Sancta Missa - Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) - Blessings of places designated for sacred purposes



CHAPTER VI: BLESSINGS OF PLACES DESIGNATED FOR SACRED PURPOSES

1. BLESSING AND LAYING THE CORNER-STONE OF A CHURCH*

*This blessing is reserved to the Ordinary or to a priest delegated by him. The rite given here is revised in accordance with the new Pontifical of 1962.

1. The blessing and laying of the corner-stone of a church may take place on any day and at any hour.

2. The foundations of the church should be evident or at least delineated.

3. A wooden cross of convenient size should be fixed on the spot where the main altar is to be.

4. The following things are prepared for the sacred action:

(a) the corner-stone which should be quadrangular, and mortar and tools for fixing it in the foundations; a mason should be at hand to set the stone in the foundations;

(b) a vessel of ordinary holy water and an aspersory made of hyssop if available

(c) two torches for the acolytes and the processional cross;

(d) amice, alb, cincture, and a white stole and cope; a gold- embroidered mitre and crozier (if a bishop is to preside); an amice, alb and cincture for the deacon and subdeacon, as well as a white stole for the deacon;

(e) an ornamented faldstool set on a carpet before the wooden cross;

(f) provision should be made that the foundations of the church are so ordered that the ministrants can easily walk around them.

5. The pastor or others concerned should see to it that the faithful, for whose use the church will be erected, are imbued with proper devotion for their church, and they should not only be given a timely announcement of the blessing and laying of the corner-stone, but should also be properly instructed on the rites and their signification. Lastly the faithful should be encouraged to lend their free and spontaneous support to the building of the church and to its ornamentation.

Part I

Blessing the Site for the Church

6. At the proper time the bishop (or the delegated priest) goes to the place where the church is to be built and vests with the assistance of the deacon and subdeacon in the aforementioned vestments.

7. Preceded by the acolytes with lighted torches, the cross- bearer, and the clergy, he goes with his ministers to the cross erected on the spot where the altar is to be (a bishop wears the mitre and carries the crozier but removes them when he comes to the place for the blessing). He then sings the following with all present making the responses (for the music see the music supplement):

Celebrant: God, come to my rescue.

All: Lord, make haste to help me.

C: Glory be to the Father, etc.

All: As it was in the beginning, etc.

8. He then sprinkles the spot where the cross stands without saying anything (a bishop wears the mitre); after which, preceded by crossbearer, acolytes, and clergy, he walks around the foundations sprinkling them with holy water without saying anything. He starts behind the cross and then encircles the foundations clockwise. During this time the choir sings the following (for the music see the music supplement):

C: Ant. Lord Jesus Christ, * raise up the sign of salvation in this place; and forbid entry here to the avenging angel.

Psalm 47

During this psalm the choir, if necessary (i.e., depending on the time element), repeats the antiphon after every two verses:

C: Great is the Lord and wholly to be praised * in the city of our God.

All: His holy mountain, fairest of heights, * is the joy of all the earth;

C: Mount Sion, "the recesses of the North," * is the city of the great King.

All: God is with her castles; renowned is He as a stronghold.

C: For lo! the kings assemble, * they come on together;

All: They also see, and at once are stunned, * terrified, routed;

C: Quaking seizes them there; * anguish, like a woman's in labor,

All: As though a wind from the east * were shattering ships of Tharsis.

C: As we had heard, so have we seen * in the city of the Lord of hosts,

All: In the city of our God; * God makes it firm forever.

C: O God, we ponder your kindness * within your temple.

All: As your name, O God, so also your praise * reaches to the ends of the earth.

C: Of justice your right hand is full; * let Mount Sion be glad,

All: Let the cities of Juda rejoice, * because of your judgments.

C: Go about Sion, make the round; * count her towers.

All: Consider her ramparts, * examine her castles,

C: That you may tell a future generation * that such is God,

All: Our God forever and ever; * He will guide us.

The usual doxology is omitted, but the above antiphon is repeated. If necessary the verses of the psalm may be repeated until the sprinkling of the foundations is finished; but if it is finished earlier the psalm is broken off and the antiphon repeated as a conclusion.

