Sacred Heart of Jesus
♦Acts of Consecration to the Sacred Heart
♦Blessing of the picture by the priest or deacon
♦Act of Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
♦Five steps for preparing families for the enthronement
♦Three conditions for the Enthronement
♦The meaning of the word “enthronement
♦The meaning of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart
♦Consecration to the Sacred Heart – Its importance and meaning
♦How should the family prepare for the Enthronement?
♦Explanation of the parts of the Enthronement Ceremony:
♦How the Enthronement fulfills the requests -of the Sacred Heart:
♦Living the Enthronement:
♦Practical suggestions for “living the enthronement”:
♦Enthronement Ceremony for Non-Catholic Christians;
♦Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
♦Consecration and Enthronement of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
SWEET HEART OF JESUS
Sweet Heart .of Jesus, fount of love and mercy,
Today we come, Thy blessing to implore;
O touch our hearts, so cold and so ungrateful,
And make them Lord, Thine own for evermore.
SWEET HEART OF JESUS, WE IMPLORE.
OH, MAKE US LOVE THEE, MORE AND MORE.
Sweet Heart of Jesus, make us know and love Thee,
Unfold to us the treasures of Thy grace.
That so our hearts, from things of earth uplifted,
May long alone to gaze upon Thy face.
BLESSING OF THE PICTURE BY THE PRIEST OR DEACON:
Almighty and eternal God who does not forbid us to paint pictures of Your saints so that every time we see them we may be spurred on to imitate their lives and their holiness; we pray that you may bless this picture in honor of Your Only Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart, and make it holy. Grant that everyone who comes before this picture to honor and adore the Most Sacred Heart of Your Son may obtain by His merits and intercession grace in this life and eternal glory in the next. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
The priest or deacon now hangs the picture on the wall; family prays together the Apostle’s Creed:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell, on the third day He rose again. He ascended into Heaven. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the Body and life everlasting. Amen.
Everyone now sits down while the priest speaks a few words to the family, reminding them of what the Sacred Heart asks of those families who are consecrated to Him, recalling His magnificent promises to St. Margaret Mary and urging the family to live the Enthronement by means of the consecration which they are about to make or renew.
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS
ALL KNEEL AND. PRAY TOGETHER.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus / who made known to St. Margaret Mary Your great desire to reign over Christian families / we are gathered here today / to proclaim Your complete dominion over our family. / From now on we promise to lead a Christlike life: / we will strive to develop in our home / all the virtues which bring with them the peace that You promised / and we will not compromise with the spirit of secularism / which You have so strongly denounced.
You will rule over our minds through our deep and living faith. / You will be King of our hearts by our generous love for You; / and we will cultivate this love / by the frequent reception of You in Holy Communion.
Divine Heart of Jesus, / preside over our family gatherings; / bless all our family undertakings, both spiritual and temporal. / Sanctify our joys and comfort us in our sorrows. / If any member of our family should have the misfortune to offend You seriously, / please remind him, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, / of Your infinite love and mercy for the penitent sinner.
And when the hour of separation comes, / when death brings its sorrows into our family, / whether we go or whether we stay, / we humbly accept Your divine will. At the same time we will console and comfort ourselves with the thought / that the time will come when our whole family / will be united lovingly with You in heaven forever. / There we shall-sing a hymn of praise to the infinite mercy and love of Your Sacred Heart.
We ask the Immaculate Heart of Mary and our glorious protector, St. Joseph, to offer You this family consecration of ours. May the memory of this consecration be with us always.
We will say one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father and for absent members, living and dead.
♦The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the Home
Five steps for preparing families for the enthronement:
1. Remote Preparation: This would be the first step and consists in beginning to speak to the families about the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a simple way and telling them about the Enthronement Ceremony in the home.
2. Proximate Preparation: Families that have expressed the desire for the Enthronement are visited again. They should be given instruction in greater detail about the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Enthronement. Depending on the need of the particular family, perhaps several visits may be needed for this.
