Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Ceremonies of the Consecration of a Church in the Traditional Manner (1962): Part II

Continuing from my post on the Consecration of a Church using the 1962 Rubrics Part I, below is Part II of that Consecration. Instead of incorporating images of the ceremony into the post, I encourage you to read the post and then watch the entirety of the Consecration via videos of the Consecration of the Church of Sts Peter and Paul.

I will go in to the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth.

Psalm 42

Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.
For thou art God my strength: why hast thou cast me off?
And why do I go sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me?
Send forth thy light and thy truth: they have conducted me, and brought me unto thy holy hill, and into thy tabernacles.
And I will go in to the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth.
To thee, O God my God, I will give praise upon the harp: why art thou sad,
O my soul? And why dost thou disquiet me?
Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

Intoning the beginning of the antiphon, the Bishop blesses himself with the Gregorian water and makes the sign of the cross in the middle cross of the altar, saying:

Let this altar be sanctified to the honor of God almighty, of the glorious Virgin Mary, and of all the Saints, and to the name and memory of Saints Auxilius, Casta and Aucta. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Peace be unto thee.

Then he does the same with the water on the crosses on the four corners of the altar. Sanctificetur hoc altare etc. He makes the first cross on the right rear side of the altar, that is where the gospel is said, the second on the left part before the first transverse, the third on the opposite side and the fourth on the left rear transverse, in this manner:

Let us pray.
Let us kneel. R. Arise.
That singular atoning offered on the altar of the cross for redeeming us, in prefiguration of which Patriarch Jacob erected a stone in pledge, in order that a sacrifice be made and an oracle of the gate of heaven be opened above it; as supplicants to Thee, Lord, we pour out our prayers, so that the polished material of this stone, to be imbued with the supernal sacrifices, Thou Thyself command to be endowed with the fruitfulness of Thy sanctification, who once wrote the law on stony tablets. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

The prayer finished, the Bishop sprinkles the altar table seven times.

Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, O Lord, and I shall be cleansed: Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.

Psalm 50
Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy.
And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity.
Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Meanwhile the Bishop goes around the altar, sprinkling it. Finishing the verses, the Bishop begins the second antiphon:

Thou shalt sprinkle me....
For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me.
To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee:
that thou mayst be justified in thy words, and mayst overcome when thou art judged.
For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me.

Meanwhile the Bishop goes around the altar, sprinkling it. Finishing the verses, the Bishop begins the third antiphon:

Thou shalt sprinkle me....
For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.
Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.
To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness: and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice.

Meanwhile the Bishop goes around the altar, sprinkling it. Finishing the verses, the Bishop begins the fourth antiphon:

Thou shalt sprinkle me....
Turn away thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels.
Cast me not away from thy face; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Meanwhile the Bishop goes around the altar, sprinkling it. Finishing the verses, the Bishop begins the fifth antiphon.

Thou shalt sprinkle me....
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.
I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee.
Deliver me from blood, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall extol thy justice.

Meanwhile the Bishop goes around the altar, sprinkling it. Finishing the verses, the Bishop begins the sixth antiphon:

Thou shalt sprinkle me....
O Lord, thou wilt open my lips: and my mouth shall declare thy praise.
For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it:
with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted.
A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.>

Meanwhile the Bishop goes around the altar, sprinkling it. Finishing the verses, the Bishop begins the seventh antiphon.

Thou shalt sprinkle me....
Deal favorably, O Lord, in thy good will with Sion;
that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.
Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and whole burnt offerings:
then shall they lay calves upon thy altar.

Meanwhile the Bishop goes around a seventh time, sprinkling.

Afterwards he goes around the interior of the church three times, sprinkling at the same time with the blessed water. At the end of the verse the schola sings the Antiphon:

This is the house of the Lord firmly built: it has been well founded upon a firm rock.

I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord.

After beginning the Antiphon, the Bishop goes to the rear of the main altar, proceeding to the right part. He goes around the inside of the church, sprinkling the lower part near the floor, returning to the altar whence he started.

The schola begins the next antiphon:

I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord.
Our feet were standing in thy courts, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together.

For thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord: the testimony of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.
Because their seats have sat in judgment, seats upon the house of David.
Pray ye for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem: and abundance for them that love thee.
Let peace be in thy strength: and abundance in thy towers.
For the sake of my brethren, and of my neighbors, I spoke peace of thee.
Because of the house of the Lord our God, I have sought good things for thee.
Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; and let them that hate him flee from before his face.

Psalm 67

In the churches bless ye God the Lord, from the fountains of Israel. There is Benjamin a youth, in ecstasy of mind. The princes of Juda are their leaders: the princes of Zabulon, the princes of Nephthali. Command thy strength, O God: confirm, O God, what thou hast wrought in us. From thy temple in Jerusalem, kings shall offer presents to thee. Rebuke the wild beasts of the reeds, the congregation of bulls with the kine of the people; who seek to exclude them who are tried with silver. Scatter the nations that delight in wars: ambassadors shall come out of Egypt: Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God. Sing to God, ye kingdoms of the earth: sing ye to the Lord: Sing ye to God, who mounteth above the heaven of heavens, to the east. Behold he will give to his voice the voice of power: give ye glory to God for Israel, his magnificence, and his power is in the clouds. God is wonderful in his saints: the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people. Blessed be God.

Meanwhile, the Bishop sprinkles the walls a second time, at face level.
The schola sings the Antiphon:

He that dwelleth in the aid of the most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of Jacob.

Psalm 90

He shall say to the Lord: Thou art my protector and my refuge: my God, in him will I trust. For he hath delivered me from the snare of the hunters: and from the sharp word. He will overshadow thee with his shoulders: and under his wings thou shalt trust. His truth shall compass thee with a shield: thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night. Of the arrow that flieth in the day, of the business that walketh about in the dark: of invasion, or of the noonday devil. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee. But thou shalt consider with thy eyes: and shalt see the reward of the wicked. Because thou, O Lord, art my hope: thou hast made the most High thy refuge. There shall no evil come to thee: nor shall the scourge come near thy dwelling. For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall bear thee up: lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt walk upon the asp and the basilisk: and thou shalt trample under foot the lion and the dragon. Because he hoped in me I will deliver him: I will protect him because he hath known my name. He shall cry to me, and I will hear him: I am with him in tribulation, I will deliver him, and I will glorify him. I will fill him with length of days; and I will shew him my salvation.

Meanwhile the Bishop goes around the church a third time, sprinkling the walls, higher than the second time, returning to the place where he started. This done, he sprinkles on the floor of the church, beginning at the altar and going through the middle of the church to the principle door, then through both transverses.

The schola sings the following three antiphons with verses:
My house shall be called the house of prayer. V. I will declare thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the church will I praise thee. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house. V. And the place where thy glory dwelleth. This is no other than the house of God, and the gate of heaven.

When the antiphon and sprinkling are finished, the Bishop in the middle of the church facing the main altar, the schola begins the following antiphon:

Jacob saw a ladder, touching the heights of heaven, and angels descending from it, and he said: Truly this place is holy.

The Bishop sprinkles water on the floor in the middle of the church, turning east, west, north, and then south. When the antiphon is finished, the Bishop says:

Let us pray.
Let us kneel.
R. Arise.

O God, who sanctifiest the places dedicated in thy name, pour thy grace upon this house of prayer, and let the aid of thy mercy be felt by all here who invoke thy name. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

Let us pray.
Let us kneel.
R. Arise.

O God of sanctification, almighty ruler, whose goodness is perceived to be without limit; O God, who encompasses at the same time both heavenly and earthly things, preserving thy mercy for thy people walking before the sight of thy glory; hear the prayers of thy servants, that thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night; and also dedicate, O most clement one, this basilica in honor of the holy and most victorious Cross, and as a memorial of thy Saint Francis de Sales instituted for the purpose of the sacred mysteries; illumine it, O merciful one; make it bright with fitting splendor; and be pleased to admit every man coming to adore thee in this place; deign to look upon us mercifully; and, by thy great name, and thy strong hand, and thy lofty arm, freely protect the supplicants in this thy tabernacle; deign to hear them; and save them with thy eternal defense: so that always happy and always rejoicing in thy religion, in the constant confession of the Holy Trinity, they may preserve the Catholic Faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God.

