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Concerning the Service | Additional Directions

The Dedication and Consecration of a Church

On the day appointed, the clergy and people gather with the bishop in a place apart from the church or chapel.

When all are ready, the Bishop says the following or similar words

Through the ages, Almighty God has moved his people to build houses of prayer and praise, and to set apart places for the ministry of his holy Word and Sacraments. With gratitude for the building (rebuilding, or adornment) of (name of church), we are now gathered to dedicate and consecrate it in God's Name.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, we thank you for making us in your image, to share in the ordering of your world. Receive the work of our hands in this place, now to be set apart for your worship, the building up of the living, and the remembrance of the dead, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Standing at the door of the church, the Bishop says

Let the door(s) be opened.

The door is opened. With the pastoral staff the Bishop marks the threshold with the sign of the cross saying

Peace be to this house, and to all who enter here: + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

As the procession moves into the church, Psalm 122 or some other appropriate psalm is sung. Hymns and anthems may also be sung.

The congregation standing, the Bishop begins the Prayer for the Consecration of the Church

          Our help is in the Name of the Lord;
People The maker of heaven and earth.
Bishop Let us pray.

Everliving Father, watchful and caring, our source and our end: All that we are and all that we have is yours. Accept us now, as we dedicate this place to which we come to praise your Name, to ask your forgiveness, to know your healing power, to hear your Word, and to be nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son. Be present always to guide and to judge, to illuminate and to bless your people.

A Warden or other representative of the congregation continues

Lord Jesus Christ, make this a temple of your presence and a house of prayer. Be always near us when we seek you in this place. Draw us to you, when we come alone and when we come with others, to find comfort and wisdom, to be supported and strengthened, to rejoice and give thanks. May it be here, Lord Christ, that we are made one with you and with one another, so that our lives are sustained and sanctified for your service.

The Rector or Minister in charge continues

Holy Spirit, open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts, that we may grow closer to you through joy and through suffering. Be with us in the fullness of your power as new members are added to your household, as we grow in grace through the years, when we are joined in marriage, when we turn to you in sickness or special need, and, at the last, when we are committed into the Father's hands.

The Bishop concludes

	Now, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
	sanctify this place;
People    For everything in heaven and on earth is yours.
Bishop    Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom;
People    And you are exalted as head over all.  Amen.

The Bishop moves to the Font, lays a hand upon it, and says

Father, we thank you that through the waters of Baptism we die to sin and are made new in Christ. Grant through your Spirit that those baptized here may enjoy the liberty and splendor of the children of God.

V.  There is one Lord, one Faith, or Baptism;
R.  One God and Father of all.

We dedicate this Font in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If there are persons to be baptized, water is now poured into the Font, and the service continues as directed in the additional directions.

If no Baptism is to take place [water may be poured into the Font, and] the Bishop says

	The Lord be with you.
People    And also with you.
Bishop    Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People    It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Facing the Font, the Bishop says

We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.

We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore in joyful obedience to your Son, we bring into his fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Grant, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that those who here are cleansed from sin and born again may continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Savior.

To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

The Bishop proceeds to the Lectern, lays a hand upon it, and says

Father, your eternal Word speaks to us through the words of Holy Scripture. Here we read about your mighty acts and purposes in history, and about those whom you chose as the agents of your will. Inspired by the revelation of your Son, we seek your present purposes. Give us ears to hear and hearts to obey.

V.  May the words of our mouth, and the meditation of our heart,
R.  Be acceptable to you, O Lord our God.

We dedicate the Lectern in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Bishop goes to the pulpit, lays a hand upon it, and says

Father, in every age you have spoken through the voices of prophets, pastors, and teachers. Purify the lives and the lips of those who speak here, that your word only may be proclaimed, and your word only may be heard.

V.  Your word is a lantern to our feet,
R.  And a light upon our path.

We dedicate this Pulpit in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

At the Liturgy of the Word

Three Lessons are read. Lay persons read the Old Testament Lesson and the Epistle. The Deacon (or a Priest) reads the Gospel. Selections are ordinarily made from the following list; but on a Major Feast, Sunday, or Patronal Feast, selections may be made from the Proper of the Day.

  Old Testament  1 Kings 8:22-23,27b-30,  or 2 Samuel 6:12-15,17-19 
  Psalm  84, or 48
  Epistle  Revelation 21:2-7,  or 1 Corinthians 3:1-11,16-17 or 1 Peter 2:1-9

When an instrument of music is to be dedicated, after the Epistle the Bishop proceeds to an appropriate place, and says

Father, your people worship you with many voices and sounds, in times of joy and sorrow. Move us to express the wonder, the power, and the glory of your creation in the music we make and in the songs we sing.

V.  Praise him with the sound of the trumpet;
R.  Praise him with strings and pipe.

We dedicate this (name of instrument) in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Instrumental music is now played, or a hymn or anthem sung.

All then stand for the Gospel, which may be the following

Matthew 7:13-14,24-25, or Matthew 21:10-14

Sermon or Address

Other Pastoral Offices may follow.

If the Apostles' Creed has not already been said, the Nicene Creed is now said or sung.

The Deacon or a member of the congregation leads the Prayers of the People.

After a period of silence, the Bishop concludes with the following prayers

Almighty God, all times are your seasons, and all occasions invite your tender mercies: Accept our prayers and intercessions offered in this place today and in the days to come; through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

We give you thanks, O God, for the gifts of your people, and for the work of many hands, which have beautified this place and furnished it for the celebration of your holy mysteries. Accept and bless all we have done, and grant that in these earthly things we may behold the order and beauty of things heavenly; through Jesus christ our Lord. Amen.

The Bishop then says

Let us now pray for the setting apart of the Altar.

The Bishop goes to the Table and, with arms extended, says

We praise you, Almighty and eternal God, that for us and for our salvation, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to be born among us, that through him we might become your sons and daughters.
Blessed be your Name, Lord God.

We praise you for his life on earth, and for his death upon the cross, through which he offeredholy Church.
Blessed be your Name, Lord God.

The Bishop lays a hand upon the Table, and continues

Lord God, hear us. Sanctify this Table dedicated to you. Let it be to us a sign of the heavenly Altar where you saints and angels praise you for ever. Accept here the continual recalling of the sacrifice of your Son. Grant that all who eat and drink at this holy Table may be fed and refreshed by his flesh and blood, be forgiven for their sins, united with one another, and strengthened for your service.
Blessed be your Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; now and for endless ages. Amen.

Bells may now be rung and music played. Members of the congregation vest the Altar, place the vessels on it, and light the candles.

The Peace

The Bishop says to the people

          The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you.

Then the bishop and other clergy and the people greet one another.

At the Eucharist

The service continues with the Offertory.

The bishop, or a priest appointed, is the chief celebrant.

The Preface of the Dedication of a Church may be used.

After the postcommunion prayer, the Bishop blesses the people; and a Deacon or Priest dismisses them.