3. Immediate Preparation: The family makes some kind of immediate preparation for the Enthronement. This may take the form of a “home tridium” or a novena of prayers. Also, the family should be encouraged to go for confession and to receive Holy Communion on the day of the ceremony.
4. Procedure: This is the actual Enthronement Ceremony preferably to be presided over by a priest. He blesses the image, gives a talk, and at the end of the ceremony, bestows a blessing upon those present. He also may bless the home. Depending on how long Father talks, the ceremony may last 20-30 minutes.
5. Follow-up: Encourage the family to “live the enthronement and the consecration”. A general principal is: get the family to do something according to its spiritual capacity. Be careful not to ask too much. It is important to visit the family afterwards, to help them to renew their consecration, etc...
Three conditions for the Enthronement:
1 THAT THE MARRIAGE IS A VALID ONE.
2. THAT AT LEAST ONE OF THE PARENTS BE A PRACTICING CATHOLIC. For example, if one of the parents is a lapsed Catholic or a non-Catholic, the Enthronement may take place if the other parent is a Catholic who practices his or her faith.
3. THE FAMILY MUST HAVE THE GENERAL INTENTION OF DOING GOD’S WILL. This means they may be obliged to fulfill certain specific conditions such as giving up a sinful practice before they can have the Enthronement. Of course, to avoid scandal the priest will be the best judge as to the proper procedure in such cases.
In cases where the Enthronement cannot be had because these conditions are not met, nothing prevents the family from honoring an image of the Sacred Heart in their home and/or praying to the Sacred Heart. Often this will result in the reception of graces that will effect a change in the spiritual status of the family. “Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick; I have come for sinners… The Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.”
The meaning of the word “enthronement”:
The word “enthronement” means to place on a throne in recognition of someone’s authority. (An example of an enthronement would be when a bishop is enthroned in his cathedral as a recognition of his spiritual authority over the diocese.)
The meaning of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart:
To enthrone the image of the Sacred Heart thus means to recognize Christ’s rule over you. It means the recognition of Jesus the God-man who is all-loving and merciful, as the King and Friend of the family. It means giving our Lord first place in our hearts, in our family life. It is like a “heart–exchange” – Jesus gives His heart to us and we offer our hearts to Him. Under the influence of His grace, He really brings about a transformation of our hearts, that is, of our attitudes – changing indifference into love, apathy into action, fear into trust. We become different persons, for we have had a change of heart.
To say it another way, the Enthronement is the official and social recognition of the sovereignty of the Sacred Heart of Jesus over the Christian family. This recognition of Christ’s authority is outwardly expressed and made permanent by the solemn installation of the image of that divine Heart in a conspicuous (obvious) place in the home and by the Act of Consecration.
The Enthronement is not the mere blessing of a picture, or a mere act of consecration, or a mere outward passing ceremony. It is all of this and a great deal more. The Enthronement is meant to encourage and enable families to live the “Sacred Heart way of life” – a life of love and friendship with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the divine Head and loving friend of the family – that is, genuine Christian living.
Consecration to the Sacred Heart – Its importance and meaning:
Consecration to the Sacred Heart is a very important part of the Enthronement Ceremony. In fact, it has been said that Consecration to the Sacred Heart is the most important of all the devotional practices demanded by our divine Lord for His Sacred Heart. St. Margaret Mary tells us that our Lord has made special promises of blessings for those who consecrate themselves to His Sacred Heart: it rejoices the Sacred Heart and is a powerful weapon against the devil; it is a sovereign remedy against mortal sin; it puts souls on the road to perfection; consecration will procure peace of heart; it is a key which opens the Sacred Heart t o us; it is a pledge of salvation.
