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Alternative Liturgy for the Establishment of a Parish Minister Person

August 23rd, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

The following comes from Fr. Longenecker’s “Standing on My Head.” Oddly enough, I think this liturgy may be found in Sr. MaryAnn Binsack’s little white binder.

Alternative Liturgy for the Establishment of a Parish Minister Person

Remember: Say the Black Do the Red

The people who are church gather in the shared worship space while singing a suitable hymn, protest song or praise anthem. Suggested music choices are We are Gathering in this Place, We Would Rather Gather, Gather them In,  Bill Gaither’s Trio, Let Us Blather as We Gather, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I Dreamed a Dream, and other suitable songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Oscar Hammerstein.


The Bishop Shall process into the shared worship space with the Parish Minister Person. The Parish Minister Person shall be suitably attired in a soutane of light blue, a surplice and not-a-stole. A saturno of matching hue may be worn by the Parish Minister Person. The Presiding Person (previously known as ‘the Bishop’ shall wear a cope and miter (unless he feels that these garments may be offensive and seem hierarchical to the Parish Minister Person) Other vestments may be worn by appropriate ministers. A procession by as many lay persons as possible is to be desired. These persons shall represent every group and ministry within the parish. When all are in their place in the shared worship space the Presiding Person stands before them.

Presiding Person: The Lord be with you. How are you all doing today? Have you heard the one about the priest who went into a bar riding a camel? Another opening crowd pleasing joke may be used according to the discretion of the presiding person and the liturgical season of the year.

Parish Minister Person: That is a good one Presiding Person, and may the Lord be with you too.

Presiding Person: Brothers and Sisters we have gathered here to welcome N. as your new Parish Minister Person.

All: It is meet and right so to do.

Presiding Person: I am sure N. has met all the requirements of my divine office to be appointed as the Parish Minister Person. N. has completed the training that is set before him/her and he/she subscribes to the same view of church as I do, so I now ask you as the people of God who are church: Do you think that N. is a very nice person and would you like him/her to by your new Parish Minister Person?

All: We do like N. very much.

Presiding Person: N. are you willing to take on the duties of being this Parish Minister Person?

Parish Minister Person: I am willing.

Presiding Person: Do you accept that you are not a priest or a deacon, and that you shall only pretend to be one all the days of your life?

Parish Minister Person: It is meet and right so to do.

Presiding Person: Do you promise to faithfully complete your duties by dressing as a priest, behaving as a priest and doing everything a priest can do in order to deceive the faithful and usher in as soon as possible the new Vatican 3 church that all of us long for?

Parish Minister Person: With the help of God I will.

The Parish  Minister Person then stands before the Presiding Person who kneels and kisses his/her ring thus symbolizing the submission of the Presiding Person and all hierarchical, patriarchal type people to the will of the people of God who are church.

Parish Minister Person: (for he/she is now in charge) Let us all share together the sign of Peace.

The people who are church exchange the sign of peace among themselves while a suitable hymn or protest song is chanted. A liturgical procession/dance may now take place if the local custom and room in the shared worship space allows. The procession/dance should involve carrying the newly anointed Parish Minister Person at shoulder height in the seda gestatoria accompanied by bearers of the peacock fans, but if the parish have not such accouterments they may use a kitchen chair and rainbow banners. This shall be done unless the Parish Minister Person be of overlarge girth in which case he/she may be conveyed in a wheelchair suitably decorated in liturgical colors. During the procession/dance the Presiding Person should lie prostrate. On return to the sanctuary the Parish Minister Person says with arms extended:

Parish Minister Person: The Lord be with You

All: And also with you!

Parish Minister Person: I may not bless you so instead let us all say:

All: May the road rise up to meet us, May the sun always be at our back, and may the Irish eyes be smiling until we meet again, and now may God the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer be with us forever more. AMEN.

The Parish Minister Person then removes the miter of the Presiding Person and imposes a large amount of ashes on the head of the Presiding Person as a sign of rejection of hierarchy and patriarchy. The Presiding Person then rends his garments (care should be taken that the Presiding Person is suitably attired in discreet undergarments so that the people who are church may not descend into levity) 

The Presiding Person now divested leads the procession to show penitence for being a hierarchical patriarchal sort of person. The Parish Minister Person shall be carried on the seda gestatoria surrounded by the bearers of the peacock fans, or rainbow banners as appropriate to the members there present. At the door of the shared worship space the Parish Minister Person, with arms extended shall say:

Parish Minister Person: All We Are Saying is…

All: …Give Peace a Chance.

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8 Responses to “Alternative Liturgy for the Establishment of a Parish Minister Person”

  1. avatar Persis says:

    Thanks a lot Gen, I had to clean my soda of my screen before I could comment!! 😀

    This is awesome!! Gotta love Fr. L.!

    It was actually while in attendence and one of these “installation masses”, that I had one, in my series of “epiphanies” that has helped to bring me out of that “camp”!

  2. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    As an opening hymn,I personally prefer: “Beyond the Blue Horizon” and ” Look for the Silver Lining” and the best, ” Climb Every Mountain” as well as ” How do you Solve a Problem Like Maria” from the “Sound of Music”. The last one is very ecumenical and a favorite of feminists!!!

  3. avatar annonymouse says:

    Gen, I got a chuckle out of this – quite creative.

    But please don’t mock “gathering.” For our Catechism states clearly:

    1348 All gather together. Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ himself, the principal agent of the Eucharist. He is high priest of the New Covenant; it is he himself who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose “Amen” manifests their participation.

  4. avatar Gen says:

    Don’t admonish me for another person’s words.

  5. avatar annonymouse says:

    Point well taken. Perhaps Fr. L needs catechesis on this.

    You DID re-post the other person’s words, though.

    I have to say that, on balance, it was quite amusing.

  6. avatar Gen says:

    I think it’s you who might perhaps need more catechesis, not an ordained minister of the Catholic Church! 😉

    And there’s a clear difference between using “gather” as a verb, like the catechism does, and some veiled celebration of the community in lieu of God, like those whom this post from Fr. L targets.

  7. avatar annonymouse says:

    I would guess that even some ordained ministers of the Church have failed to read the catechism or the documents of the Vatican Council, clutching to their pre-conciliar notions of Church and liturgy. With respect to the difference between the verb “gather” and the noun “gathering” – c’mon! Are you serious!?

    And our liturgy is indeed a celebration of community – the community of God’s people in Christ: “From age to age you gather a people to Yourself, so that from east to west (from the rising of the sun to its setting) a perfect offering may be made to the glory of Your Name.”

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