A Template for a Transition Ritual for Catholic Health Care Facilities



Let us pray.
Holy and loving God, We give you thanks for the many blessings you have bestowed on us throughout the years. We have witnessed your life-giving love and healing presence within these walls. We remember all who came to us for help and healing. We remember all the men and women who have served, bringing hope, health and consolation to (Name of Institution) from (year) until today. Be with us now as we lovingly give this institution to those who will now use it to further the mission bringing health and healing to the people of this community. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus.


Reading (e.g., Ecclesiastes, see below for Selections)

Reflection (Name of speaker)

Presentation of Symbols

We light this candle, a symbol of the light of Christ's love (Name of Religious Congregation) when they built (Name of Institution).  It is the symbol of all who came before us sustaining the ministry of care to all who came to this health care facility.  We have carried this light into the present day, continuing to comfort the afflicted in body and spirit. Today we impart this light of compassion and care to (Name of New Owners).  This beloved institution is the gift that we impart to the people of (Name of city or community).  This precious gift, we entrust to you today.  May it serve future generations as a place of hope and healing.  
Symbolizing the transition of a representative of (Name of institution) will light the candle and present it to (Name of representative of new institution).

Musical Reflection

Closing Remarks

Commissioning Prayer

Lord our God, through the power of the Holy Spirit your Son healed our infirmities and diseases. When he sent forth his disciples to preach the Gospel, he commanded them to visit and heal the sick. Grant that in this facility the physicians and staff will receive with kindness all the patients who will be confined here and will continue to tend to them with the skill and care that they have always received here.

Concluding Rite

God, the comforter of the afflicted and the strength of the weak, has brought you together to give this institution to its new owners (Name of New Owners). May God's grace strengthen you, so that, in serving the sick with tender charity, you may continue the ministry and mission for which this ministry was established by (Name of Religious Congregation) over (Number) years ago. And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, come upon you (us) and remain with you (us) forever.


Closing Hymn
(Suggested: a song or hymn that refers to the title or patron/patroness of the facility/medical center, or a hymn of thanksgiving/praise known by all.)

Possible Readings

A Reading from the Gospel of John

John 13:12-16

So when he had washed their feet (and) put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.

A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 5:1-10

When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

A Reading from The Book of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 15

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to see;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace.

That which is, already has been;
that which is to be, already is;
and God seeks out what has gone by.

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