9. After this the celebrant, standing before the cross and facing the site for the church that is to be built, hands over the aspersory and with hands folded sings the following in the ferial tone (a bishop removes the mitre):

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty and merciful God, who conferred on your priests above all others so great a grace, that whatever they do worthily and exactly in your name, is regarded as being done by you; we pray that in your kindness you may be present wherever we are present and may bless whatever we bless. And at our lowly coming, through the merits of your saints, may demons flee and the angel of peace be at hand; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

Part II

Blessing of the Corner-stone

10. The celebrant goes to the place where the corner-stone is located. and standing there with hands joined blesses the stone, singing the following in the ferial tone. A bishop uses the mitre and crozier as he walks to the place, but gives them up before he begins the blessing.

C: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who are the corner- stone hewn from the mountain-side not by the hand of man, and the foundation which cannot be moved; make firm this stone which is to be laid in your name. You who are the beginning and the end, be likewise, we pray, the beginning, the increase, and the end of this work, which is fittingly begun for your praise and glory. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.

He sprinkles the stone with holy water without saying anything.

11. According to local custom the document concerning the blessing of the corner-stone and the beginning of the church may be read; after which the bishop as well as the others, clergy and laity (who should also be invited), may add their signatures. The document is then sealed within the stone which is later to be laid in the foundations. After the reading of the document a popular hymn may be sung.

Part III

Laying of the Corner-stone

12. The celebrant places his hand on the corner-stone as it is lowered into place, saying (a bishop wears the mitre and holds the crozier):

In the faith of Jesus Christ, we lay this corner-stone on this foundation; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. May the true faith flourish here, along with fear of God and brotherly love. May this place finally be devoted to prayer, to the adoration and praise of the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

13. The assisting mason fixes the stone in place with mortar; after which the celebrant sprinkles it with holy water without saying anything, and then returns to the place where the cross is (a bishop takes the faldstool). In the meantime the choir sings the following (for the music see the music supplement):

C: Ant.: May the Lord build us a dwelling, * and keep a watch over the city.

Psalm 126

C: Unless the Lord build the house, * they labor in vain who build it.

All: Unless the Lord guard the city, * in vain does the guard keep vigil.

C: It is vain for you to rise early, * or put off your rest.

All: You that eat hard-earned bread, * for He gives to His beloved in sleep.

C: See, sons are a gift from the Lord; * the fruit of the womb is a reward.

All: Like arrows in the hand of a warrior * are the sons of one's youth.

C: Happy the man whose quiver is filled with them; * they shall not be put to shame when they contend with enemies at the gate.

The usual doxology is not said, but the above antiphon is repeated.

14. When the psalm and antiphon are finished, the celebrant, standing before the cross with hands joined and facing the site where the church is to be built, sings the following in the ferial tone (a bishop removes the mitre):

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

In this oration the name of the saint in whose name and honor the church is founded is mentioned at the letter N. However, the words "by the prayers and merits of blessed N." are omitted if the church is erected in honor of some mystery.

Let us pray.

Lord God, whom the heavens and the earth cannot contain, but who condescended to have a dwelling-place here on earth where your name may constantly be invoked; we entreat you, by the prayers and merits of blessed N., to be present in this place, to cleanse it from all stains by an outpouring of your grace, and to preserve it in its purified state. And as you let the vow of David, your beloved, be fulfilled in the work of Solomon, his son, so may you graciously fulfill our desires in this work; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

C: The Lord be with you. All: May He also be with you. Deacon: Let us bless the Lord. All: Thanks be to God.

If a bishop presides he gives the solemn blessing, grants the indulgences, and having removed his vestments departs in peace.

2. BLESSING OF A NEW CHURCH OR A PUBLIC ORATORY*

* This blessing is reserved to the Ordinary or to a priest delegated by him. The rite given here is revised in accordance with the new Pontifical of 1962.

1. Every church that is to be solemnly blessed must have a title. It may be named in honor of the Holy Trinity; or our Lord Jesus Christ with mention of a mystery of His life or an appellation already introduced into the sacred liturgy; of the Holy Spirit; or the blessed Virgin Mary and also with mention of a mystery or an appellation already used in the sacred liturgy; or the holy angels; or after a saint inscribed in the Roman Martyrology, but not a blessed. The local Ordinary should never allow unusual titles, those savoring of novelty, or in general those foreign to the approved tradition of the Church. In case of doubt one should have recourse to the Congregation of Sacred Rites.

