Thursday, March 02, 2006

Writing the Penitential Rite

Writing invocationsIn addition to the 8 sets of invocations for Form C of the Penitential Rite, the rubrics allow for other invocations to be used. One reason to write original invocations is to relate them more closely to the readings of the day. When crafting original invocations, use the current 8 options as models and keep the following in mind:

Christ is the focus; we are not
Each invocation is an address to Christ and speaks of the work Christ has done for us. Don’t use phrases like “For the times we have sinned….” The Penitential Rite is not an examination of conscience but a proclamation of praise for Christ. Use instead this formula: [Title for Jesus] + [something Christ did to save us] + [acclamation]. For example: “Risen Lord, you came to give us life: Lord, have mercy.”

Use the readings
The Gathering Rite will flow more smoothly into the Liturgy of the Word if you can incorporate images from the readings into the invocations. The second reading often has titles for Christ, and the Gospel will give you ideas for Christ’s actions.

Yesterday, today, forever
Keep in mind parallel structure of verbs (see option iii or vi in the Sacramentary for an example of this parallel structure) and also past, present and future tenses (see option ii). In this second example, the actions are “you came,” “you come” and “you will come.” This structure helps us give praise to Christ for what he has done, for what he continues to do today and for what he has promised us will be.

Using the techniques outlined above, here is a sample set of penitential rite form C invocations for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C.

  • Lord Jesus, you opened for us a living fountain to purify us from sin: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you make us all children of God, descendants of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise. Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you will come again to turn our mourning into gladness and our daily cross into eternal life. Lord, have mercy.