United Catholic Church
Order of Worship
(Updated May 10, 2003)
Most Rev. Robert M. Bowman, PhD, Archbishop Primate
Rev. Margaret E. Bowman, LRAM, Director of Liturgy and Music
(The following order of Mass for the United Catholic Church is the result of
years of development. It is not imposed as a standard. It is offered as an
example. Local bishops may adapt the liturgy to the needs of their flock. In
what follows, Roman type is spoken by one of the celebrants or deacons. Bold
italics are for the entire assembly to speak in unison. Other italics are
explanatory or commentary. Asterisks represent variables which may change from
week to week at the discretion of the pastor. Special Masses for funerals,
weddings, and ordinations are also available.)
The candles on the altar are lit.
Call to Worship: (by the Celebrant before beginning entrance march. Alleluias
here and elsewhere are omitted in Lent.)
Alleluia, Alleluia! This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Alleluia, Alleluia!
Entrance Hymn: *********
(After reaching the altar, the Celebrant bows, goes around behind the altar,
and kisses it.)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. The grace and peace of God be with you all.
And also with you.
Hymn of Praise and Glory: ******** (This may be a traditional "Gloria" or a
contemporary song such as "Glorify Thy Name" or "Majesty."
Opening Prayer: ****** (See Roman Sacramentary, for example. Many of
our parishes follow the Roman Calendar Year and Lectionary. Advent is the only
big change. We also replace the Marian feasts. The Feast of the Immaculate
Conception, for example, has become the Feast in Honor of Unwed Mothers. We also
authorize use of the Revised Common Lectionary used by many Protestant
denominations.) **** We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First Reading: ********
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Responsorial Psalm: ********
Second Reading: ********
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Please stand for the Gospel Acclamation and the reading of the Gospel.
Gospel Acclamation: ********
(should be sung if possible)
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
Glory to you, O
Profession of Faith:
(NICENE CREED, UCC Translation)
(This is an inclusive-language translation of the original
form of the Creed as used before 1054 and as still used by the Orthodox
churches. The Creed need not be done every week.)
We believe in three divine persons in one God:
We believe in the Creator, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all
that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Savior, Jesus Christ, eternally begotten of the Creator,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one
in Being with the Creator. Through Christ all things were made. For us and for
our salvation, the only Begotten came down from heaven and, by the power of the
Holy Spirit, was born of the virgin, Mary, and became human.
For our sake, Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered, died, and
was buried, but on the third day rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures,
then ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Creator.
One day, Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and God’s kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, the giver of life, who
proceeds from the Creator, and who, with the Creator and the Begotten, is
worshiped and glorified. The Spirit has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic church. We acknowledge one
baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Prayers of the Faithful: (example is for Thanksgiving Day and was written by
Archbishop Bowman. Beautiful versions are available in the Episcopal Book of
Common Prayer. Parishes are free to write their own. The people should be
invited to share their joys and concerns. This can occur before, during, or
after the Prayers of the Faithful, but before the Celebrant’s Collect, so that
he can incorporate these into his Collect prayer.)
For the beauty of your creation, Lord, we give you thanks. For
sunsets over the water and majestic mountains and fields of grass; Lord,
we give you thanks. For eyes with which to see them; Lord, we give
you thanks. For the smell of roses and of the sea and of bread baking;
Lord, we give you thanks. For noses with which to sense them;
Lord, we give you thanks. For cool breezes and sand between our
toes and the soothing caress of someone who cares; Lord, we give you
thanks. For the sense of touch with which to feel them; Lord, we
give you thanks. For roast turkey and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie
and good wine; Lord, we give you thanks. For tongues with which to
taste them; Lord, we give you thanks. For birds singing and brooks
babbling and orchestras playing; Lord, we give you thanks. For
ears with which to hear them. Lord, we give you thanks. For
animals in the wild and the strength of a horse and the companionship of a dog;
Lord, we give you thanks. For friendship, for babies crying and
children playing, for those who have loved us and those you have given us to
love; Lord, we give you thanks. More than these, for the minds and
hearts and souls you have given us with which to not just sense, but appreciate
and enjoy all these wonders you have made. Lord, we give you thanks.
For life itself; For your Word which inspires us, your Sacraments which
nourish us, and your church which brings them to us; Lord, we give you
thanks. For your majesty, your mercy, and your grace; Lord, we
give you thanks. For all the gifts you have given us in the past, even
those we have forgotten; for those we are receiving here today, even those we
fail to notice; and for those you have in store for us through all eternity,
even those we cannot yet envision, Lord, we give you thanks.
Collect: (The Celebrant prays for the needs of the people as expressed in the
Joys and Concerns, then concludes with, for example) Almighty God, to whom
our needs are known before we ask, help us to ask only what accords with your
will; and those good things which we dare not, or in our blindness cannot ask,
grant us for the sake of your only Begotten, Jesus our Savior.
Call to Reconciliation, General Absolution, & Peace
Hear, O people: Jesus has called you to love God with all your heart, soul,
mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
This we do
Let us take a moment to examine our conscience, remember those times when we
have failed to live up to God’s law of love, and repent of our past sins.
Reconciliation Song: ******** (optional) "Agnus Dei", other appropriate song,
or a silent moment
God’s forgiveness of His people (General Absolution)
By the power of God, you are absolved from all your sins and offenses, in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; and may the blessing
of God come upon you, give you peace, and remain with you forever.
