The Power of Ritual

The Power of Ritual 

Session Overview (for facilitators): Catholics love rituals, which convey a deep sense of the holy. We have been using ritual for over two thousand years. Rituals are an important way of reminding us of our true worth and our real mission on earth. Rituals are not an intellectual endeavor, but affect the senses and evoke a deeper meaning. Rituals in the home, the domestic church, are a wonderful way of sharing our faith.


Opening Prayer:

Good and Gracious God, from the very beginning of time you made man and woman to live in loving relationship with you and one another. The family, created to be a reflection of your love, is meant to continue your mission in the world. Be with us today as we reflect on the power of ritual in our lives. Help each member of our family to grow in faith and holiness through the practice of ritual in the home. Help us to always turn to you, knowing wherever two or three are gathered in your name, you are present. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Scripture Reading:
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (12:27-33): 

I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
‘Father, save me from this hour’?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven,
“I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder;
but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
Jesus answered and said,
“This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
Now is the time of judgment on this world;
now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw everyone to myself.”
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.


The Gospel of the Lord:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


Reflection Video with Lyrics: (or choose your own)


For Facilitator Use (may share with group): This song goes further into the Gospel message that our purpose is to love one another, which gives God glory. The practice of rituals reminds us of who we are and why we were created—for God’s mission of love and God’s great glory. We will now listen to this song and reflect on the power of ritual.


Reflection Song: For Your Glory by Matt Maher



Lead into the session video with these group discussion questions:

  1. How do church rituals draw us closer to God?
  2. How do rituals help us to understand our purpose?
  3. What are some of your favorite church rituals? Lenten rituals?

Please show the Session Video: The Power of Ritual by Linda Manternach


Discussion Questions:

  1. What rituals do you already do in your family?
  2. What do they consist of? How do they incorporate all the senses?
  3. How do your family rituals speak of something deeper?
  4. How do your family rituals reflect the larger church rituals?
  5. What rituals would you like to create?
  6. What did you find most helpful with this session?

Closing Song: I Send You Out by John Angotti


Closing Prayer: Holy Family Prayer

Let us pray with expectant faith for the growth of the faith of our families and the transformation of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.


Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

in contemplating your example of love,

we wish to follow your way of holiness.


Holy Family of Nazareth,

may each family of the Archdiocese of Dubuque

discover, embrace, and live its true vocation

as the domestic church—the place of intimate communion and prayer.


Holy Family of Nazareth,

may each home become an authentic school of the Gospel,

may each table provide rich and satisfying nourishment, and

may each hearth extend compassionate love and mercy.


Holy Family of Nazareth,

make us every mindful of each family’s call to holiness

and beauty.


Jesus, Mary and Joseph, give us the desire to make our families more like yours.

Help each family realize that family matters and our mission is love.


We ask this through Christ, our Lord.