The Act of Consecration may be explained as having several meanings. First, it signifies that we renew our pledge of love and loyalty to Christ, our King, made on the day of our baptism. Secondly, consecration means to make sacred, to set something apart as dedicated to the service of God: as, for instance a chalice or altar is consecrated. When we consecrate ourselves and our family to the Sacred Heart this means that from then on the family is not only a dedicated family pledged to loving Christ wholeheartedly, but also that it will be sacred in God’s eyes – something very pleasing to Him – the family over which He will watch in a very special way.
How should the family prepare for the Enthronement?
1. Learn more about the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Enthronement. We can help with this through our visits. Also, we can encourage the family to read about it and when possible share pamphlets and books for them to read.
2. By prayer. Three possibilities are:
a) Novena of prayers and readings done as a family for nine days preceding the Enthronement.
b) Tridium of prayers and readings – special prayers and readings to be done by the family on the three days preceding the Enthronement.
c) A week of prayer with the Pilgrim Virgin. Since love of Mary should lead us to Jesus, it is most fitting her Son should be enthroned as King after a week of prayer with the Pilgrim Virgin in the home. The statue would be brought to the home a week before and the family recites the Rosary daily in preparation for the Enthronement. This may be a very nice way for families to prepare for the Enthronement especially when the family cannot read or there are no copies of the Novena or Tridium of prayers available. The family may make the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the end of the week and before the Enthronement Ceremony while the Pilgrim Statue is still in the home or the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart may be made after the Hail Holy Queen within the Enthronement Ceremony itself. Then, after having brought her Son into the home, His Mother moves on to prepare another family for His coming.
3. By Confession, Mass and Communion. It would be good if all the members of the family could go for Confession at some time during the preparation for the Enthronement. (To gain the plenary indulgence attached to the Enthronement, Confession must be made within a week before or after the Enthronement, and Holy Communion should be received the same day as the Enthronement.) It would also be good if at least one member of the family would attend Holy Mass and receive Communion throughout the Novena or Tridium. But at least on the day of the Ceremony, the entire family should make an effort to receive Communion together, in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
4. By setting up a “throne” in the living room (or main room) in the house in a conspicuous place. A fireplace mantle, on the T.V. (it will remind them family to watch only good shows) or a table fixed as an altar may be prepared for the “throne”. Cover it with white cloth; decorate with flowers and candles. If a picture of the Sacred 'Heart is to be used and hung on the wall, then in order to bring out the idea of a shrine, a wall bracket may be placed below the picture on which flowers and candles may be placed or they may be put on a table nearby the place where the picture is to be hung. In another part of the room, place the statue or picture of the Sacred Heart on a small table with Holy Water. Here it will be blessed and then carried by the head of the house to the “throne”. Place near or on the throne photos of absent loved ones, living or dead.
5. Invite relatives and friends. This is not essential but it is important; it emphasizes the social aspect of the ceremony; it gives Christ the King more honor; others share the blessings and learn about the enthronement
♦A brief summary of the Enthronement Ceremony:
1 An opening hymn may be sung.
2. A priest or deacon blesses the image of the Sacred Heart.
3. The head of the house places the image (statue or picture) in “a place of honor” (i.e. on the “throne” that has been prepared).
4. The family prays the Apostle’s Creed together.
5. All are seated while the priest or deacon gives a homily.
6. All kneel for the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart.
7. All recite one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.
8. The Hail Holy Queen is recited to honor the Queenship of Mary. At this time a picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary may be placed next to the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and an Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary may be made.
9. Blessing and closing hymn.
After the ceremony the house may be blessed.
Explanation of the parts of the Enthronement Ceremony:
1 When all the family members and guests are present and the priest or deacon is ready (he may wear a cassock, surplice and stole), one of the children is allowed to light the candles while another distributes copies of the “ceremonial” to each one present. The opening hymn is sung. With the parents and children standing near, the priest begins the liturgical blessing of the image of the Sacred Heart. Then he invites the head of the house, accompanied by his wife and children, to take the picture or statue and “escort the Sacred Heart to the p1ace of honor in the home”. (The place of honor should have been prepared beforehand – see previous explanation). Sometimes while the little procession is taking place, those present sing a small hymn to the Sacred Heart. Arriving at the throne, the Sacred Heart is installed in the place of honor.