The Bishop stands facing the door and says the preface:

World without end.
R. Amen.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up unto the Lord.
V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is meet and just so to do.

It is truly meet and just, right and profitable, for us, at all times, and in all places, to give thanks to thee, O Lord, the holy One, the Father almighty, everlasting God; be present through our prayers; be present through the sacraments; be present also through the pious works of thy servants, and through our entreaties for thy mercy. Upon this thy church, which we though unworthy consecrate under the invocation of thy holy name, in honor of the holy cross on which thy coeternal Son our Lord Jesus Christ deigned to suffer for the redemption of the world, and in memory of thy [insert name of saint in whose honor the Church is named], let thy Holy Spirit also descend, redounding in the fruitfulness of his sevenfold grace; so that, as often as thy holy name is invoked in this house, the prayers of those who call upon thee may be graciously heard by thee, holy Lord. O blessed and holy Trinity, who purifies all, cleanses all, and adorns all. O blessed majesty of God, which fills all, contains all, and orders all. O blessed and holy hand of God, which sanctifies all, blesses all, and enriches all. O God, Holy of Holies, we beseech thy mercy by the most humble devotion, so that thou may vouchsafe to purify, bless, and consecrate by the perpetual fullness of thy holiness this thy church through our humble service, in honor of the holy and most victorious cross and in memory of thy Saint Francis de Sales. Here also may priests offer sacrifices of praise to thee. Here may the vows of the faithful people be offered. Here may the burdens of sins be released, and the fallen faithful restored. In this thy house, we therefore beseech thee, O Lord, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, may the sick be healed, the infirm recuperate, the lame walk, the lepers be cleansed, the blind illuminated, and the demons cast out. Here, let the discomforts of all infirmities be driven away by thee, O Lord, and the bonds of all sins be absolved; so that all, who enter this church righteously praying for benefits, may rejoice in all that which they seek; so that, thy mercy having been granted, for which they pray, they may glory in the perpetual gift of thy compassion. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

The Bishop proceeds to the altar, where he blesses the cement that is mixed with the blessed water.

The Lord be with thee. R. And with thy spirit. Let us pray. O most high God, who guards the heights, and the middle, and the depths, and who encloses every creature encircled within, sanctify and bless these creatures of limestone and sand. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

The blessed cement is reserved, but the residual water is poured out of the basin around the foot of the altar.

The Bishop then proceeds to the place where the relics were kept from the previous night

Let us pray.
Let us kneel.
R. Arise.
Take away from us all our iniquities, we beseech thee, O Lord; that, being made pure in heart we may be worthy to enter into the Holy of Holies. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

Then the Bishop goes into the same place with the priests and the clergy, while the schola sings the following antiphons:

O how glorious is the kingdom, wherein all the Saints rejoice with Christ; clothed in white robes, they follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.

Another Antiphon:
Be moved, you Saints of God, from your abodes, and hasten to the places which have been prepared for you.

Another Antiphon:
Behold the people keeping judgment and doing truth; in thee have they hoped, O Lord, unto eternity.

Another Antiphon:
The way of the Saints has been made straight, and their path has been prepared.

Psalm 94

Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our savior.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
For in his hand are all the ends of the earth: and the heights of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us.
For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts:
As in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Where your father tempted me, they proved me and saw my works.
Forty years long was I offended with that generation, and I said: These always err in heart.
And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest. 

Let us pray.
Let us kneel.
R. Arise.
Make us, we beseech thee, O Lord, worthy to touch the parts of thy Saints especially consecrated to thee, whose patronage we desire continually to have.
R. Amen.

The procession with the relics goes out. The Bishop sings the incipit of the Antiphon; the schola continues and all join in:

With cheerfulness, you will go out, and with joy you will be led: for the mountains and hills will spring up, expecting you with joy. Alleluia.

Another Antiphon:
Arise, Saints of God, from your abodes; and sanctify these places, bless the people, and watch over us sinners in peace.

