FAMILY ENTHRONEMENT RITUAL
All are seated while the father — or in his absence, mother — explains what is about to happen. If a priest is present, the father of the family still carries out his role as head of the family. The priest may begin with a short talk on the meaning and importance of the Enthronement, and comment on various steps of the ritual.)
Father: We are gathered together for an important reason… to reaffirm the commitment of our Baptismal vows-an agreement, a contract, a “Covenant” made with God, who said, “I am your God and you are my people, my special possession…” Today we are renewing our Baptismal commitment in the form of a “Family Covenant.”
In making this Covenant — the very foundation of our religion — we invite Jesus to come into our home. He becomes a living member of our family, and we give Him a free hand in all our affairs. We won’t have to worry about what He does because He is the only one who knows what He is doing, and whatever He does is for our own good. Indeed, He who is loyal and all-powerful, is motivated by love that is everlasting. And because of this love, we know that He will take care of us, if we do our part; that He will intervene mightily yet gently in the lives of those who respond to His love with humility and trust.
Jesus said, “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart”.. and you will find peace for your souls.’ With these words he shows us the way, telling us again that He is our God and we are His people. Thus, in making this Covenant we can say that LOVE is being “Enthroned” in our family this day. We have prepared His throne. Now we are about to openly declare and publicly acknowledge the supreme authority of Almighty God in our hearts and in our home.
The Enthronement-Covenant marks a new beginning, a fresh start in our life of love with Jesus, for each of us is called to His love. Jesus has told us: “Without me (and my love) you can do nothing.” Furthermore, the importance of the ceremony we are about to begin, emphasizes what Cardinal John J. Wright said about devotion to the Heart of Jesus: “It re-affirms the fact that the Resurrection of Jesus really took place, and we proclaim to the world — to every man, woman and child — that as a result of the Incarnation and Ascension of Jesus into heaven, there pulsates — there beats in the very depth of divinity — a Heart to which, in our human language, we can direct our prayer, with new warmth, new affection, and a new certainty of being heard.”
Yes, this beautiful ritual initiates a new way of life for us. In fact, we can say that our family is being launched on a three-point spiritual program:
Eucharist, Prayer and Penance; a simple, uncomplicated program for those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior; Jesus, who said: ‘My yoke is easy and my burden light.’
With the love of Jesus embracing our family life, it is our duty to respond to that love by working for social justice and peace, beginning at home and spreading into our neighborhood and all society.
THE ENTHRONEMENT CEREMONY
1. Father: “Now let us all stand while in your name I enthrone the Sacred Heart as the Head of our family.”
(All gather around the father, who takes the Sacred Heart image, and the mother, who takes the Bible, and slowly walks to the place prepared for the enthronement, that is, puts the image of Jesus on the “throne” and the Bible on the stand or table).
ALL: Jesus, You are the King and Friend of our family. We accept Your loving rule over us. Stay with us as our best Friend. We need You.
Father: Now we are going to pray the Apostles’ Creed.
2. The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son,. our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
3. Father: Today we are going to turn our family over to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When we were baptized we were dedicated to God. That’s what we are going to do now – renew our dedication by consecrating ourselves to His loving Heart. This is our Family Covenant with God.
Father: Almighty and Eternal Father, we, the (Smith) family,
(Note: at this place, each family member speaks his first name, beginning with the father)
(Now all continue together)
consecrate ourselves and our home to the Sacred Heart of Your only begotten Son. Jesus Christ, our Lord, who loves us with a tender and everlasting love. May we return this love as He comes into the midst of our family to live and share our life in a special way from this day on.
Freely we make this covenant of love with You, Father, and dedicate to the Heart of Jesus all that we are, all that we have, without any reservation on our part, promising to amend our lives by turning from sin and all that might lead us into sin.
Jesus, we accept You as a living member of our family. Sanctify our joys and comfort us in our sorrows. May Your Holy Spirit make us continually aware of Your special presence among us, and in one another.
Stay with us, Lord, and through this consecration, help us to have a deep and loving respect for one another. Help us to imitate Your gentle and humble Heart, that we may give of ourselves in the faithful performance of our family obligations, to each other and to all mankind.
