Blessing of New School Resource Package

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1 Blessing of New School Resource Package June,

2 Blessing of New School Resource Package INTRODUCTION: The blessing of a school is the dedication of the efforts of students and teachers, a prayer for their contribution to the community and to the human race. It is a prayer for these members of the people of God, and for what they can do for the development of God s kingdom. In the blessing of a school, we pray not only for the present generation of students and teachers, but also for the future generations, and for all whom they will influence. 1 PREPARATION: The ceremony of blessing a school a building, and additional wing, or renovated facilities involves many groups in the community: students and parents, teachers and board members, other school employees, civic government at all levels, the parish church and diocese, and all other organizations to which people of these groupings belong. A planning group/committee drawing on the resources of various parts of the community will help in the preparation of the celebration. RECOMMENDATIONS: - It is important to accentuate the liturgical component and the value of ritual. - A Blessing Ritual is subject to general principals of good liturgy. - The symbol of water should receive a prominent place and, therefore, the Blessing ritual is not to take place within the Lenten Season. - Student involvement in the preparation is essential as the ritual is a celebration of the faith community and its vision (choir, welcome, readers, etc.). - Creating classroom/homeroom banners is an excellent activity to help students enter into the celebration as they add their own unique mark to the celebration. 2

3 1 A Book of Blessing. Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Concacan Inc., The banners can be used again throughout the year (liturgies, open houses, Education Week, Program Night, etc.), as the community continues to celebrate. - Classroom crosses can be blessed in the ceremony and then a simple ritual of bringing the crosses and blessed water back to the classrooms on Monday can assist in helping students feel a part of the Official Blessing. Liturgy of Blessing Procession of Banners Procession of Invited Guests and Presider Gathering Song: National Anthem: Welcome & Introduction: Choir Choir Principal Gathering Prayer: Gracious God, here present, listen as we pray. We do thank you, God, for the wonderful gift of this new school faith community. Be present to us and bless our gathering today; that we may appreciate and value the wonder of our own faith journey as we share this with others on our new path together. We make this prayer in your most holy name. AMEN. Opening Prayer: Liturgy of the Word God, our creator and sustainer, you have gifted us with each other and have blessed our community gathered here today. Give us, we pray, a greater awareness of your love for all people, and a confidence in the action of your grace in us and in your church. By the power of your Spirit, may we grow in the truth that impels us to act justly, love tenderly and serve one another. * * Appropriate place to add direct reference to the current theme of the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board. 3

4 As this school community of ventures down their new path, help them and all of here present to recognize you in the dreams for tomorrow. First Reading: Psalm: Gospel Acclamation: Ephesians 3:14-21 (suggestion) Sung Alleluia Gospel: John 15:1-8 Or (scripture reference to Board theme) Homily/Reflection: Presider Prayers of Intercession Presider: Presider: In invite you to now stand for the Prayers of Intercession. Gathered together in the name of Jesus, united by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us bring before God the prayers of this community: Our Response is: Lord, hear our prayer. For the leaders of the church, that they may be single-hearted in the love of the Lord as they guide us and walk with us in our faith journey. We pray to the Lord. For this school faith community, gifted with the charism of, may they always be a sign of God s generosity, always ready to give to those who have less and a welcome to all who enter their midst. We pray to the Lord. 4

5 For the staff, students and families of, that as seeds require time to grow, they may continue to water and nourish God s word in their community. We pray to the Lord. For the leaders in our School Board, our Director, Trustees, Superintendents, and Administrators, may their decision-making always be guided by Gospel values and what is best for our youth. We pray to the Lord. For the staff at, may all those who serve our school as educators, secretaries and custodians work in unity, guided by the Spirit of truth and compassion. We pray to the Lord. For the youth of our communities who are confused, angry, feeling isolated, struggling with addictions, victims of violence, may we make a conscious effort to know their stories and work with them to help bring healing and a sense of belonging to their lives. May we in this community witness to God s love for them. We pray to the Lord. Presider: Gracious God, may your favour and blessing rest upon this community which you have gathered in the name of Jesus. Accept the prayers we offer in his name. May your gracious love embrace us, now and forever. The Lord s Prayer United in one spirit, we pray for the coming of the Kingdom, as Jesus taught us. Our Father. 5

6 Presider: Let us now turn our attention to the Blessing Ritual. Presider moves toward the centre table where water and baskets containing classroom crosses are displayed. Blessing Ritual Blessing of Water Lord Jesus, you are the living water that leads to eternal life. Grant us a thirst for you. With the waters of you love, help us to remember to be thankful for your generosity, for your friendship and for the tenderness of your care. We ask you to send your spirit upon this water and upon all who gather here. (Extend hand over the water.) Creator God, You bring life and freshness to the earth. We ask you to bless this water ( ) So that we may celebrate our creation and redemption. May it be for us a sign of our Baptism and an expression of our continued commitment to Catholic Education. 6

7 Prayer of Blessing over the Community 2 (Turn toward community gathered.) Let us ask God to bless us, this new school and faith community. (Extend hands over community gathered.) All praise to you, creator God, Lord of all creation, you have gathered us in this school community to praise you by our words and works. Bless this school which we have built for the education and faith development of our young people. Bless our students and teachers, our parents, board members, employees, and all who promote sound education in our community. May our youth grow in wisdom, age and grace before you and all your people. May this school always be a home of truth and wisdom, of faith and goodwill toward all. Through the prayers of (patron saint of school) may this school help our community and build your kingdom of justice, light, and peace. Loving God, listen to our prayer, which we offer through Christ our Lord, in your Holy Spirit: all glory to you, almighty God, for ever and ever. 2 A Book of Blessing. Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Concacan Inc.,

8 Using the bowl of blest water and the spruce branch, the presider then proceeds down the stairs and into the community gathered to bless all those present. instrumental music or an appropriate song can be performed here. Upon return to the stage area, move right into the text and blessing of the classroom crosses. Blessing of Classroom Crosses: Glorious God, you sent your son to us because you love us, and want to save us. By the power of his cross, our symbol of Resurrection and new life, let us live each day for you. Bless this sign of glory, and let it remind us that Jesus died and rose for all. Help us to carry our cross with him every day, and to follow him serving others. We ask this grace through Christ our Lord. Speeches Presentation of Plaque and Ribbon Cutting Presider turns toward the community gathered and continues with the final blessing. 8

9 Solemn Blessing Presider: After each invocation, please respond with: Amen. Let us pray, Our Creator and God has assembled you here this day to bless your new school and faith community in the name of. May the hopes and dreams born here be blessed. God has gifted your school faith community with a tremendous call as reflected in your school motto:. May Jesus guide you as you live out this charism in your daily life. May the Holy Spirit dwell within you and give you much joy, helping you to build the Kingdom of God all the days of your life. And, may God bless you, Father Son, and Holy Spirit. 9

10 Announcements & Thank You: Principal Recessional: Guests and Presider Sending Forth Song: Choir R E C E P T I O N NOTE: We appreciate the work of Leanne Davis, Chaplain at Notre Dame High School, in preparing this resource package. 10

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