2. Then the Apostle’s Creed is recited by all as an act of faith in our Lord’s teachings and in reparation for those families who refuse to accept them or put them into practice.
3. All are next seated, while the priest or deacon addresses them on the significance of the Enthronement and the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
4. When the homily finishes, all kneel and say in unison the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart. Then an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be are recited for all the absent loved ones, living and dead. If so desired, the “Prayers of the Faithful” may be added. Those present may add their own petitions.
5. All stand. Wherever a king is enthroned, there the queen reigns, too. Consequently, in the Enthronement ceremony, the Queen of Love is not forgotten, and in honor of her Immaculate Heart, the Hail Holy Queen is recited by all. If so desired, at this point an act of consecration of the family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary may be recited and her image installed near that of the Sacred Heart. (Strictly speaking, we do not “enthrone” the Immaculate Heart of Mary – this is an act of adoration reserved for the divine King alone. We certainly may and should, however, install the image of our Lady in a place of honor in the home.)
6. If a priest is present, the ceremony is concluded by his giving a blessing. A closing hymn may be sung. Father may also bless the house. If there is a certificate of the Enthronement it should be signed by all the family members and the priest or deacon and then hung near the Sacred Heart shrine.
How the Enthronement fulfills the requests -of the Sacred Heart:
In this ceremony three important requests of our Lord are fulfilled:
1st - that He be acknowledged as King of love;
2nd - that His image be given the place of honor;
3rd - that we consecrate ourselves to His Sacred Heart.
But He made other requests, too. Carrying out these requests is what may be called “living the enthronement”. This is, in fact, the most important part of it.
Living the Enthronement:
The basic request made by the Sacred Heart is that we try to love Him more generously than in the past. Often those interested in having the Enthronement and making the Consecration to the Sacred Heart ask what the “obligations” are. This would be the main obligation: to strive to love the Sacred Heart more and more. All Christians are obliged to keep the two great commandments, love of God and love of neighbor. This means obeying the law of God and of His Church and practicing charity.
But love far the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the home where He has been Enthroned and where the Consecration to Him has been made should have three special qualities:
1. It must be a trustful love based on His mercy and His power and His willingness to help in all our needs. Faith and confidence should be the outstanding qualities of love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
2. Love for the Sacred Heart should be Eucharistic. We must attend Holy Mass faithfully on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation. Also, we should try to go to Mass and receive Communion as often as possible during the week as well. At least try to carry out our Lord’s request to receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month in reparation for those who miss Mass and Communion through their own fault. In return, if we did this for nine successive first Fridays of the month, our Lord promised our salvation will be assured. A great promise and a great privilege.
3. Love for the Sacred Heart must be generous, that is to say, it must be unselfish. Love of its very nature means to give oneself to the one loved, but this requires sacrifice. This means not only generosity in our love for God, but in our love for our neighbor as well, especially in the-practice of family charity.
Practical suggestions for “living the enthronement”:
The following are some practices that may be suggested to the families in order for them to grow in their love for the Sacred Heart and to keep the Enthronement alive. A general principal is: get the family to do something according to its spiritual capacity. But we must be careful not to ask too much or else they may feel overwhelmed or get discouraged and give up completely. We must know the family and make our suggestions accordingly.
1. Aspirations: By turning to the Sacred Heart frequently during the day and whispering little ejaculatory prayers, especially when you pass by the Sacred Heart picture. You may say the little prayer mentally or say it with another member of the family.
‘Sacred Heart of Jesus, I love You.”
“Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You.”
“Sacred Heart of Jesus, I implore, that I may love You ever more and more.”