With the motherly aid of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, may this Enthronement of Your living, human Heart, Your divine and glorified Heart, O Jesus lead us to a renewed confidence in Your merciful time, for all the human family, especially the poor and the oppressed.
Use us, Lord, to make Your love known beyond our home. Dispel all our doubts. Strengthen our faith. Fill us with holy hope. Guide us to the solutions necessary to bring about justice and peace for all. Wipe away our fears and anxieties. Teach us to use properly all material goods at our disposal. Show us the way to overcome class hatred and civil strife. Penetrate us with Your love, for it is in doing Your holy will that we desire to find our way. Amen.
ALL: Sacred Heart of Jesus, we love You. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come! Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us. St. Joseph, Pray for us. St. Margaret Mary, Pray for us. Glory to the Sacred Heart of Jesus forever and ever! Amen.
5. General Intercessions
Father: That the Sacred Heart of Jesus may be known and loved and served in a special way, in our home, in our neighborhood and in our parish, we pray to the Lord:
(All) Lord, hear our prayer!
Mother: That Mary, our Mother, through her Immaculate Heart, help us keep alive the spirit of our Enthronement, by bringing us together daily to pray in the name of Jesus, let us pray to the Lord:
(All) Lord, hear our prayer!
Children (or parents): For all the members of our family who are not with us today, both living and dead, let us pray to the Lord:
(All) Lord, hear our prayer!
ALL: That God may bless our family with vocations to the priesthood and religious life, let us pray to the Lord:
(Note: Personal requests may be added, if desired)
6. Litany of Thanksgiving
Father: Just as we thank God, our heavenly Father, through Jesus, His Son, during the Mass, so also now we thank the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Heart of His Mother.
Mother: For giving us our children, (All): We thank You, Lord.
Children: For giving us our parents, (All): We thank You, Lord.
Father: For coming to our home, (All): We thank You, Lord.
Mother: For giving us Mary, Your Mother, as our Mother, (All): We thank You, Lord.
Children: For our Holy Father, the Pope, our Bishop, our priests, our sisters and teachers, (All): We thank You, Lord.
Father: If there is anything special we would like to thank Jesus for, now is the time to say it. (Pause) (All): We thank You, Lord.
Father: Jesus is our King, Mary, His Mother is our Queen. Many Catholics, by their deeds, their bad talk, their immodesty, offend the Immaculate Heart of our Queen. Let us promise our Mother that we will try not to offend her by saying:
Hail, Holy Queen, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate shine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile, show us the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O Clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
8. All sign the Enthronement “Covenant” (certificate); first, the father, then the mother and then the children. It ought to be framed and hung near the Enthronement shrine.
9. (Optional: Parents give the parental blessing to each child: “I bless you, my child, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” A small cross, is traced on the forehead.) If a priest is present, he gives his blessing.
10. Final Hymn (Optional).
11. In honor of the divine King, Provider and Friend, refreshments will now be served.
Your Family Covenant is a pledge of communion with God. Prayer is the language of this communion. “The Church is a praying community. What matters for Her is prayer” (Pope Paul VI).
To keep Jesus in your home, pray together. (Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst” (Mt. 18:20.) To stay together, pray together!
The best time to renew your covenant might be before or after the evening meal. The following prayer is suggested or you may wish to compose your own. The important thing is to pray, as a family.
DAILY RENEWAL OF OUR PLEDGE OF LOVE AND LOYALTY TO JESUS,
OUR KING, PROVIDER AND FRIEND
Dear Sacred Heart of Jesus, we renew our pledge of love and loyalty to You. Keep us always close to Your loving Heart and to the most pure Heart of Your Mother.
May we love one another more and more each day, forgiving each other’s faults as You forgive us our sins. Teach us to see You in the members of our family and those we meet outside our home, and to love them as You love them, especially the poor and the oppressed, that we may be instrumental in bringing about justice and peace.
Please help us to carry our cross daily out of love for You, and to strengthen this love by frequent Mass and Communion.
Thank You, dear Jesus, King and Friend of our family, for all the blessings of this day. Protect us and all families during this night. Help us so to live that we may all get to Heaven.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Our Guardian Angels, pray for us!
Parental Blessing (optional).