(NOTE: from this point on, there is no mention in the Mass of unworthiness or
guilt, no breast-beating, no asking for mercy. The Agnus Dei, if it is to be
done, should be done as the Reconciliation Song, not just before Communion. Like
Jesus, we want sinners to come to Him, not stay away out of fear or guilt. After
the Absolution, everyone is now in the state of grace.)
Having accepted God’s mercy and forgiveness, let us turn to each other in
humility, love, and peace, and greet one another in the peace of the Lord.
(The People pass the Peace.)
Now that we are all reconciled both to God and to each other, we may
celebrate with joyful hearts the central act of Christian worship, the
Liturgy of the Eucharist
At this point there may be a collection. A suitable song may be sung, such as
"Take Our Bread." The gifts are brought forward and the Doxology may be sung
"Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow."
Presentation of the Gifts
The celebrant washes his hands and prepares the gifts, putting the hosts to
be consecrated on the paten and pouring the wine into the chalice.
[Note: the following prayers of blessing have been used in the Church since
the time of Christ. They were used in the Jewish Seder for at least a thousand
years before that, and were undoubtedly used by Jesus at the last supper.]
(while raising the paten and addressing God)
Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this
bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become
for us the bread of life. Blessed be God forever!
(then as the water and wine are mixed)
By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of
(while raising the chalice and again addressing God)
Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine
to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our
spiritual drink. Blessed be God forever and ever!
(now addressing the congregation)
Pray, friends, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God.
Almighty God, we ask you to receive us and be pleased with the sacrifice
we offer you with humble hearts, for the praise and glory of your name, for our
good, and the good of all your people.
Offertory Prayer: ********
We ask this through Christ, our Lord,
(At this point it is our practice to invite the entire assembly to gather
around the altar in an intimate circle, standing there until they have received
Communion, at which point they return to their seats. Chairs are provided for
those unable to stand. Wheelchairs are brought inside the circle. If there are
too many to make this feasible, the church and ceremony should be arranged such
that the people feel that they are participating, not just watching.)
(Any bishops celebrating or present remove their zucchettos until after
Communion is over.)
Our God be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. Yes, we lift them up.
Let us give thanks to our God. It is right to give thanks and praise.
We praise you, Almighty God, with all the angels in their song of joy:
Holy, Holy, Holy I am, God of Power, God of might:
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the Highest.
Blest is the One Who comes in the name of Our God.
Hosanna in the Highest.
Consecration Dialogue (Celebrant and People)
And so, Almighty God, Ruler of the Universe, we who have been redeemed and
made new now bring before you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy
Spirit to be the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. While Jesus and his
followers were at supper on the night before he was given up to death, A
death he freely accepted, He took bread, and giving thanks, he broke the
bread, and gave it to his friends, and said, "Take this, all of you, and eat it;
this is my body, which will be given up for you."
When supper was ended, he took the cup. Again He gave thanks and gave
the cup to His friends and said: "Take this, all of you, and drink from
it; this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in
memory of me."
Memorial Acclamation (Deacon or Cantor)
Let us proclaim the mystery of faith
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again
Conclusion of Eucharistic Prayer
We offer to you, God of glory and majesty, this holy and perfect sacrifice.
We lift this bread and cup before you, giving you thanks that you have made us
worthy to be here and to serve you as your priestly people.
one all who share this bread and wine and let us be filled with every grace and
truth. Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.
Great Amen: Amen, Amen, Amen!
Lord’s Prayer (Lay Minister or Deacon and People)
Now let us pray together in the words our Savior taught us:
(Either the traditional version or this modern, more accurate
translation may be used.)
Our father in heaven, may your name be held holy. Your kingdom come;
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who wrong us; and do not put us to
the test, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and
the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
Therefore let us keep the
The Celebrants and Eucharistic Ministers, holding up the patens and chalices,
The gifts of God for the people of God.
Happy are we who are called to
(It is appropriate at this point for the Celebrant to remind people that they
have received general absolution and are therefor in the state of grace. Jesus
accepts all just as they are. All baptised Christians are invited to the Lord’s
table. If the people are in a circle around the altar, the Celebrants and
Eucharistic Ministers move around to them. If not, then the people should
approach the altar rail or altar in groups to receive. The practice of the
people standing in line to receive the Body, then moving to another station to
drink from the chalice may be efficient, but it destroys the awe, reverence, and
intimacy which should be associated with Communion. It’s worth the extra time to
avoid such practices. For the people, this is by far the most important moment
in the Mass. We must make the most of it, not rush through it.)
The Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Blood of Christ, the Cup of Salvation.
(Those distributing Communion should touch the communicants, use their names,
look them in the eye, do whatever they can to connect with them and make them
feel God’s love for them. Don’t rush! When all in the congregation have
received, then the Eucharistic Ministers receive. Finally, the celebrant or
celebrants kneel before the altar and receive Communion from the Eucharistic
Ministers or servers. Having the celebrants partake last emphasizes that the
clergy are the servants of the people, not their masters.)
Communion Hymn: ********
After the distribution of Communion is finished, the bishop(s) present put on
their zucchettos and may sit for the remainder of the singing of the Communion
Prayer After Communion: ******** Amen.
(On high feasts, for ordinations, or for other special occasions the bishop(s)
don mitre and staff. Brief announcements may be made at this time.)
Commissioning by Deacon: ******** Amen!
Blessing by Celebrant:
May the peace of God, which is beyond all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
(or another blessing suitable to the season)
May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Dismissal by Deacon: Let us go forth into the world rejoicing in the
power of the Spirit. (or other suitable dismissal)
Thanks be to God!
During the recessional, the celebrants kiss the altar, move to the front of
the altar, bow, and then process out. The candles are extinguished.