2. The blessing of churches, although it may lawfully take place on almost any day, is more fittingly done on Sundays or feast days. But it is prohibited on the vigil and feast of Christmas, on the feasts of Epiphany, Ascension, and Corpus Christi, on the days beginning with Palm Sunday until Easter inclusive, on Pentecost, and on All Souls. The blessing of a church should ordinarily take place in the morning, unless the good of a notable part of the faithful urges that it be done in the afternoon.

3. The water for the sprinkling of the church, as well as the altar linens and other appurtenances for the altar and church, may be blessed before this sacred rite, by the bishop or by another priest delegated by him, using the forms given in their proper place. The following things are to be prepared for the blessing of a church:

(a) a vessel of ordinary holy water and an aspersory made of hyssop if available; the fonts for holy water should be empty and well cleaned;

(b) two torches for the acolytes and the processional cross;

(c) altar-linens and vessels and ornaments for the altar and church;

(d) amice, alb, cincture, and a white stole and cope; a gold- embroidered mitre and crozier (if a bishop is to preside); an amice, alb, and cincture for the deacon and subdeacon, as well as a white stole for the deacon;

(e) an ornamented faldstool set on a carpet, one in front of the main door of the church, another in the sanctuary; if two are not available the one is carried to the sanctuary at the proper time; all this, of course, only if a bishop is presiding;

(f) the interior of the church should be empty and the altars bare;

(g) provision should be made that the ministrants can easily walk around the exterior of the church;

(h) it should also be provided that the celebrant and his ministers, after they have entered the church, have ready access from the altar to the main door; also that they can walk around the side aisles, in order to carry out the prescribed rites properly.

4. The pastor or others concerned should see to it that the faithful for whom the church was built, should not only be given a timely announcement of the solemn blessing, but should also be properly instructed on the rites and their signification. Lastly the faithful should be imbued with proper devotion for their church, so that also in future they will lend, as far as they can, their free and spontaneous support to its proper ornamentation and upkeep.

5. The doors of the church should be closed, and no one should remain inside. At the proper time the bishop (or the delegated priest) goes to the sacristy, where he vests with the assistance of the deacon and subdeacon in the aforementioned vestments. If a bishop presides he wears the gold-embroidered mitre and carries the crozier in his left hand.

6. Then, preceded by the acolytes with lighted torches, the crossbearer, and the clergy, he goes with his ministers to the doors of the church to be blessed. Arriving there (a bishop removes the mitre and the crozier) he sings the following with all present making the responses (for the music see the music supplement):

Celebrant: God, come to my rescue.

All: Lord, make haste to help me.

C: Glory be to the Father, etc.

All: As it was in the beginning, etc.

7. After this the celebrant (a bishop wears the mitre), preceded by cross-bearer, acolytes, clergy, and the people, walks around the outside of the church sprinkling the walls with holy water. He starts at the right of the church. During this time the choir sings the following (for the music see the music supplement):

C: Ant.: The Lord's dwelling is well founded on a firm rock.

Psalm 86

During this psalm the choir, if the time element requires it, repeats the antiphon after every two verses:

C: The Lord loves His foundation * upon the holy mountain;

All: The gates of Sion * more than any dwelling of Jacob.

C: Glorious things are said of you, * O city of God.

All: I tell of Egypt and Babylon * among those that know the Lord;

C: Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia: * "This man was born there."

All: And of Sion they shall say: * "One and all were born in her;

C: And He who has established her * is the Most High Lord."

All: They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled: * "This man was born there."

C: And all shall sing in their festive dance: * "My home is within you."

The usual doxology is omitted but the above antiphon is repeated. If necessary the verses of the psalm may be repeated until the sprinkling of the walls is finished; but if it is finished earlier the psalm is broken off and the antiphon repeated as a conclusion.

8. After this the celebrant, standing before and facing the door of the church, hands over the aspersory and with hands folded sings the following in the ferial tone (a bishop removes the mitre):

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, who are wholly present and wholly active in every place under your dominion; hearken to our humble prayers, and be the protector of this dwelling as you are its founder. Let no vileness of hostile powers prevail here, but by the working of the Holy Spirit may a faultless service always be rendered to you in this place, and a holy liberty abound; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

9. Led by the cross-bearer the celebrant, along with the clergy and people, go in procession into the church; a bishop wears the mitre and carries the crozier. The chanters begin the Litany of the Saints, the invocations of which are not doubled. In the litany there is a threefold invocation of the saint in whose honor the church is blessed. When the celebrant arrives at the altar (a bishop kneels at the faldstool), all kneel in their place and make the responses. When the invocation "That you grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed R. We beg you to hear us" has been said, the celebrant rises (a bishop takes the crozier in his left hand), and facing the nave of the church sings in the same tone:

C: That you graciously visit this place.

