ULTREYAS ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE TO GATHER, PRAY, AND SHARE PERSONAL STORIES ABOUT LIVING A LIFE IN GOD'S GRACE.
THE ULTREYA FORMAT
- 2 Min brief invocation by the spiritual advisor who starts the Ultreya on time
- 20 Min - call to form small groups, of not more than four persons, using the “ultreya” format
- 5 Min - short song while chairs are rearranged is encouraged, but not essential
- 15 Min - lay witness
- 10 Min -the echo
- 5 Min - Spiritual advisor’s summation
- 10 Min -closing song and closing prayer (before the blessed Sacrament if possible) followed by social time for those who wish to participate.
Explanation of the elements
The small groups of an ultreya reunion are made up of persons who do not usually meet in regular reunion. This enables each person to experience how others are striving in their own spiritual and evangelistic growth. The format for this “ultreya” reunion is as follows:
- OPENING PRAYER: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, …..
- HOLINESS: What one spiritual aid was the most help in nourishing my living union with Christ this week? When was I most aware of Christ’s presence during the past week?
- FORMATION: What one thing most helped me to better form myself into a follower of Christ?
- EVANGELIZATION: What one thing did the Lord accomplish through me to Christianize the world I live and work in?
- CLOSING PRAYER: Our Father; We give you Thanks, Almighty God, for all the blessings and benefits you have given us. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
Why a Witness Talk? To give witness to Christ in our own life, to share our life with Him and unite all in a Spirit of Love. To help others grow, to make Christ better known by showing how we live our daily lives as a witness to Him.
The witness talk should be a personal sharing of any one of a person’s:
- Growing union with God; a moment closest to Christ, Christ who is real, sharing our life in Christ so others are encouraged.
- Growing knowledge of Christ; it should be real, personal and concrete.
- Bringing others to know Christ or the changing of an environment in a particular area, sincere & natural
The witness talk should not be:
- An emotional high (shouldn’t be all feelings); An outpouring of personal troubles that calls for help.
- A tale of an extraordinary event (people relate to the ordinary circumstances of life)
- Irrelevent to life (down to earth)
- A message for one’s personal cause; it is not an instruction
- The talk should not be longer than 15 minutes and is a witness, not an instructional or a teaching. The talk should encourage others, by example, to go and do the same.
- The witness speaker normally consults with the Spiritual Advisor before the Ultreya.
The echo is spontaneous. These are comments from cursillistas that provide additional support to the witness that has been presented. These should help awaken a desire among the other participants to go forth and do likewise.
The leader of the ultreya should take care not to exceed to time alloted for this part.
Spiritual Advisor's Summation - This is the time for putting the witness and the commentaries in proper perspective with the Gospel, the Church, and/or other elements of the Church (i.e., other biblical passages, encyclicals, Vatican information, etc.). This is the point where the Spiritual Advisor attempts to unite the evangelistic growth with the spiritual growth. The Spiritual Advisor should focus the comments' contents of the witness talk and the echoes. The summation should further encourage the participants - forth and evangelize with a Gospel spirit.
Closing Prayer. Whenever possible, the Ultreya should conclude with a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Having a closing prayer to conclude the Ultreya is essential, even if it is not possible to visit the Blessed Sacrament.