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Liturgy of Installation of a Pastor
with Expanded Rite of Presenting Symbols

by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

P = Presiding Minister  A = Assisting Minister  C = Congregation

 

Summer tends to bring ordinations and moves for pastors, meaning that at some point, there's going to be an Installation service to plan. I personally feel that an afternoon Installation, with area clergy invited, celebrated around the table of the Lord is the most appropriate setting. Even if the eucharist has been celebrated in the morning, the installation gathering is a different (usually larger) group of people with whom the presence of the Lord should be shared. At the same time, it is the initiatory service in which the symbols of Word and Sacrament are presented to the new pastor TO USE.

 

The color of the day is the color of the season, or, as a celebration of the church, it may be red.

 

The following Dialog of Praise replaces the Kyrie:

 

A. Praise the Lord, all you people.

C. Praise him, all you heavenly hosts.

 

A. Praise him for his mighty acts.

C. Praise him for his greatness.

 

A. God calls us to be his people,

C. A royal priesthood and a holy nation,

 

A. To proclaim aloud the Lord's name,

C. To tell all the world the wonders of his works.

 

A. For he satisfies the thirsty,

C. And fills the hungry with good things.

 

A. He has pity on the lowly and the poor.

C. He redeems the lives of those who call upon his name.

 

A. Whom shall the Lord send to them, and who will go for us?

C. "Here am I, Lord! Send me."

 

The Prayer of the Day is No. 543 from the notes for Installation in the Occ. Serv., p.231.

 

The Rite of Installation begins after the Hymn of the Day.  I encourage printing out the entire rite so that the congregation may participate fully.

 

For the Prayer of the Church in the middle of the rite, I suggest the following:

 

The people stand for prayer.

A. Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs. For the holy catholic Church of God, that it may be filled with truth and love, and be found without fault at the Day of your coming; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

A. For all members of your Church in their vocations and ministries, that they may serve you with true and godly lives; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

A. For all bishops and pastors, especially for                        our Presiding Bishop, for                        our Bishop, and for pastors of our sister congregations, that they may be filled with your love, may hunger for the truth, and may thirst after righteousness; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

A. For    Name   , chosen to be pastor in this Church, that s/he may faithfully fulfill the duties of this ministry, build up your Church, and glorify your name; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

A. For the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in her/him, that s/he may be sustained and encouraged to persevere to the end; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

A. For his/her family and loved ones who give support, that they may be adorned with all Christian virtues; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

A. For all who fear God and believe in Christ, that our divisions may cease and that all may be one as you are one Lord and Father of us all; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

A. For the mission of the Church, that in faithful witness it may preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

A. For those who do not yet believe, and for those who have lost their faith, that they may receive the light of the Gospel; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

A. For all who have died in the communion of your Church, that they may have rest in that place where there is no pain or grief, but life eternal; Lord, in your mercy,

C. Hear our prayer.

 

P. Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. Amen

The people sit.

 

The Presentation of Symbols as suggested in the Occ. Serv. is great, but I have always felt it needed some help. I offer the following expanded version:

 

As the hymn is sung, the crucifer leads the ministers to the baptismal font.

 

Hymn:                                                              Tune: Dundee (#464)

         Renewing Spirit, hear our praise

         For your baptismal pow'r

         That washes us through all our days.

         Lord, cleanse again this hour.

 

A representative of the congregation presents the baptismal symbols to the new pastor:

 

Rep.1:  You have been called to be among us to baptize, to teach, and to declare the forgiveness of sins. Use the waters of baptism to bring new life to all in Christ's name.

Pastor:  May the Lord bring forgiveness and new life in Christ to those baptized in this place.

C. Amen

 

Hymn:

         Father of mercies, in your Word

         What endless glory shines!

         Forever be your name adored

         For these celestial lines.

 

During the hymn, the crucifer leads the ministers to the pulpit. A second representative presents the Holy Bible.

 

Rep.2: You have been called among us to proclaim the Good News. Receive the Holy Scriptures and empower us with God's saving Word.

Pastor: May the Lord be always on my lips and in my heart that I may speak God's Word of grace and favor to you.

C. Amen

 

Hymn:

         Lord, sup with us in love divine,

         Your Body and your Blood,

         That living bread, that heav'nly wine,

         Be our immortal food.

 

During the hymn, the crucifer leads the ministers to the altar. A third representative presents the communion vessels.

 

Rep.3: You have been called among us to lead worship and preside at Holy Communion. Receive these vessels of the heavenly food of life and gather us as one family around the table of the Lord.

Pastor: May the Lord make us one and give us strength in the bread which we break together.

C. Amen

The people stand.

 

Hymn:

         To God all glory, praise, and love

         Be now and ever giv'n

         By saints below and saints above,

         The Church in earth and heav'n.

 

During the hymn, the crucifer leads the ministers to the place where they began. The Dean addresses the new pastor:

P. Receive these signs of your calling to serve the Lord and his people in the ministry of Word and Sacrament.

The people offer acclamation with applause to welcome the new pastor. Afterward, the newly installed pastor, who now presides, extends the peace of the Lord to all.

 

The Liturgy of the Eucharist would continue as normal. The Post-Communion Prayer may be no. 539 from the notes for Ordination, Occ. Serv., p.203.

___________

Acknowledgment: (must print out)

The hymn stanzas used at the Presentation of Symbols are from: Thomas E. Herbranson's "This Is the Spirit's Entry Now," Anne Steele's "Father of Mercies," Charles Wesley's "Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sin," all in the Lutheran Book of Worship, Augsburg Fortress 1978, and James Montgomery's "Shepherd of Souls, Refresh and Bless" in The Hymnal 1982, Church Pension Fund 1985.