The Joy of God's Word


Scripture tells us that King David danced before the Ark of the Covenant as it was brought into the holy city (2 Samuel 6:16).

Since ancient times, Jewish communities have viewed their Scriptures (God’s ‘Torah’, ‘teaching,’ ‘law’) as a gift and blessing in their lives. Today they celebrate a festival called Simchat Torah (‘rejoicing in the Torah’), which includes festive dancing with Torah scrolls decoratively covered, with crowns and bells.

We Catholics, too, love to celebrate the word of God. Gospel processions are held with the Book of the Gospels, sometimes encased in an ornate decorative cover, held aloft by the priest
or deacon. The faithful stand to acclaim the Lord, while candles, incense and the singing of ‘Alleluia!’ accompany the procession. Perhaps you or your students have taken part in a Gospel procession.

Other gestures include a signing of the cross on the forehead, lips and breast prior to the reading of the Gospel. The priest or deacon kisses the Book of the Gospels after he has read from it. 

Share an experience of a Gospel procession. Perhaps this was in your Parish, at a school Mass, at World Youth Day or in another country or culture.