Another Antiphon:
Walk, Saints of God, and enter into the city of the Lord, for a new church has been built for you, where the people ought to worship the majesty of the Lord.

Another Antiphon:
For this is the kingdom of the heavens, where they despised the life of the world, and they looked forward to the rewards of the kingdom, and they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.

At the door of the church to be consecrated, the schola remains, singing the preceding antiphons. The Bishop and others process around the outside of the church with the relics. The people follow and say:

When this is done, the Bishop sits before the doors of the church where a sermon is spoken to the people.

Dearly beloved brethren:

The Sacred Canons, the civil laws, the religious sense of the generality of the faithful, sufficiently declare what reverence is due to churches and places consecrated to God. For it is in consecrated Basilicas only that sacrifice may be offered to the Lord, by Whose command Moses consecrated the Tabernacle with the altar and table, the brazen vessels, and other utensils for the purposes of Divine worship, and we further learn from Holy Writ, that not only did he consecrate the Tabernacle, but that he anointed it with oil. In this Tabernacle none others but the consecrated Priests and the Levites, clad in sacred garments, performed their mystic functions, and offered sacrifices for the people. In after times the Christian Roman Emperors showed no less reverence for the Basilicas they had founded than did the Jewish Kings for the Temple of Solomon, excluding therefrom the noise and bustle of secular business, so that the house of prayer might be devoted to no other purpose. They further attached to them such privileges and immunities, that every sacrilegious violation thereof was visited with the most severe punishments. For it did not seem to them right that the dwelling of the Most High God should be exposed to sacrilegious outrage, or that, to use the words of very Truth, it should become a "den of thieves." It is a place of refuge, a harbor for the shipwrecked, where they may ride at anchor in safety from the storm. Hither do they come that ask for favors, and their lawful prayers are granted. Hither do those doomed to die flee for refuge, and by the entreaties of the Priests obtain the pardon of their evil deeds. You will, therefore, dearest brethren, enter the churches dedicated to God with great reverence, and offer therein to the Lord the sacrifice of a heart cleansed from guilt. This church you have founded, to which the Supreme Pontiffs have granted privileges, and which you have humbly besought us to consecrate, is one of these Basilicas. Now we, yielding to your reasonable petition, do consecrate it in honor of God Almighty, of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, and of all the Saints, and in the memory of St. Francis de Sales. In the altar thereof we have determined, with God's blessing, to place the Relics of Saints Auxilius, Casta and Aucta, and all who devoutly visit them may obtain a partial indulgence.

I further remind you, dearest brethren, that you should pay to the full to the Priests and churches the tithes which are a tribute to God. The Lord claims them for Himself, in token of His universal dominion. Listen to St. Augustine:

Tithes are a tribute paid for the need of our souls. If you pay tithes, you shall be rewarded, not only with increase of store, but with health of soul and body. For it is not gain, but a token of subjection God requires at our hands. He, our God, Who has been pleased to bestow upon us all we have, is content to receive from us a tenth in return, not for His own, but for our advantage. But if it be sinful to be slow in paying, how much greater the guilt of withholding them? Pay the tithe of what accrues to you from military service, from your trade or handicraft. For as by paying tithes you ensure to yourself both earthly and heavenly rewards, why should you suffer covetousness to rob yourself of a twofold blessing? For God's dealings are most fair; if you refuse Him the tithe, He will strip you of all but a tithe. You shalt yield perforce to a brutal soldier what you withhold from the Priest; the public treasury will swallow up what has been refused Christ. 'Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord,' by the Prophet, 'and I will turn to you. And you have said, wherein shall we turn? Shall a man rob God? Yet do you rob Me. But you say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and first- fruits. Ye are cursed with dearth, for you have robbed Me, even the whole nation of you. Bring all the tithes into My storehouse, let there be food in My house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord, if I will not open unto you the flood-gates of the heavens and pour out unto you a blessing until there be not room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your land, neither shall your vine be barren in the field, saith the Lord of Armies. And all nations shall call you blessed, for you shall be a land of delight, saith the Lord of Hosts."
Let us then beware of God's anger, and pay tithes as the tribute due to God, nor forego the rewards we look for, for a momentary profit. Allow, then, dearest brethren, these truths to sink deep into your minds, and cheerfully put them into practice, that so ye may deserve eternal good things in reward of temporal benefactions.

