PRIEST We stand in: a rich tradition of faith, witnessed by the martyrs and prophets; a rich tradition of hope, witnessed by courageous missionaries opening up new lands and cultures for Christ; and a rich tradition of love, witnessed by all who have sacrificed themselves for the poor, the broken and the excluded of our world in every age. In these ways we, the Church of Christ, have served our God and our world well, and for this tradition we give great thanks.
READER We confess with sorrow that there is another, darker, history revealed in centuries of divisions among the People of God; in a Church too often identifying with the powerful rather than with the struggles of the poor; in the persecution even to death of Christian brothers and sisters different from us, and of those of other faith systems. In these ways we, the Church, have failed our God and our world, and for this sad tradition we repent with all our heart.
PRIEST And now, as we are about to set foot upon this Year of Our Lord, 2019, we come to affirm our faith in the Living God, Creator, Redeemer, Life-Giver; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nourished as we are by God’s Word and guided by God’s Spirit, we come to dedicate ourselves anew to the work of the Kingdom, to fill this Year with the Mercy, Compassion and Love of Christ and His Holy Spirit.
So now I ask you, my brothers and sisters,
Will you affirm your faith in the Father, the Creator, the Life-giver?
PEOPLE I affirm with joy that I am a child of God, created in the Divine image, called and gifted to continue God’s creation of our Universe.
READER Will you affirm your faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Brother and Redeemer, who gives Himself to you in Word
PEOPLE I affirm with gratitude that Jesus is my Saving Brother, speaking Divine Truth to my mind and heart by His Word, and nourishing His Love in me by the great gift of the Eucharist; calling me to a life of prayer and contemplation so that I may live as brother and sister with all people; challenging me to strive for peace and justice in a broken world, urging me to proclaim the Good News of Mercy and Healing by my action, life-style and words.
PRIEST Will you affirm your faith in the Holy Spirit, Breath and Flame of God?
PEOPLE I affirm with profound openness of heart that the Holy Spirit is the breath of God’s Life and the Fire of God’s Love within me: bidding me to welcome and use the Spirit’s Power for deep prayer, radical action and loving community and so to be part of God’s Renewal of the Face of the Earth.
READER Will you, as we set out together on this New Year, affirm your faith in the Church of God as a living Bread of Christ in God’s Hands to be broken and given for the life of the world?
PEOPLE I affirm with deep love that, despite its many failures and profound inadequacies, the Church will always remain God’s gift proclaiming the Gospel down the centuries, calling me to prayer, challenging me to live community with love, to heal every disunity, to share my gifts and insights, to foster Christian freedom and mission and to be Bread in God’s Hands broken to give life to the world.
PRIEST At the turning of the Year may this affirmation deepen our faith, envision our hope and enlarge our love; as this Year of our Lord 2019 begins may the Holy Trinity continue always to empower our Mission of Mercy and Healing to our torn world.
PEOPLE AMEN! AMEN! ALLELUIA!
Renewal of our Allegiance to Jesus Christ No 777 & Song of Africa
[each one is invited to approach the Baptismal Water, bless themselves and then be anointed with Blessed Oil for the Mission of Christ in this New Year]