“Sacred Heart, I believe in your love for me and my family.”
“Sacred Heart, protect my family.”
2. Daily prayer - individually or as a family: Start the day with the Morning Offering. Say a daily renewal prayer of consecration (after dinner before leaving the table, after the Family Rosary, or another time when all are together). Read daily from the Scriptures, especially the Gospel. Say the Rosary daily.
3. Renewal of the Consecration to the Sacred Heart:
On first Fridays and other special occasions – on certain occasions gather as a family around the shrine of the Sacred Heart for a formal renewal of the family consecration. This might be done on birthdays, wedding anniversaries, day of baptism, First Communion, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, New Year’s Eve, etc...
Annual Renewal – on the anniversary of the Enthronement, the entire ceremony may be repeated (no need to re-enthrone the picture or statue of the Sacred Heart, but the rest of the ceremony may be repeated). The whole Enthronement may be repeated when the family moves into a new home.
4. Greater devotion to the Holy Eucharist:
- Daily Mass - perhaps at least one member of the family would be able to attend Mass daily and represent the family.
- Try to attend Holy Mass and receive Holy Communion on first Fridays of the month for nine consecutive months or perhaps every first Friday (it is wonderful if this can be done as a family).
- Make the Holy Hour when possible in the Church before the Blessed Sacrament. Make a Holy Hour in the home. Some families rise at night (between 11:00 and 12:00 pm on the eve of the first Friday of the month) and make a Holy Hour in the Home.
- Visits to the Blessed Sacrament – whenever passing a Church on the way to or from work or school, etc… try to stop in to make a short visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
5. Make the Feast of the Sacred Heart a special family feast each year. Try to attend Holy Mass and receive Holy Communion as a family. Make it a day when the family shows the Sacred Heart that He truly is the King and Friend of their home, the God-with-us intimately associated with daily family life. Make it a real day of joy and celebration.
6. Keep before the image of the Sacred Heart a burning light or at least some flowers. This serves as a reminder for the family and for visitors that Jesus occupies the place of honor in the home.
7. We can arrange from time to time for families that have had the Enthronement and made the Consecration to the Sacred Heart to join together for a special Mass or Holy Hour and to renew their Consecration.
What should be done when a priest or deacon cannot be present for the Enthronement?
It is, of course, best if a priest or deacon can be present to bless the picture or statue and to preside over the ceremony. When this is impossible, the family can still have the Enthronement Ceremony without the priest or deacon. When this is the case, the image of the Sacred Heart should be brought to the Church or the rectory to be blessed. To make this more meaningful, one way of doing this is to have all those who are going to have the Enthronement line up in front of the Church before or after the Mass holding the picture or statue to be blessed by the priest. It would be best if the father of the family be the one to hold the picture while it is being blessed. The rest of the ceremony would take place in the home as usual.
Enthronement Ceremony for Non-Catholic Christians;
Some form of an enthronement ceremony may be arranged for non-Catholic Christians. It could include: Hymns, Scripture Readings (such as Lk 19:1-10 or 10:38-42 or Jn 12:12-15), enthroning a picture of Christ (preferably the Sacred Heart) in a place of honor (this would be prepared with flowers, candles, etc...) and other prayers. The Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart would not be made but some kind of “covenant prayer” between the family and Jesus, their God and Savior, could replace it.
Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
It has already been suggested that the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be included in the Enthronement Ceremony. However, another possibility would be to have a separate ceremony for this with a time of preparation beforehand. This would certainly be necessary if the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary according to St. Louis de Monfort is to be made, since it is important to prepare for this. If the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart is to take place during a separate ceremony, it might be carried out as follows:
1. Hymn to-Our Lady
2. Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart
3. Our Father, Hail Mary and-Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy -Father
4. The family Rosary (optional) -- say Glorious mysteries
5. All stand for the Hail Holy Queen
6. Renewal of the consecration to the Sacred Heart
7. End with a hymn