Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Renewal of Commitment to Priestly Service

The pews on the Gospel side and the side aisles were full as I entered the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria a couple minutes before one o'clock. The Epistle side was empty, set aside for the priests of the Diocese of Peoria who would in just a few moments process into Cathedral for the annual Chrism Mass, where they would renew their vows and Bishop Daniel Jenky, CSC, would bless the oils to be used in the coming year for sacramental use.

After his sermon, Bishop Jenky invited his priests to stand:

Bishop: My brothers, today we celebrate the memory of the first Eucharist, at which our Lord Jesus Christ shared with his apostles and with us his call to the priestly service of his Church. Now, in the presence of your bishop and God's holy people, are you ready to renew your own dedication to Christ as priests of his new covenant?

Priests: I am.

Bishop: At your ordination you accepted the responsibilities of the priesthood out of love for the Lord Jesus and his Church. Are you resolved to unite yourselves more closely to Christ and try to become more like him by joyfully sacrificing your own pleasure and ambition to bring his peace and love to your brothers and sisters?

Priests: I am.

Bishop: Are you resolved to be faithful ministers of the mysteries of God, to celebrate the Eucharist and the other liturgical service with sincere devotion? Are you resolved to imitate Jesus Christ, the head and shepherd of the Church, by teaching Christian faith without thinking of your own profit, solely for the well-being of the people you were sent to serve?

Priests: I am.

Bishop: (to the people) My brothers and sisters, pray for your priests. Ask the Lord to bless them with the fullness of his love, to help them be faithful ministers of Christ the High Priest, so that they will be able to lead you to him, the fountain of your salvation.

People: Lord Jesus Christ, hear and answer our prayer.

Bishop: Pray also for me that despite my own unworthiness I may faithfully fulfill the office of the apostle which Jesus Christ has entrusted to me. Pray that I may become more like our High Priest and Good Shepherd, the teacher and servant of all, and so be a genuine sign of Christ's loving presence among you.

People: Lord Jesus Christ, hear and answer our prayer.

Bishop: May the Lord in his love keep you close to him always, and may e bring all of us, his priests and people, to eternal life.

Ah, if only we Lutherans could have something like this...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your can... if you want to swim the Tiber. Welcome aboard! Peggy Humm, San Antonio, TX