RCIA 222: Prayer Over The Water

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This is one of three very long prayers of the Easter Vigil. The rubrics are as follows:

222. After the Litany of the Saints, the celebrant blesses the water, using the blessing formulary given in option A.

When baptism is celebrated outside the Easter Vigil (see RCIA 26), the celebrant may use any of the blessing formularies given in options A, B, and C.

But when baptism is celebrated during the Easter season (see RCIA 26) and water already blessed at the Easter Vigil is available, the celebrant uses either option D or option E, so that this part of the celebration will retain the themes of thanksgiving and intercession.

Thanksgiving and intercession: just like the Eucharist. Here’s the text of option A:

Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs,
which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power.

In baptism we use your gift of water,
which you have made a rich symbol
of the grace you give us in this sacrament.

At the very dawn of creation
your Spirit breathed on the waters,
making them the wellspring of all holiness.

The waters of the great flood
you made a sign of the waters of baptism,
that make an end of sin
and a new beginning of goodness.

Through the waters of the Red Sea
you led Israel out of slavery,
to be an image of God’s holy people,
set free from sin by baptism.

In the waters of the Jordan
your Son was baptized by John
and anointed with the Spirit.

Your Son willed that water and blood
should flow from his side
as he hung upon the cross.

After his resurrection he told his disciples:
“Go out and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Father, look now with love upon your Church,
and unseal for her the fountain of baptism.

By the power of the Spirit
give to this water the grace of your Son,
so that in the sacrament of baptism
all those whom you have created in your likeness
may be cleansed from sin
and rise to a new birth of innocence
by water and the Holy Spirit.

Here, if this can be done conveniently, the celebrant before continuing lowers the Easter candle into the water once or three times, then holds it there until the acclamation at the end of the blessing.

[Outside the Easter Vigil, the celebrant before continuing simply touches the water with his right hand.]

We ask you, Father, with your Son
to send the Holy Spirit upon the waters of this font.

May all who were buried with Christ in the death of baptism
rise also with him to newness of life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The people sing the following or some other suitable acclamation.

Springs of water, bless the Lord. Give him glory and praise for ever.

Commentary:

It’s all based on Scripture. It’s deeply trinitarian.

I’ve seen the presider continue the text as the candle is lowered three times. It would seem that a pause is called for in the rite.

What are the other options like? Shorter, with brief acclamations inserted into the text.

Thoughts? Comments?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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