THE HOLY OCTAVE OF
CONSECRATION TO GOD OUR FATHER
The Holy Octave of Consecration to God Our Father involves eight days of prayer, scripture readings, and meditation, as well as participation in the Holy Mass, the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The first seven days serve as preparatory steps leading to the final day of assembly and solemn consecration--The Feast of the Father of All Mankind.
A chaplet, medal, and litany have been specially designed for the octave approach of this consecration and feast day. All God's children are invited to use the following spiritual practices and format to consecrate themselves to God Our Father. Although the consecration can be done at any time by setting aside an eight-day period (preferably Sunday to Sunday), it is suggested that (1) it be renewed formally each year on the proposed date (an octave ending on the first Sunday of August) and that (2) it be renewed informally each day by praying the chaplet. In addition, the short prayer, "I love You, Father, and I give myself to You" can be prayed throughout the day to help us live our consecration more fully.
Two publications are available for The Holy Octave of Consecration to God Our Father: (1) God Our Father--Consecration and Feast Day for the Father of All Mankind (full-length book) and (2) God Our Father--Consecration and Feast Day for the Father of All Mankind (the booklet). Both publications contain an introduction the formal and daily chaplet, and litany. However, the full-length book contains sections that provide additional information and support for The Holy Octave of Consecration to God Our Father: “The Journey of God Our Father’s Children” and “Scriptural Meditations on The Octave of God Our Father.”
Daily Format: A relevant theme taken from Holy Scripture has been selected for each of the eight days of the consecration: praise, thanksgiving, offering, repentance, inheritance (acknowledging that God is truly our Father and we are truly His children), fiat (saying "Yes" unconditionally to God Our Father's Will), fidelity, and consecration. Therefore, general daily practice during this eight-day period involves meditation on the selected daily theme, scripture reading, and prayer. In addition, the chaplet and litany of the Holy Octave of Consecration to God Our Father are to be recited daily. Daily Mass and reception of the Holy Eucharist are recommended, as is the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this eight-day period.
The Chaplet: The chaplet is made up of the Medal of the Holy Octave of Consecration to God Our Father and 75 beads--11 gold and 64 red. The gold beads signify our precious goal, the Divine Treasure--God Our Father. The red beads signify the Blood of Jesus Christ which allows us to return to God Our Father.
To begin, A Prayer Invoking the Presence of God Our Father is recited. Then the Sign of the Cross and a preparatory prayer are said on the Holy Octave of Consecration Medal. Introductory prayers to Mary, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are prayed on the three introductory gold beads that lead into the larger circle of beads.
The circle of beads is designed with major octaves (eight gold beads), each with its own minor octave (eight red beads). The eight main themes of our journey as prodigal children of God Our Father are meditated on the eight gold Major Octave beads. The eight daily themes of the consecration are recited on the eight red Minor Octave beads.
To finish the chaplet, the Holy Octave of Consecration Prayer to God the Father is then recited on the medal.
The Medal: A special medal was designed to illustrate the process of this consecration (see book cover). Depicted on the front of the medal is the actual consecration process. God Our Father is seen in heaven reaching down to us on earth; man is seen on earth reaching up to God Our Father in heaven. The force of God's Love for us is shown in the rays that proceed down from His hand; the force of our love for Him is pictured in our "fiat" radiating up to Him. These rays intersect through the Cross of Jesus. This Cross is the bridge or link between God Our Father and His children. At one end, it is grounded in the earth through Mary, our Mother. It then proceeds up through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit into Heaven at the other end. Eight lights, signifying the Scripturally-supported Octave, are shown on the horizontal beam of the Cross. These eight lights serve to guide us on our journey back home to God Our Father.
The back of the medal displays the eight-stringed harp of David, as mentioned in Psalm 6. St. Augustine understood this mystically, as symbolizing the octave--seven days of this mortal life followed by the last resurrection and the world to come. And that during our mortal life, like David, we must also feel sorrow for our sins and repent of them while here on earth. On this eight-stringed harp we have placed the eight themes or steps of the Holy Octave of Consecration to God Our Father--praise, thanksgiving, offering, repentance, inheritance, fiat, fidelity, and consecration. Inside the bow of the harp are printed the words: "The rhythm and harmony of God's Will." This reminds us that when we pluck the eight strings or themes of this consecration to God Our Father, a beautiful music ascends to heaven--we are choosing to live in the rhythm and harmony of His Will.
The Scapular of God Our Father--"The Offering Cloth": Whereas the medal shows God Our Father's love for us (a roadmap back home to Him), the Offering Cloth shows our love for God Our Father (the total offering of ourselves). It is a small, white piece of linen embroidered around the edges for durability and worn by a cloth rope or pinned through two eyelets in the upper corners. Worn close to the heart (as a scapular), it is held in our open hand during our daily prayers of offering. This may occur during recitation of the chaplet or at anytime when we pray, "I love you, Father, and I give myself to You." Blessing of the Offering Cloth takes place during our formal consecration to God Our Father on the "Feast of the Father of All Mankind." However, it may be done by a priest at any time.
The Offering Cloth is a visual aid to remind us of what our souls should be like before God--clean and pure. Because of this, the Offering Cloth should be kept clean and may be laundered. It serves a concrete symbol of our souls given in offering to our Father. Not only does it remind us of the need to be purified, but it also helps us understand that purification is not a punishment, but rather a preparation for the indwelling Presence of God. When we offer ourselves to God Our Father, He purifies us so that He may come to dwell in us personally.
The Litany: This litany for God Our Father was composed specifically for the Holy Octave of Consecration. It lists all the major passages in Holy Scripture that cite the octave or number "eight." Each citation is followed by the phrase, "Have mercy on us, O Loving Father."
The Feast of the Father of All Mankind: This crowning feast day of the Holy Octave of Consecration to God Our Father serves to solemnly assemble the children of God, the ultimate purpose of which is to honor God Our Father (1) by recognizing that He is truly our Father and we are truly His children, (2) by offering Him our unconditional "fiat," and (3) by consecrating ourselves to Him totally. Having prepared for this solemn day and our consecration by exercising and offering the Holy Octave themes of praise, thanksgiving, offering, repentance, inheritance, fiat, and fidelity, we now ask Mary, our Mother; Jesus, our God and our Savior; and The Holy Spirit, our God and our Sanctifier, to guide and prepare us so that through our total consecration, we can become living temples of the indwelling Presence of God.
We also ask God Our Father on this special day (1) to allow us to cultivate and maintain a close and intimate relationship with Him, (2) to have Mercy on all His children--past, present, and future, (3) to bring His peace to the world, (4) to gather all His children to Himself, and (5) and that His Kingdom comes and His Will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
Liturgically, this day should include a Holy Mass with Scripture readings and a homily that specifically honor God Our Father as "The Father of All Mankind." Blessed palms should also be provided for praising our Lord and Father.
After the Celebration of Holy Mass, medals, chaplets, and Offering Cloths may be blessed. The children of God should be invited to collectively pray the chaplet, litany, and the daily theme prayer for the eighth day of the consecration.