Skip to comments.The Rite of [a Catholic Church] Dedication Now [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 08/05/2010 7:57:14 AM PDT by Salvation
The word dedication comes from an intensive form of the Latin verb dicere, to speak. It means "to speak out, to announce, to proclaim."
The Rite of Dedication is long, complicated, and anything but a formality. In dedicating a church building, we proclaim with Jacob, "This is the house of God and the gate of Heaven" (Gen. 28,17).
And because the Church symbolizes ourselves, we announce that we too are houses in which he dwells.
And since this is the Cathedral of the Local Church, it represents all of the members this Local Church who in this dedication we also announce that all of us members of the Local Church in Misamis Occidental are being dedicated to the worship of God alone.
The following is the way I remember a church was dedicated which might have been reformed by Vatican II.
This is done within the celebration of the Eucharist.
The door of the Church is shut and everyone stands outside. Those responsible for the renovation of the building formally hand it over to the Dedicating Prelate (Archbishop).
The Archbishop then calls for the doors to be opened. Leading the procession, he enters with everyone following.
The entrance procession symbolizes the gathering of God's people in His house, where He will meet with us.
Without kissing the Altar, the Archbishop stands by the celebrant's chair, while a vessel of water is brought to him.
He blesses the water as a sign of repentance, a reminder of baptism, and a symbol of purification for ourselves, the Altar, and the building itself. Then he goes through the Church sprinkling the people, the walls, and the Altar.
A reading from Nehemiah tells of people's response to the proclamation of the Law. "Today is holy to the Lord your God," shouts Ezra the scribe. "The joy of the Lord must be your strength!" (Neh 8,9-10)
Other readings chosen from the Rite for the Dedication of a church follow.
The actual dedication rite begins with the Litany of the Saints, the depositing of the relics in the Altar, and a special prayer of dedication.
The Liturgy for the Dedication of a Church states: "All the dignity of the Altar rests on its being the Lord�s table. Thus, the martyr's body does not bring honor to the Altar; rather, the Altar does honor to the martyr's tomb."
Next, both the Altar and the Church building are anointed with sacred Chrism�lots of it. The anointing of the Altar makes it a symbol of Christ, the "anointed One". The anointing of the walls in four places, permanently sets the building aside as a house of worship.
Incense now comes into play. First, a brazier of incense burns on the Altar to symbolize the sacrificial prayer of Christ. Next, the people are incensed as living temples of the Spirit, followed by the incensing of the building - symbolizing again the prayer that occurs there.
Ministers then wipe the Altar dry and place altar cloths on it. The Archbishop gives the deacon a lighted candle, calling on the light of Christ to shine in this Church; and the deacon proceeds to light the candles on the Altar in preparation for Mass.
Archbishop now continues to celebrate the first Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the new Church, from the special Preface of Dedication.
The Archbishop ends Mass with his blessing and dismissal.
Let's pray in a special way in the coming weeks as we prepare for the dedication of our Cathedral, that through the intercession of all our patron Saints, especially Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, we may be able to receive every grace that God longs to pour upon us through this awesome event.
To say it simply, through the dedication of the Cathedral we are also dedicated to God through our patron saints.
The rite for the DEDICATION of a church and an altar
is rightly considered to be among
the most solemn of liturigcal services.
A CHURCH is the place where the Christian
community is gathered to hear the WORD OF GOD,
to offer INTERCESSION and PRAISE to him,
and above all to celebrate the HOLY MYSTERIES
and it is the place where the holy sacrament
of the EUCHARIST is kept.
Thus it stands as a special kind of image of the CHURCH itself,
which is God's temple built from LIVING STONES.
And the ALTAR of a church,
around which the holy people gather
to take part in the Lord's SACRIFICE
and to be refreshed at the HEAVENLY MEAL,
stands as a sign of CHRIST himself,
who is the PRIEST, the VICTIM, and the ALTAR
of his own sacrifice.
