Ceremony of Investment into the Franciscan Lay Apostolate
The investment of postulants with the scapular and cord takes place ordinarily twice a year at the monthly fraternity meeting of the Order. Only under special circumstances should private investments be permitted. The ceremonies of investment and profession can also be combined, to give more time for the monthly conference.
The postulants should receive a notification of investment beforehand, and the notification slip, bearing their name, address and new name in the Order should be presented to the Director as he invites each one. From these slips the record of investments is entered into the Fraternity Register of Investment and Professions. This same procedure should be followed by profession.
Postulants may be invested at the Communion rail, or preferably, at the altar step, the Novice Master and Mistress assisting to adjust the scapular and cord.
Vested in surplice and stole, the priest kneels on the first step of the altar and begins the Prayers Before the Meeting on page 1. If, as is customary, the Come, Holy Ghost is sung before the sermon, the Veni Creator may be omitted at the beginning of the investment ceremony, i.e., after the blessing of the scapulars and cords. In this case, the priest may recite the Veni, Creator privately. After opening prayers the sermon is given.
After the sermon, the priest, either standing or seated in a chair on the predella of the altar on the Epistle side, puts to the postulants kneeling before him the following question:
Quae est petition vestra? (What do you ask?)
Respondent postulantes: (The postulants answer together:)
Rev. pater, ego humiliter postulo habitum Tertii Ordinis de Poententia, ut cum eo salute aeternam facilious consequi valeam. (Reverend Father, I humbly ask of you the habit of the Third Order of Penance, * in order that with it * I may more easily obtain eternal salvation).
Tunc sacerdos ait: (The priest says:)
Deo gratias. (Thanks be to God.)
The priest addresses a few words of exhortation to the postulants. Then, facing the altar, he blesses the habits of the Third Order.
V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini
(Our help is in the name of the Lord.)
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
(Who made heaven and earth.)
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam,
(O Lord, hear my prayer,)
R. Et clamor meus ad te ventiat.
(And let my cry come unto you.)
V. Dominus vobiscum.
(The Lord be with you.)
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
(And with your spirit.)
(Let us pray:)
All: O Lord Jesus Christ, who have deigned to put on the garb of our mortality * and to be wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger, * and who have graciously inspired your glorious confessor our blessed father Francis to institute three orders * and the Supreme Pontiffs of the Church, your vicars, * to approve them: * we humbly beseech the abundance of your clemency that you would deign to bless and sanctify these garments, * which the same blessed Francis enjoined his fellow soldiers, the Brothers of Penance, * to wear as a badge of penance and as a strong armor against the world, the flesh, and the Devil; * that these your servants, devoutly receiving them may so clothe themselves with you that they may in spirit of humility faithfully walk in the way of your commandments till death. Who live and reign world without end. Amen.
V. Oremus (Let us pray:)
All: O God, who, to set the slave free, * would have your Son bound by the hands of impious men, * bless, we beseech you, * these cinctures * and grant that your servants who are girded with this bond of penance, * may be always mindful of the cords of our Lord Jesus Christ * and ever acknowledge themselves bound to your service. Through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
The priest kneels before the altar and recites or sings alternately with the congregation or the choir the Veni Creator, unless it has been sung earlier in the meeting; or, while the priest recites it alone, the members can sing the Come, Holy Ghost:
The hymn being concluded, the priest rises, goes up to the altar steps to the predella, and turns to the postulants kneeling before the altar. Propriety requires that the following rites be done individually. If ever great numbers make it necessary to use the plural at the giving of the articles, the form may be said once for all, the priest then proceeding to bestow the respective articles on each postulant in succession.
May the Lord divest you of the old man with his acts, and turn away your heart from the pomps of the world, which you renounced when receiving Baptism
The priest gives the scapular to each postulant, saying:
May the Lord clothe you with the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.
Giving the cord, the priest says:
May the Lord gird you with the cincture of purity and extinguish in your loins the passion of lust, that the virtue of continency and chastity may dwell in you.
Then, a lighted candle is presented to the postulant, with the words:
Receive, dearest brother, the light of Christ as a sign of your immortality.
Now the priest may give the novitiate a new name, saying:
Your name as a Tertiary shall be Brother (Sister) N.
And turning towards those present, the priests blesses everyone, saying:
May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, descend upon you, and remain forever. Amen.
The ceremony being concluded, each novice's Christian name, surname, residence, and the day of clothing must be entered in the register of the fraternity. It is customary to inscribe the date of reception on a page provided for this in the manual of prayers of the Third Order, The Tertiaries Companion. Certificates of reception can also be given to the novices.
RITUALS FOR PUBLIC FUNCTIONS
FRANCISCAN THIRD ORDER
Mark Hegener, O.F.M.
Pius J. Barth, O.F.M.
Minister Provincial, Sacred Heart Province
Conradin Wallbraun, O.F.M.
Marion Habig, O.F.M.
Samuel Cardinal Stritch
Archbishop of Chicago
April 16, 1955