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LITURGICAL INSTALLATION OF THE PARISH CONSTITUTION

One of the strengths of Catholicism is the tradition of giving every thing important -- and even things not so especially important -- a liturgy. A Constitution that a parish is going to live by is in fact a very important sacred reality. It is a sacramental, and hence deserves a solemn liturgical ceremony.

The Constitution ought to be printed and framed in a fittingly solemn manner. A liturgy with an appropriate set of prayers, music, and gestures needs to be designed by the parish liturgy committee for the formal installation of the Constitution. It is important that the Pastor, the Parish Council, and other officers of the Parish, as well as as much of the entire Parish as possible be present at the Installation liturgy. For the initial installation of the Constitution, it would be well to invite the bishop to be present as an observer (his presence will help to forestall his later sending an autocratic priest as Pastor). The Pastor, Parish Council, and other officers, as well as the rest of the Parish members present, ought to make a solemn public pledge to follow the Constitution.

An appropriate day should be chosen for the annual liturgical re-commitment of all to follow the Constitution -- perhaps the feast day of the parish name.

Such a solemn liturgical installation, and its annual re-confirmation, will keep it present in all the parishioners' consciousness, and go a long way toward ensuring the Constitution's continuing viability.

Other voices

Another Voice

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Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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