All: We beg you to hear us.

C: That you appoint your angels to guard it.

All: We beg you to hear us.

Then raising up his right hand he makes the sign of the cross over the church, saying:

C: That you bless + this church for the honor of your name and that of St. N.

All: We beg you to hear us.

After this he kneels again (a bishop kneels at the faldstool), and the chanters resume the litany to the end.

10. At the end of the litany the celebrant rises (a bishop removes the mitre), and standing with hands joined and facing the altar sings the following in the ferial tone:

Let us pray.

O Lord our God, manifest your glory to your saints, and show yourself present in this sanctuary built in your honor; and as you work great marvels in the children you have adopted, may your praises ever resound among the people who belong to you; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

11. Then the celebrant walks around the interior of the church sprinkling its walls with holy water, using an aspersory made of hyssop. Leaving the main altar he begins at the gospel side and completes the circuit. In the meantime the choir sings the following antiphon and psalm (for the music see the music supplement):

C: Ant.: This is the house of the Lord built with a compact unity; * it is well founded upon a firm rock.

Psalm 121

During this psalm the choir, if the time element requires it, repeats the antiphon after every two verses:

C: I rejoiced because they said to me, * "We will go up to the house of the Lord." And now we have set foot * within our gates, O Jerusalem;

C: Jerusalem, built as a city * with compact unity.

All: To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, * according to the decree for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

C: In it are set up judgment seats, * seats for the house of David.

All: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. * May those who love you prosper;

C: May peace be within your walls, * prosperity in your buildings.

All: Because of my relatives and friends * I will pray for your good.

The usual doxology is omitted, but the antiphon is repeated. If necessary the verses of the psalm may be repeated until the sprinkling of the walls is finished; but if it is finished earlier the psalm is broken off and the above antiphon repeated as a conclusion.

12. Next the celebrant (a bishop retains the mitre) sprinkles with holy water the floor of the church, first in the middle from the altar to the main door, and then in the transept, from one wall to the other, starting on the gospel side. In the meantime the choir sings the following antiphon and psalm (for the music see the music supplement):

C: Ant.: This is none other * than the house of God and the gate of heaven.

Psalm 83

During this psalm the choir, if the time element requires it, repeats the antiphon after every two verses:

C: How lovely is your dwelling place, * O Lord of hosts!

All: My soul yearns and pines * for the courts of the Lord.

C: My heart and my flesh * cry out for the living God.

All: Even the sparrow finds a home, * and the swallow a nest in which she puts her young.

All: Your altars, O Lord of hosts, * my King and my God.

C: Happy they who dwell in your house. * Continually they praise you.

All: Happy the men whose strength you are; * their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage;

C: When they pass through the arid valley, * they make a spring of it; the early rain clothes it with generous growth.

All: They go from strength to strength; * they shall see the God of gods in Sion.

C: O Lord of hosts, hear my prayer; * hearken, O God of Jacob.

All: O God, behold our shield, * and look upon the face of your anointed.

C: I had rather one day in your courts * than a thousand elsewhere;

All: I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God * than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

C: For a sun and a shield is the Lord God; * grace and glory He bestows;

All: The Lord withholds no good thing * from those who walk in sincerity.

C: O Lord of hosts, * happy the men who trust in you.

The usual doxology is omitted, but the antiphon is repeated. If necessary the verses of the psalm may be repeated until the sprinkling of the floor is finished: but if it is finished earlier the psalm is broken off and the above antiphon is repeated as a conclusion.

