Johannine Themes in Christian Liturgy
by Gail Gresser

(John 3: 1-21)


Phrases and Images:

Liturgical Texts:

Born again/rebirth/ new birth/second birth (John 3:3,4)
[cf.: 1 Peter 1:3, 23; Titus 3:5]

Liturgy/Season Prayer/Liturgy Part Context
Blessing of the Water "by it, you give us a new birth."
Fourth Sunday, Year A
Preface 15 "through Adam's fall we were born as slaves to sin, but now through baptism in Christ we are reborn"
Ordinary Time
Preface 32 (OT IV) "By his birth we are reborn"
Christian Death
Preface 79 
(Christian Death III)
"in him the world is saved, man is reborn and the dead rise again to life"
 . Preface 83 
(Independence Day)
"that we might be reborn in the Spirit"
 . Prayers over the People 18 "grant that your faithful people may continually desire to relive the mystery of the Eucharist and so be reborn to lead a new life"
Easter Sunday
Conclusion of Baptismal Vows "has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit"
 . Prayer Over the Gifts "sacrifice by which your Church is reborn"
Thursday of Octave
Opening Prayer "May all who are reborn in baptism"
Friday of Octave
Opening Prayer "May the new birth we celebrate"
Saturday of Octave
Opening Prayer "born again in baptism"
Second Sunday
Opening Prayer "You give us new birth in the Spirit"
 . Prayer Over the Gifts "Born again in baptism"
Tuesday -3rd Week
Opening Prayer "born again by water and the Spirit"
Saturday -5th Week
Opening Prayer "through our rebirth in baptism"
Friday - 6th Week
Opening Prayer "all who have been born again in baptism"
Pentecost Vigil
Opening Prayer 3 "God, our Father, you have given us new birth. Strengthen us with your Holy Spirit and fill us with your light."
Ordinary Time
19th Sunday
Alternative Opening Prayer "we come, reborn in the Spirit"
Peter and Paul, Apostles (day)
Alternative Opening Prayer "in your great mercy have given us new birth and hope"
Joachim and Ann
Prayer After Communion "your Son was born as a man so that men could be born again in you"
Anniversaries of Marriage
Prayer Over the Gifts "the blood and water that flowed from the wounded heart of Christ your Son was a sign of the mystery of our rebirth"
Christian Initiation:
Scrutiny I
Opening Prayer "you call these chosen ones to the glory of a new birth in Christ, the second Adam"
Scrutiny II
Opening Prayer "be reborn into the life of your kingdom"
Scrutiny III
Opening Prayer "give them a new birth in the waters of baptism"
 . Prayer After Communion "with love for those who are to be reborn as your children"
Christian Initiation:
1. Eucharistic Prayer III
"gathered here before you...who have now become your people by the waters of rebirth"
  1. Eucharistic Prayer IV
"those who take part...those here present, those born again today by water and the Holy Spirit"
 . 2. Opening Prayer "your word of life gives us a new birth"
Christian Initiation:
Prayer Over the Gifts (when EP I is used): Hanc igitur "and from those reborn in baptism and confirmed by the coming of the Holy Spirit
Rite of Acceptance
Intercession "found worthy to receive the baptism of new birth and renewal in the Holy Spirit"
 . Prayer Over the Catechumens A "Lead them, Lord, to the baptism of new birth"
Blessings of Catechumens
A "may be brought to rebirth in baptism and counted among the members of your Church"
 . B "through Christ you have granted us rebirth in the Spirit...Bless these servants...that they may come to be reborn as your children and enter the community of your Church"
 . D "that they may receive in due time the new birth of baptism"
 . E "prepare them for their rebirth in baptism"
 . H "prepare them to be the temple of the Holy Spirit through their rebirth in baptism"
Presentation of the Creed
Prayer over the Elect "so that through the waters of rebirth they may receive pardon"
Third Scrutiny
Intercessions B "prepare themselves thoroughly for their birth to new life"
 . Exorcism B "eagerly approach the waters of new birth"
Presentation of the Lord's Prayer
Prayer Over the Elect "through the waters of rebirth they may receive pardon...Give them new birth in your living waters, so that they may be numbered among your adopted children"
Preparation Rites on Holy Saturday
Prayer of Blessing for the Elect "'Wash and be cleansed,' and through Christ you have granted us rebirth in the Spirit...they may come to be reborn as your children and enter the community of your Church"
Easter Vigil
Blessing of Water A "be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit"
 . Blessing of Water B "so that all those whom you have chosen may be born again by the power of the Holy Spirit and may take their place among your holy people"
 . Blessing of Water C "you have called your children to this cleansing water and new birth"
 . Blessing of Water D and Blessing of Water E "By the mystery of this consecrated water lead them to a new and spiritual birth"
 . Invitation to Confirmation of Neophytes "My dear newly baptized, born again in Christ by baptism..."
 . Conclusion of Assembly Renewal of Baptismal Vows and Sprinkling "has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit"
14- For the Spread of the Gospel
Alternative Opening Prayer "May all men be born again to new life in baptism"
11 - For Several Persons
Alternative Opening Prayer "you cleansed them from sin in the fountain of new birth"
1. Funeral Mass
2. Funeral Liturgy outside Mass
3. Rite of Committal with Final Commendation 
Prayer of Commendation "in baptism he/she began his/her journey to you. Take him/her now to yourself and give him/her the life promised to those born again of water and the Spirit."
BLESSING OF THE OILS AND CONSECRATION OF THE CHRISM Consecratory Prayer for Chrism A "for those who are to be born again in the waters of baptism...for those who will be born again of water and the Holy Spirit."
Consecratory Prayer for Chrism B "you strengthen all who have been reborn in baptism"

Born of Water and the Spirit (3: 5)

Liturgy/Season Prayer/Liturgy Part Context
Order of the Mass Eucharistic Prayer I:
Hanc igitur for Octave of Easter
"from your whole family and from those born into the new life of water and the Holy Spirit"
Christian Initiation:
1. Prayer Over the Gifts "accept this offering from your whole family and from those born into new life by water and the Holy Spirit"

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