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FEAST  
OF THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD

Jubilee of the Consecrated Life  
February 2


INTRODUCTORY NOTE TO THE CELEBRATION

EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION

INTRODUCTORY RITE

LITURGY OF THE WORD

EUCHARISTIC LITURGY

CONCLUDING RITE


Introductory note to the celebration

Today, together with Simeon and Anna, we contemplate the Divine child, the Word made flesh, who is brought to the Temple: the Temple of our heart.

This singular day in this particular year, finds us still more faithful, with a life completely given to God (VC, 2) responding with a total and exclusive dedication (VC, 17).

Let there be today the fiat of our task of obedience to the Gospel, to the voice of the Church, to our rule of life.

With joy let us reconfirm our purpose of sober and austere living in order to defeat the anxiety of possessing through the grace of giving and use the goods of the world for the cause of the Gospel and human promotion.

Preserving with love both  chastity of body and purity of mind; living our lives with an undivided heart for the Glory of God and the salvation of mankind.

Mary, the Virgin Mother, the Most Sacred Temple, accompanies us on this path. Above all, she helps us in the time of trial; she who was pierced by the sword of the Spirit and preserved in her heart that which she had contemplated.

"By your disposition,  
one love joined the Son and the Mother,  
one pain welded them  
one will drove them:  
to give pleasure to you, the unique and supreme good"
(Preface to the  
Mass of The Virgin Mary in the Presentation of Our Lord).

In fact, "The contemplative life begins here, to reach its fulfilment in the heavenly home; because the fire of love that here begins to burn, when it sees Him whom it loves, will burn more strongly with love for him. Therefore the contemplative life will not be taken away because, having less light from this present world, it will reach perfection" (Gregory the Great: Hom. in Ez II 2,9 in CCL 142,231).

"For this reason let us stir up the fervor of our souls, oh brothers, strengthen the faith in that in which we have believed and enkindle in ourselves a yearning towards the celestial realities. This love flames as though we were already on the pathway. No adversity will take us away from the joy of the intimate celebration, because if one wishes to arrive at the coveted goal there will be no impediment on the journey that will be enough to change your desire... Thus the spirit yearns, in fullness of desire, towards the celestial homeland" (Gregory the Great: Hom in Ev. 14,6 in PL 76, 1130C).

February 2 is the culminating moment of our Jubilee celebration. Each consecrated person has prepared him or herself through meditation on the gift of the vocation to a total consecration to Christ, in an experience of sincere repentance for failings and of a renewed love for living a true rapport with God and neighbour. Now in the Eucharistic Celebration - with Christ, in Christ and through Christ - and guided by the Spirit, we want to offer to the Father our lives which have been renewed through faith, hope and charity.

It is suggested that in every location - whether at the diocesan or the national level - the Eucharistic Celebration be presided over by the Pastors and participated in amply, not only by other consecrated persons, but also by the people of God.  

EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION

The Presentation of Our Lord is the feast of Christ "light of the people" and of the encounter ("Ypapanti") of the Messiah with his people in the Temple at Jerusalem.

The gesture of obedience to the law and offering, performed by Mary and Joseph who bring the child Jesus to offer him in the Temple, inspires the presence at this celebration of many consecrated men and women. These represent those who have chosen the way of the evangelical counsels in the rich variety of charisms that beautifies the Church with the gifts of the Spirit and prepares it to develop the universal mission of the Gospel. Moreover these consecrated persons have come to renew the pledge to their consecration and mission.

The celebration will develop in three moments:

The Liturgy of the Light will begin with the lighting and blessing of candles and continue on with the procession.

The Liturgy of the Word will culminate in the homily, the prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of the consecrated life and the pledge of fidelity in following Christ and in the apostolic mission.

The Eucharistic liturgy will seal this encounter with Christ and this offering, with him, of the consecrated life until He is "the light to illumine the people".  

INTRODUCTORY RITE

Hymn of preparation.

While we await the arrival of the Celebrant, the candles are lighted and a hymn is sung.

Blessing of the candles

The celebrant:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

Greeting of the assembly:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ  
The love of God the Father  
And the communion of the Holy Spirit  
Be with all of you.

R. And with your spirit.

Introduction of the celebration:

Brothers and sisters,  
Forty days have passed since the solemnity of Christmas.  
Today the Church once again prepares to celebrate the day  
In which Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the Temple.  
With that ceremony our Lord  
Submitted himself to the prescriptions of the old law  
And came to his people, who waited for him with faith.  
Guided by the Holy Spirit, the old, holy people  
Simeon and Anna came to the temple;  
Illumined by the same Spirit, they recognised the Lord  
And full of joy gave witness to him.  
We who also are here united by the Holy Spirit  
Go towards an encounter with Christ whom we find  
And recognise in the breaking of the bread,  
While we wait for him to come and manifest himself in his glory.

The Celebrant blesses the candles:

Let us pray

O God, fountain and principle of every light,  
Who today revealed to the holy and ancient Simeon  
The Christ true light of all people,  
Bless these candles  
And hear the prayer of your people  
Who come to you with these luminous signs  
And hymns of praise;  
Guide them along the road of good,  
Until they reach the light without end.  
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

He then blesses them with Holy Water.

Procession

At the same time this hymn is sung:

Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

1.  Now let your servant go in peace according to your word.

2.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, prepared by you before all people.

3.  A light to illumine the people and the glory of your people Israel.

4.  Glory be the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

5.  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever will be, world without end. Amen.

Kyrie and Gloria

Collect Oration

Let us pray.