13. After the sprinkling of the floor the celebrant returns to the altar and facing the nave of the church and with hands joined sings the following in the ferial tone (a bishop removes the mitre):

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, who sanctify the places dedicated to your name, pour out your grace on this house of prayer, so that all + who here invoke you may experience the help of your mercy; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Deacon: Let us bless the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

14. Then the celebrant (a bishop wears the mitre and carries the crozier) goes with his ministers to the sacristy, where, having removed the cope, he vests for the celebration of Mass. A bishop, however, may depute another priest to offer the Mass. In the meantime the clergy or ministers prepare the altar for the celebration of Mass. While this is happening the choir and the people sing the following (for the music see the music supplement):

C: Ant.: Confirm, O God, * the work you have begun in us from your heavenly sanctuary, the new Jerusalem, alleluia, alleluia (omit the alleluias after Sept.).

Psalm 95

During the singing of this psalm the above antiphon is repeated after every two verses:

C: Sing to the Lord a new song; * sing to the Lord, all you lands.

All: Sing to the Lord; bless His name; * announce His salvation, day after day.

C: Tell His glory among the nations; * among all peoples, His wondrous deeds.

All: For great is the Lord and highly to be praised; * awesome is He, beyond all gods.

C: For all the gods of the nations are things of nought, * but the Lord made the heavens.

All: Splendor and majesty go before Him; * praise and grandeur are in His sanctuary.

C: Give to the Lord, you families of nations, give to the Lord glory and praise; * give to the Lord the glory due His name.

All: Bring gifts, and enter His courts; * worship the Lord in holy attire.

C: Tremble before Him, all the earth; * say among the nations: the Lord is King.

All: He has made the world firm, not to be moved; * He governs the peoples with equity.

C: Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; * let the plains be joyful and all that is in them.

All: Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the Lord, for He comes; * for He comes to rule the earth.

C: He shall rule the world with justice * and the peoples with His constancy.

The usual doxology is omitted, but the above antiphon is repeated.

15. Mass is said as a votive of the II class, of the mystery or saint in whose honor the church was dedicated.

16. As the celebrant approaches the altar the introit antiphon is sung with its psalm as the length of time requires.

17. When the celebrant comes to the altar and has made the reverence, he omits the psalm and confiteor and at once ascends the altar saying the usual prayers and then kissing the altar at the middle.

18. At the end of Mass the bishop gives the solemn blessing and announces the indulgences. The last Gospel is omitted, and all return to the sacristy.

3. RITE FOR RECONCILING A PROFANED CHURCH

which previously was only blessed

1. If a church is profaned, a cemetery which is contiguous is not thereby to be considered profaned, or vice versa. But if both are profaned their reconciliation is performed together.

If a church that was blessed is profaned, it may be reconciled by the pastor or by any priest who has his permission, expressed or presumed. The altar should be entirely bare. It should be prearranged that the officiants can conveniently go around the building, both outside and inside. At hand there should be a vessel of holy water and an aspersory made of hyssop. The priest, vested in amice, alb, cincture, white stole and cope, goes with his assistants to the main entrance of the church, and standing outside facing the door, he intones the following antiphon which is continued by the clergy:

Purify me with hyssop, * Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Then the entire psalm 50 is said with the doxology, and the above antiphon is repeated. Meanwhile the priest goes around the exterior of the church, alternately sprinkling the walls of the church and the cemetery grounds. But the cemetery is not sprinkled if it has not been desecrated. On coming back to the entrance the priest says:

Let us pray.

Almighty and merciful God, who conferred on your priests above all others this great grace, that whatever they do worthily and exactly in your name, is regarded as being done by you; we pray that in your kindness you may be present wherever we are present and may bless + whatever we bless. And at our lowly coming, through the merits of your saints, may demons flee and the angel of peace be at hand; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

2. After this prayer all go into church, two by two, and the ministrants proceed to the altar. During this procession the Litany of the Saints is chanted. The priest kneels at the altar until the following versicle has been chanted: "That you grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed," etc.; after which he rises and sings in a clear voice:

That you purify and reconcile + this church and this altar (and cemetery). R. We beg you to hear us.

3. However, if the cemetery has not been profaned, omit the words "and cemetery."

Then he kneels again until the litany is concluded. After this he stands, and facing the altar he says:

P: Let us pray.

Ministers: Let us kneel. R. Arise.

The priest:

We beseech you, Lord, let your mercy precede the execution of our plans, and by the intercession of all your saints, let your forgiveness and kindness anticipate our requests; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

4. Then the priest kneels at the altar, and signing himself with the cross, says:

P: God, come to my rescue.

