A brief summary of the Enthronement Ceremony:
l. 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 Apostles' 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:
l.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 Apostles' 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
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 for 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:
l. 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 Holy days 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 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