Omnipotent and Eternal God, look on your faithful here united  
On this feast of the Presentation in the Temple of your only Son made man,  
and grant that we also may be presented to you  
fully renewed in spirit.  
Through Jesus Christ, your Son who is God and lives and reigns with you  
in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

R. Amen.  

LITURGY OF THE WORD  

First reading

From the Letter to the Hebrews                                                                                   2:14-18             

In everything he made himself the same as his brothers

Intimately united to men as to brothers, Jesus has become the pontefice misericordioso. Faithful in service to God, he expiated our sins and liberated us from the power of Satan and of death. His suffering is able to help us in our own trials, because he himself was tried.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23

Come Lord into your temple.

Acclamation at the Gospel  

Alleluia. Now let your servant go in peace according to your word (Lc 2:29). Allelluia.

Gospel

From the Gospel according to Luke                                                                                                        2:22-40

My eyes have seen your salvation

To Jesus who was presented in the Temple and offered to God as the first son - the synthesis and image of all the messianic hope of Israel - came a just man who had been moved by the Spirit. Simeon's wait is finished, and now he can die. In his expectation of redemption, is all of the Old Testament, the old law that is now satisfied as salvation opens and the light for all people is lighted. But not without judgement and crisis. The child will be the discriminating reference, the point of comparison, a sign of contradiction. He must be either accepted or refused. This test will be reflected also in Mary. In the Presentation at the Temple, the Cross, the Crucifixion and Our Lady of Sorrows are outlined and reflected. The prophetess, Anna, also perceives the redemption in that child and this gives her a reason for thanksgiving and proclaiming.

Homily

Thanksgiving to God for the Gift of the Consecrated Life

Celebrant:

Brothers and sisters,  
On this feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple  
I invite you all to join with me in thanking the Lord  
For the gift of the consecrated life  
That the Holy Spirit has raised up in the Church.  
You, here present, who are consecrated to the service of God,  
In a stupendous form of ecclesial vocation  
Renew the pledge to follow the  
Obedient, poor and chaste Christ,  
Until, through your evangelical witness,  
Christ the Lord, light of the people,  
Shines in the church and illuminates the world.

(All pray in silence for some seconds)

Celebrant:

May you Lord, holy Father, be blessed  
Because in your infinite goodness,  
With the voice of the Spirit  
In every age you have called men and women,  
Already consecrated to you in Baptism,  
That they may be within the Church  
A sign of the radical following of Christ,  
Living witness of the Gospel,  
Proclamation of the values of the Kingdom,  
Prophecy of the ultimate and new City.

All:

Glory and praise to you, Lord.

Reader:

We glorify you, Father and we bless you,  
Because in Jesus Christ, your Son  
You have given us the perfect image of the obedient servant:  
He made your will his food,  
Service, the rule of life,  
Love, the supreme law of the Kingdom.

Reader:

Thank you, Father, for the gift of Christ,  
Son of your Handmaid,  
A servant obedient unto death.  
Today, with joy we reconfirm our pledge  
Of obedience to the Gospel,  
To the voice of the Church  
To our rule of life.

All:

Glory and praise to you, Lord.

Reader:

We glorify you, Father, and we bless you  
Because in Jesus Christ, our brother,  
You have given us the highest example of the gift of self:  
He, who was rich,  
Became poor for us,  
He proclaimed as blessed the poor in spirit  
And opened to the small the treasury of the Kingdom.

Reader:

Thank you, Father, for the gift of Christ,  
Son of man, mild, humble, poor,  
Who had no place to lay his head.  
Today we happily reconfirm our pledge  
To live soberly and with austerity,  
To conquer the anxiety of possession with the joy of giving  
To use the goods of this world  
For the cause of the Gospel and human promotion.

All:

Glory and praise to you, Lord.

Reader:

We glorify you, Father, and we bless you,  
Because in Jesus Christ, son of the Virgin Mother  
You have given us the supreme model of consecrated love;  
He, Lamb without stain, lived loving you and others,  
Died forgiving and opening the doors of the Kingdom.

Reader:

Thank you, Father, for the gift of Christ,  
Virgin bridegroom of the virgin Church.  
Today, with joy, we reconfirm our pledge  
To keep our bodies chaste and our hearts pure,  
To live with undivided love  
For your glory and the salvation of mankind.

All:

Glory and praise to you, Lord.

Celebrant:

Look benignly Lord on  
These your sons and daughters  
Firm in faith and happy in hope.  
Let them be, through your grace,  
A reflection of your light,  
An instrument of your Spirit of peace,  
An extension among men of the presence of Christ.  
Who lives and reigns forever and ever.

All acclaim by singing:

Amen.  

EUCHARISTIC LITURGY

Oration over the gifts

Accept, O Father, our gifts and look upon your Church,  
That through your will, offers you with joy the sacrifice of your only Son,  
The Lamb without stain, for the life of the world.  
Through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

The celebration continues on in the usual manner.

Oration after communion

Let us pray,

O God, who satisfied the ardent wait of the saintly Simeon,  
Complete in us the work of your mercy;  
You who gave to him the joy of holding in his arms,  
Before dying, Christ your Son,  
Grant also to us, with the power of the Eucharistic bread,  
To walk towards our Lord, in order to possess life eternal.  
Through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.  

CONCLUDING RITE

Benediction

Celebrant:

The Lord be with you.

R. And with your Spirit.

May God, who from darkness, called you to his admirable light,  
Pour out his blessing upon you  
That you may be rendered firm in faith, in hope, and in love.

R. Amen.  

May God make you witnesses of his truth to the brethren,  
As true disciples of Christ  
A light that shines in the darkness.

R. Amen.  

As Simeon and Anna waited for and found Christ,  
The light of the world, so may you find, at the end of your pathway,  
With immense joy, Christ, the light of the world.

R. Amen.  

And may the blessing of almighty God,  
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  
Descend on you and remain with you forever.

R. Amen.

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