasticism
By the end of the 6th century the rule of St. Benedict found its place in many monastic communities in Western Europe. From the beginning of the 6th century the church in Ireland was dominated by Celtic monasticism. Clonard achieved great fame for its school from which many students branched off and set up new monasteries such as Ciarán of Clonmacnoise and Columba of Iona. Irish monks later travelled to the mainland of Europe where they established monasteries at Bobbio, St. Gallen, Annegray and many more. Next year we will celebrate the 1500th anniversary of the death of St. Columbanus in 615 A.D. In memory of all the monastic communities let us pray together the Prayer of St. Columba.
Prayer Prayer of St Columba
All say: May the Lord be a sure path beneath your feet, a bright light before you, a kindly shepherd behind you; this day, this night and always. Amen.
Writing about St. Brigid, Seán Ó Duinn, a scholar of Celtic spirituality, states that ‘from an early period she has been linked with the church of Kildare where she is reputed to have founded a monastery and, as abbess, ruled over priests and nuns. She stands unchallenged as the supreme example of charity to those in need.’ We now sing her praises – Gabham Molta Bríde.
Song Gabham Molta Bríde (Traditional)
Intro 4 Medieval Mystics
In the medieval period we observe the rise of mystical writings from men and women many of whom were members of religious communities. Hildegarde of Bingen, a Benedictine Abbess, Clare of Assisi, Co-founder of the Poor Clares, Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart, both Dominican Friars, Julian of Norwich, English Anchoress, Catherine of Siena, a Tertiary of the Dominican Order, Teresa of Avila, Co-Foundress of the Discalced Carmelites with John of the Cross, and many more.
Hildegarde was also a composer and a musician. We listen and reflect on her composition O Pastor Animarum/O Shepherd of Souls and later in the service we will hear the consoling and healing words of Julian – All Will Be Well.
O Shepherd of souls and first voice
through whom all creation was summoned, now to you,
to you may it give pleasure and dignity to liberate us from our miseries and languishing.
Song O Pastor Animarum (Hildegarde of Bingen)
Reading Isaiah 42:6-7
Thus says the Lord: I have called you to serve the cause of right; I have taken you by the hand and formed you; I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.
Intro 5 Mendicants
The four great Mendicant Orders founded in the second millennium and that are active today are the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), the Friars Minor (Franciscans), the Carmelites and the Hermits of St. Augustine. They combined the contemplative life with preaching the Word of God and in this way found their niche among the people they served offering education, charity, respect and prayer in return for a complete dependence on their generosity. Their work for justice and peace is an enduring sign of their wholesome response to the prophetic vision of Isaiah which we have just heard. Their leaders such as Francis of Assisi continue to inspire us today to be instruments of peace, to have hearts of charity, to be stewards of creation and wellsprings of prayer.
Song Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace (Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi – Sebastian Temple)
All sing: Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love,
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.
O master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved, as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
In giving of ourselves that we receive,
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.
Reflection He Asked For Charity (St. Francis of Assisi)
God came to my house and asked for charity.
And I fell on my knees and cried, “Beloved,
What may I give?”
“Just love,” He said.
Song Brother Sun and Sister Moon (Donovan)
Reading Mark 1:35
In the morning long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went to a lonely place and prayed there.
Reflection Rest In Prayer (St. Catherine of Siena)
The sun hears the fields talking about effort
and the sun smiles,
and whispers to me,
“Why don’t the fields just rest,
For I am willing to do everything
to help them grow?“
Rest, my dears in prayer.
Song Nada Te Turbe (St. Teresa of Avila – Taizé)
All sing: Nada te turbe, nada te espante; quien a Dios tiene nada le falta.
Nada te turbe, nada te espante: solo Dios basta.
Prayer Let us pray,
All say: Gracious God, we ask you to help us:
To to embrace silence and contemplation in prayer
to reach out in solidarity to all in need
to live in peace with each other and all creation.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Song Dominican Magnificat (Feargal King)
All sing: Magnificat, Magnificat, anima mea Dominum
Magnificat, Magnificat, anima mea Dominum.
Reading Mark 16:19-20
Jesus said, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes to the end of time.’
Intro 9 Communities for Apostolic Mission
After the Reformation, inspired by Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, a new form of consecrated life developed in the church, but because it entailed living outside the cloister, it took four centuries to be officially accepted by church authorities as a way of living consecrated life for women. New communities and orders sprang up with zeal and energy for this apostolic mission. For some it entailed travelling to the ends of the earth preaching the Gospel and for others it meant bringing the message of Christ alive through work in education, hospitals and in the care of those on the margins of society. In late 18th century and in 19th century Ireland there was a great sense of renewal of consecrated life in the foundation of orders such as the Christian and Presentation Brothers, the Religious Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Mercy, the Holy Faith and Loreto Congregations and the Presentation Sisters. Last October Nano Nagle, the Foundress of the Presentation Sisters, a woman of vision and courage was declared Venerable by Pope Francis. The ministry of apostolic men and women is a response to a profound invitation of the heart to be living witnesses called, chosen and sent.
Song God’s Spirit is in my Heart
All sing: God’s spirit is in my heart
He has called me and set me apart
This is what I have to do, What I have to do.
He sent me to give the Good News to the poor
tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more
tell blind people that they can see and set the downtrodden free,
and go tell everyone the news that the Kingdom of God has come and go tell everyone the news that God’s kingdom has come.
Intro 10 Renewal – Vatican 11 and Beyond
The Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life (Perfectae Caritatis) proclaimed by Paul VI in 1965 heralded changes for those in consecrated life after Vatican II. In this document it was stated that –
‘The adaptation and renewal of the religious life includes both the constant return to the sources of all Christian life and to the original spirit of the institutes and their adaptation to the changed conditions of our time.’
This call to a return to the original sources and spirit of communities was a radical one. In response religious communities prayerfully reflected on the signs of the times and made necessary adaptations for renewal and renaissance of consecrated life. Secular Institutes were also encouraged and the ancient tradition of Consecrated Virgins was restored. In addition, new forms of consecrated life were encouraged and currently many flourish in the church today.
In the past year Pope Francis has again invited all Christian people to share in the joy of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. As a member of a religious congregation himself we listen carefully to what he has to say to us today.
In Evangelii Gaudium (20) Pope Francis challenges us. ‘each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey His call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel’. This call to the margins was one which each and every one of our founders heard and to which each responded. Let us hear again our founding impulses and with Pope Francis rediscover the joy and challenges of mission.
Address Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Song Joyful, Joyful (Beethoven)
Blessing of Throats
Since we celebrate today the Feast of St. Blaise, we will offer the ancient custom of blessing throats for those who wish.
Song All Will Be Well (Steve Warner/Julian of Norwich)
All sing: All will be well and all will be well
All manner of things will be well.
Song Far Beyond (Liam Lawton)
Closing Prayer Let us pray,
All say: God of compassion and understanding,
Fill us with energy for the mission of the Gospel
Unite us in our commitment to consecrated life
Open our hearts to the needs of those on the margin.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Song A Clare Benediction (John Rutter)
Song Go Make a Difference (Angrisano/Tomaszek)
All sing: Go make a difference, we can make a difference,
Go make a difference in the world.
Go make a difference, we can make a difference,
Go make a difference in the world.