The Archdeacon reads the following decree of the holy Council of Trent: Session XXV., Chap. XII., On Reformation

"Those are not to be borne who, by various artifices, endeavor to withhold the tithes accruing to the churches; nor those who rashly take possession of, and apply to their own use, the tithes which have to be paid by others, whereas the payment of tithes is due to God; and they who refuse to pay them, or hinder those who give them, usurp the property of another. Wherefore, the holy Synod enjoins on all, of whatsoever rank and condition they be, to whom it belongs to pay tithes, that they henceforth pay in full the tithes, to which they are bound in law, to the cathedral church, or to whatsoever other churches or persons they are lawfully due. And they who either withhold them, or hinder them from being paid, shall be excommunicated; nor be absolved from this crime, until after full restitution has been made. It further exhorts all and each, that, of their Christian charity, and the duty which they owe to their own pastors, they grudge not, out of the good things that are given them by God, to assist bountifully those Bishops and Parish Priests who preside over the poorer churches; to the praise of God, and to maintain the dignity of their own pastors who watch for them."

Lord, have mercy.

The Bishop stands and turns to the east, saying:

Let us pray.
Let us kneel. R. Arise.
We beseech thee, O Lord, to come into thy house with mercy; and build for thyself a perpetual abode in the hearts of thy faithful people; and grant that this house, which exists with solemnity by thy dedication, may be made exalted by thy habitation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Bishop dips cotton in the Holy Chrism and signs the door of the church in the manner of a cross, saying:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. O Door, be blessed, sanctified, consecrated, sealed, and commemorated to the Lord God; O Door, be an entrance of salvation and of peace; O Door, be a peaceful entrance, through Him, who called Himself the Door, Jesus Christ our Lord, who together with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, God, world without end. R. Amen.

The priests lift the bier with the relics and enter in the church processing with the clerics and people. The Bishop begins the following antiphon and is joined by the schola:

Enter in, O Saints of God, for a dwelling-place for you has been prepared by God: and indeed, the faithful people joyfully follow your way; that you may pray for us before the majesty of the Lord. Alleluia.

Another Antiphon:
The souls of the saints rejoice in heaven, who followed the footsteps of Christ; and because they shed their blood for love of him, thus with Christ they rejoice exceedingly without end.

When coming to the altar where the relics will be set, the relics in the bier are set near the altar with lit torches near them. The Bishop stands before the altar and begins the following antiphon:
The saints shall rejoice in glory: they shall be joyful in their beds.

Psalm 149

Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: let his praise be in the church of the saints.
Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: and let the children of Sion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in choir: let them sing to him with the timbrel and the psaltery.
For the Lord is well pleased with his people: and he will exalt the meek unto salvation.
The saints shall rejoice in glory: they shall be joyful in their beds.
The high praises of God shall be in their mouth: and two-edged swords in their hands:
To execute vengeance upon the nations, chastisements among the people:
To bind their kings with fetters, and their nobles with manacles of iron.
To execute upon them the judgment that is written: this glory is to all his saints.

Psalm 150

Praise ye the Lord in his holy places: praise ye him in the firmament of his power.
Praise ye him for his mighty acts: praise ye him according to the multitude of his greatness.
Praise him with sound of trumpet: praise him with psaltery and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and choir: praise him with strings and organs.
Praise him on high sounding cymbals: praise him on cymbals of joy:
let every spirit praise the Lord.

The Bishop turns to the altar and says:

Let us pray. O God, who in each place of thy dominion dost stand near as a merciful and benign consecrator, graciously hear us, we beseech thee, and grant that the consecration of this place may remain inviolable; and may the community of the faithful, which prays to thee, be deemed worthy to receive the benefits of thy gifts. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

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1 comment(s):

del_button April 26, 2011 at 6:11 PM
Toyin O. said...

Thanks for sharing:)

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