All: Lord, make haste to help me.

P (standing): Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

All: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

5. Then the priest intones the following antiphon, which is continued by the clergy or choir. Psalm 67 follows, with the chanters singing the verses of the psalm; after each verse the antiphon is repeated by all (for the music of the antiphon and psalm see the music supplement).

Psalm 67

P: God arises; * His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: In your churches bless God; * bless the Lord, you of Israel's well-spring.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: There is Benjamin, the youngest, * leading them.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: The princes of Juda in a body, * the princes of Zabulon, the princes of Nephthali.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Show forth, O God, your power, * the power, O God, with which you took our part.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Let the kings bring you gifts * for your temple in Jerusalem.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds, * the herd of strong bulls and the bullocks, the nations.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Let them fall prostrate with bars of silver; * scatter the peoples who delight in war.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Let nobles come from Egypt; * let Ethiopia extend its hands to God.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, chant praise to the Lord, * who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: See, His voice resounds, the voice of power: * "Confess the power of God."

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Over Israel is His majesty; * His power is in the skies.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Awesome in His sanctuary is God, the God of Israel; * He gives power and strength to His people. Blessed be God.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

The usual doxology is omitted at the end of the above psalm.

6. While the foregoing antiphon and psalm are sung, the priest goes around the interior of the church sprinkling it, especially the place where the desecration took place. Then he returns to the middle of the sanctuary, faces the altar, and says:

God, who lovingly and benignly defend the purity of every place which is under your dominion, hear us, we pray, and grant that in future this place be preserved inviolably hallowed, and that the whole Christian community who here invoke you may be the recipients of your bounty; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

7. Lastly the Mass of the day is celebrated, adding to the collect of the day under one conclusion the "ritual collect," which is No. 10 among the "Missae Votivae ad diversa" in the new Missal.

8. In the case of a church which was consecrated, a priest may reconcile it only if he has the permission of the Ordinary, and then he uses the rite given in the Roman Pontifical. He vests in the manner noted above and is assisted by a number of clerics vested in surplices.

If, in a real and urgent emergency, the Ordinary cannot be reached the pastor of a church which previously had been consecrated may reconcile it without delay, and later inform his superior of the fact.

4. RITE FOR BLESSING A NEW CEMETERY*

* This blessing is reserved to the Ordinary or to a priest delegated by him. The rite given here is revised in accordance with the new Pontifical of 1962.

1. The blessing of a cemetery may take place on any day and at any hour, excepting only those days on which the consecration of a church is prohibited. It is permitted, however, on November 2, All Souls Day.

2. A wooden cross of convenient height is erected at the end of the cemetery opposite the entrance, unless there happens to be one there already.

3. The following things are prepared for the sacred action:

(a) a vessel of ordinary holy water and an aspersory made of hyssop if available;

(b) two torches for the acolytes and the processional cross;

(c) amice, alb, cincture, and a purple stole and cope; a gold- embroidered mitre and crozier (if a bishop is to preside); an amice, alb, and cincture for the deacon and subdeacon, as well as a purple stole for the deacon;

(d) an ornamented faldstool set on a carpet before the wooden cross;

(e) provision should be made so that the celebrant and his ministers have an open path to perform easily the ceremony of sprinkling.

4. The pastor or others concerned should see to it that the faithful not only are given a timely announcement of the blessing of the cemetery, but are also to be properly instructed on the rites and their signification. Moreover, they should be instructed that a cemetery is a sacred place, and be admonished to give it the respect due it.

5. At the proper time the bishop (or the delegated priest) goes to the cemetery which is to be blessed, and in a suitable place vests in the aforementioned vestments, being assisted by the deacon and subdeacon who are already vested.

6. Then, preceded by the acolytes with lighted torches, the crossbearer, and the clergy, he goes with his ministers to the place where the cross is erected. A bishop wears the mitre and carries the crozier, but gives them up when he comes to the cross. Next he says the following with all present making the responses:

Celebrant: God, come to my rescue.

All: Lord, make haste to help me.

C: Glory be to the Father, etc.

All: As it was in the beginning, etc.

