Consecrating the whole family to Our Mother of Perpetual Help before praying the novena regularly as a family is always a good thing. It ensures that the devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help is not only private and individual but by the whole family. It also strengthens the unity of the family as it gathers the family through prayer. As the saying goes, “The family that prays together, stays together.”
Here are some helpful tips for the family in preparing for it’s consecration to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
- Decide a time where as much as possible all members of the family can get together for the consecration.
- Prepare an icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help or a copy of the icon and place it on the family altar. Adorn it with candles and some fresh flowers.
- Prepare Holy Water. You can get Holy Water from the shrine or from your local parish.
- Provide a copy of the rite of consecration to each member of the family.
- You can invite your neighbors or friends to witness the consecration. This is optional. The most important is that the whole family is present.
- You can invite a priest to lead the consecration. But if there is no priest available, a lay minister or the head of the family can lead the consecration.
- After the consecration, have a simple and joyous meal together as a family.
Here is the rite for the consecration:
BLESSING OF A FAMILY AND
CONSECRATION TO OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP
ORDER OF BLESSING
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Priest: The grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
All: And also with you.
(If Lay Minister): The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all, now and for ever.
Leader: My dear friends, from the sacrament of marriage the family has received newness of life and the grace of Christ. The family is specially important to the Church and to civil society, for it is the primary life-giving community.
In our celebration today we call down the Lord’s blessing upon you, so that you may continually be instruments of God’s grace to one another and witnesses to faith in all the circumstances of life.
With God as your help you will fulfill your mission by conforming your entire life to the Gospel and so witness to Christ before the world.
READING OF THE WORD OF GOD
Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians12:12-14
We are all one body.
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many.
The Word of the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians 4:1-6
Bear with one another lovingly.
I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
The Word of the Lord.
- Happy are those who fear the Lord.
Happy are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; happy shall you be, and favored. R.
Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life; May you see your children’s children. R.
L: Christ the Lord, the Word coeternal with the Father, lived among us and chose to be part of a family and to enrich it with his blessings. Let us humbly ask for his favor and protection on this family.
- Lord, keep our family in your peace.
L: Through your own obedience to Mary and Joseph you consecrated family life; make this family holy by your presence. (For this we pray:) R.
L: Your heart was set on the concerns of your Father; make every home a place where he is worshiped with reverence. (For this we pray:) R.
L: You made your own family the model of prayer, of love, and of obedience to your Father’s will; by your grace make this family holy and make it rich with your gifts. (For this we pray:) R.
L: You loved those who were close to you and they returned your love; bind all families together in the bonds of peace and of love for each other. (For this we pray:) R.
L: At Cana in Galilee, when a new family was beginning, you gladdened it with your first miracle, changing water into wine; alleviate the sorrows and worries of this family and change them into joy. (For this we pray:) R.
L: In your concern for the integrity of your family you said: “Let no one separate those whom God has bound together”; bind this husband and wife ever more closely together in the bond of your own love. (For this we pray:) R.
Let us pray with confidence to the Father in the words our Savior taught us:
All: Our Father…
PRAYER OF BLESSING
L: O God, you have created us in love and saved us in mercy, and through the bond of marriage you have established the family and willed that it should become a sign of Christ’s love for his Church.
Shower your blessings on this family gathered here in your name. Enable those who are joined by one love to support one another by their fervor of spirit and devotion to prayer. Make them responsive to the needs of others and witnesses to the faith in all they say or do.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
L: We bless your name, O Lord, for sending your own incarnate Son to become part of a family, so that, as he lived its life, he would experience its worries and its joys.
We ask you, Lord, to protect and watch over this family, so that in the strength of your grace its members may enjoy prosperity, possess the priceless gift of your peace, and, as the Church alive in the home, bear witness in this world to your glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Sprinkle the family with holy water.
Act of Consecration to Our Mother of Perpetual Help
(To be prayed by all the members of the family)
Immaculate Virgin Mary, * Mother of God and Mother of the Church, * you are also our Mother ever ready to help us. * With hearts full of love for you * we consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart * so that we may be your devoted children. * Obtain for us true sorrow for sins * and fidelity to the promises of our Baptism.
We consecrate our minds and hearts to you * that we always do the Will of our heavenly Father. * We consecrate our lives to you * that we may love God better * and live not for ourselves * but for Christ, your Son * and that we may see Him * and serve Him in others.
By this humble act of consecration, * dear Mother of Perpetual Help, * we pledge to model our lives on you, * the perfect Christian, * so that, consecrated to you in life and in death * we may belong to your Divine Son for all eternity. Amen.
L: May the Lord Jesus, who lived with his holy family in Nazareth, dwell also with your family, keep it from evil, and make all of you one in heart and mind.
Priest: And may almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
You can print a copy of this rite of consecration in Tagalog @ http://www.baclaranchurch.org/assets/pagtatalaga-ng-pamilya-sa-omph.pdf
(This article is an excerpt from the book National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: Tips, Trivia and Tribute by John Maguire, Joey Echano, et. al., soon to be published)