Resources for Developing
Small Christian Communities
The Commissioning Rite should be held annually to renew membership enthusiasm, to publicly recognize this important parish ministry, and to inspire new people to join.
SCC Commissioning Rite announcement
Mass this morning is a very important time for the members of the Small Christian Communities of our parish. We now have (how many?) groups meeting in homes, sharing scripture and supporting one another in friendship and spiritual growth. Today, as one large parish community, we will honor our Small Christian Communities. Those who belong to these groups will stand before you and make a commitment to God to continue their spiritual journeys as a community. You will see them processing in at the beginning of Mass, carrying their banners which represent what their community means to each of them.
SCC Commissioning Ceremony After Communion
PRIEST: Today our parish focuses on the importance of Small Christian Communities. The Church of (name of your church) Parish is one large community made up of a number of little churches, where pilgrims on the journey of faith are no longer strangers to each other, but true friends bonded in Christ. In this Liturgy, we celebrate the beginning of our Small Christian Communities, and we pray for their continuation and growth. And now, to introduce and call the members of our communities is our director of Small Christian Communities, (name).
SCC DIR: Let those who belong to Small Christian Communities please come forward.
(SCC MEMBERS COME FORWARD AND FACE THE ASSEMBLY.)
Commitment of the SCC Members
PRIEST: I congratulate you on choosing to journey with each other as you seek to learn from the scriptures and grow in your relationship with God. Please show your commitment to this pilgrimage of faith by answering “I will” to the following questions:
Jesus said that whenever two or more are gathered in His name, He is there with us. Will you open yourselves to receive the love of God from the other members of your Small Christian Community?
SCC MEMBERS: I will.
PRIEST: Jesus told His disciples to love one another the way He has loved us. Will you give God’s love to one another by caring about each other, serving each other, and listening to each other?
SCC MEMBERS: I will.
PRIEST: Jesus prayed for His disciples to be united as one, just as He and the Father are one, so that the world may be converted by this love. Will you make every effort to journey together in unity with your Small Christian Community, with (name of church) Parish, and with the universal Catholic Church?
SCC MEMBERS: I will.
Commitment of the Parish Community
PRIEST: (TO THE CONGREGATION) My brothers and sisters of (name of church) Catholic Community, please respond “I will” to the following question:
Will you pray for and encourage the growth of Small Christian Communities in our parish?
CONGREGATION: I will.
PRIEST: Let us pray now in unity for these people who have said yes to God’s call to journey together for growing in faith and in understanding of the scriptures. Please extend your hands in prayer toward these people.
source of unity, source of love,
bless the members of our Small Christian Communities.
Through Your Holy Spirit, teach them, guide them,
and help them to grow in relationship with each other
and in relationship with You.
Bring in new members to increase the number of communities we have.
Empower them all to reveal Your love in such a way
that others are evangelized by the unity and service they see.
We ask this in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Blessing of the Banners
PRIEST: At this point, I invite one member from each Small Christian Community to present the banners, which represent who they are, to the Parish Community.
(SCC MEMBERS RETRIEVE THE BANNERS AND HOLD THEM UP BEFORE THE CONGREGATION)
PRIEST: The banners you see here are a witness of the value of belonging to a Small Christian Community. Each one testifies to the meaning and purpose of each group. I will now pray a special blessing upon them.
(WITH HANDS OUTSTRETCHED OVER THE BANNERS)
May God, the Creator of all things,
who never ceases to work His wonders among us
bless these banners
for use in our Small Christian Communities.
May His blessings enlighten our minds,
so that we may know Him more deeply
and strive always to spread His truth and His peace.
And may almighty God bless you all,
in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
PRIEST: (TO THE CONGREGATION) My brothers and sisters, let us now show our support and recognition of these Small Christian Communities by applauding.
(SCC MEMBERS STAY IN PLACE, WAITING TO PROCESS OUT WITH THE PRIEST, LECTORS AND ALTAR SERVERS.)