[Decree from the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship 1977]
The Rites of Dedication were celebrated by The Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Bishop Bransfield is the former Rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. The Rev. Brian Owens is pastor of Saint James Parish. Prelude Music [as the congregation gathers in the parking lot of the neighboring Social Concerns Building]
Chapter OneLaying of a Foundation Stone or Commencement of Work on the Building of a Church 3
Chapter TwoDedication of a Church 5
Chapter ThreeDedication of a Church Already in General Use for Sacred Celebrations 13
Chapter FourDedication of an Altar 15
Chapter FiveBlessing of a Church 23
Chapter SixBlessing of an Altar 25
Chapter SevenBlessing of a Chalice and Paten 27
I have never been to the Dedication of a new church. Any comments?
I forgot to add the words [Catholic Caucus] to the title. Could you please do that for me.
The program looks very similar to the dedication of St. [redacted] Parish in [redacted], VA which I helped build [redacted] years ago.
I don’t think there was a date on it. I knew someone would know the church, though. Does their website have the information?
Thanks so much.
I probably went there for the first time just a few weeks after their dedication. Time frame is right. Their old church is shuttered, for the moment, but the Diocese (if not the Parish) still owns it. I have heard rumours of a Latin Mass order setting up shop there.
I am a parishioner at St James The Greater in Charles Town, WV. We dedicated the new church on July 25th, 2005. I was a part of the dedication ceremony, as a member of the Knights of Columbus 4th degree honor guard. The clergy, the choir, and the parishioners were all very excited to move into the new facility and to have a reverent church dedication. We moved from a church that seated about 250 people to one that seats about 900. We also still have the historic St Peters Catholic Church in downtown Harpers Ferry, WV, where mass is said every Sunday at 11AM.
Fr Brian Owens recently discerned a calling to monastic life and has joined the Benedictines at their abbey in Subiaco, AR. He is indeed a convert and a son of a Baptist minister. We will miss him greatly at St James, but are happy to have Fr John Ledford.
Fr Brian, Permanent Deacon David Galvin, and Music Director Gary Penkala (Cantica NOVA is based at St James) have all been dedicated to bringing back traditional music and chant within the NO and preparing for the changes to the mass.
The TLM has been off again/on again. Dom Daniel of the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem is a frequent visitor and holds holiday retreats with the seminarians of the order. The Bishop has had a number of different plans for the old St James, but none has been fully realized yet.
Our new building was dedicated three years ago this week-end. From what I remember, it was very much like the description in this post. It is a very solemn and beautiful ceremony. My most vivid memory is that of Archbishop Burke putting on a protective white garment and anointing the altar and four posts. I also remember singing “It Is Good to Be Here.”
When our new church was being dedicated our Bishop, The Most Reverend John Smith, laid the oil on thick on the altar and the church walls while he wore the Gremiale (I believe that was the liturgical vestment). I am glad I went as it was a great mass to experience.
Of course you knew what happened...some there complained that he was ruining the new paint on the walls...unbelievable.
Sure. Leave the no-cover nokinis at home; no beer helmets, no large foam hands saying We're Number One!!!, and no fake heads of the Reformers set on spikes.
Other than that, I think that you're good to go!!!
I’d send you a link of the nokini but I’m afraid of you...
When I was a child, someone committed suicide on the altar of a church in our town. It closed for awhile but then I remember reading in the newspaper with my Grandma about the re-dedication of that church. It seemed like quite an ordeal: big, long Mass with the bishop & lots of priests from around the diocese. Other than that, I’m from an area where all the churches are older than me so, no, I’ve never witnessed the dedication of a new building.
BTW, it was after that above incident that the diocese started locking churches at night. That, and we had a rash of thefts from churches. So our bishop ordered them locked up. Its a shame because our family knew a nurse who used to stop by after the 3-11 shift & spend some quiet time with the Blessed Sacrament. After that, she wasn’t able to. People ruin things for each other. Very sad.
IS the Mass at St.Peters still in Latin ie the old rite?