7. After this, preceded by cross-bearer, acolytes, and the clergy, he walks around the cemetery grounds sprinkling them with holy water without saying anything. He starts behind the cross and goes around counterclockwise. During this time the choir sings (for the music see the music supplement):

C: Ant.: Purify me with hyssop, * Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Psalm 50

During this psalm the choir, if necessary, repeats the antiphon after every two verses. At the end of the psalm the usual doxology is omitted but the above antiphon is repeated. If the sprinkling is finished earlier the psalm is broken off and the antiphon repeated as a conclusion.

8. After this the celebrant, having handed over the aspersory and mitre, and standing before the cross and looking out over the cemetery sings with hands folded the following in the ferial tone:

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord God, Father of everlasting glory, solace of the sorrowing, life of the just, glory of the lowly, we humbly importune you to keep this cemetery free from any vileness of unclean spirits, to cleanse and to bless it, and finally to give lasting wholeness to the bodies brought here for burial. And at the end of time, when the angels sound their trumpets, let all who have received the sacrament of baptism, who have persevered in the Catholic faith until death, and who have had their remains laid to rest in this cemetery, be rewarded in body and in soul with the unending joys of heaven; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

9. Then again, preceded by cross-bearer, acolytes, and clergy, the celebrant (a bishop wears the mitre) sprinkles the cemetery without saying anything. In doing so he walks down the middle from the cross to the entrance, and then transversely in front of the cross, from the left side to the right. During this time the choir sings the following antiphon and psalm:

C: Ant. For your name's sake, O Lord, * preserve me in your justice.

Psalm 142

During this psalm the choir, if necessary, repeats the antiphon after every two verses. At the end of the psalm the usual doxology is omitted, but the above antiphon is repeated. If the sprinkling is finished earlier the psalm is broken off and the antiphon repeated as a conclusion.

10. After this the celebrant, having handed over the aspersory and mitre, and standing before the cross and looking out over the cemetery, sings with hands folded the following in the ferial tone:

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, Creator of the world and Redeemer of mankind, who wondrously dispose the destinies of all creatures, visible and invisible; we humbly and sincerely beseech you to hallow, purify, and bless this cemetery, where the bodies of your servants are duly laid to rest, after the labor and fatigue of this life come to an end. Pardon, in your great mercy, the sins of those who put their trust in you, and graciously grant unending consolation to their bodies that will lie at rest in this cemetery, awaiting the trumpet-call of the Archangel Michael. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God,

C: Forever and ever.

All: Amen.

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

C: Lift up your hearts.

All: We have lifted them up to the Lord.

C: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All: It is fitting and right to do so.

It is indeed fitting and right, worthy and salutary that we should always and everywhere give thanks to you, O Lord, holy Father, almighty everlasting God, through Christ our Lord. For He is eternal day, unfailing light, and everlasting splendor, who commanded His followers to so walk in the light as to escape the darkness of never ending night, and happily come to the abode of light. He is the One who in His humanity wept over Lazarus, and in His divine power raised up the dead, restoring life to that man four days consigned to the tomb. Through Him, then, we humbly entreat you, O Lord, that on the last day, at the angels' trumpet-call, you would loose from the fetters of sin those who are buried in this cemetery, granting them everlasting happiness and numbering them in the ranks of the blessed. Thus may they come to know that you, our everlasting life, are merciful and benign, and may have cause to exalt you as the author of life and to sing your praises with the saints forevermore. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Deacon: Let us bless the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

11. After the blessing of the cemetery, if circumstances allow, the bishop or another priest celebrates Mass, which will conform to the day's office; and in this Mass there is added under one conclusion the proper ritual collect (see no. 447 f of the new rubrics in the Missal), excluding all other non-privileged commemorations.

12. As the celebrant approaches the altar the introit antiphon is sung with its psalm as the length of time requires.

13. When the celebrant comes to the altar and has made the reverence, he omits the psalm and confiteor and at once ascends the altar, saying the usual prayers and then kissing the altar at the middle.

14. At the end of Mass the bishop gives the solemn blessing and announces the indulgences. The last Gospel is omitted, and all depart in peace.

5. RITE FOR RECONCILING A PROFANED CEMETERY

1. If a cemetery contiguous to a profaned church has likewise been profaned, it is reconciled along with the church (see above, Rite for Reconciling a Profaned Church). Otherwise, the reconciling of a cemetery takes place as follows:

In the morning the rector of the cemetery, or another priest who has at least the presumed permission of the former, vested as described above, comes with his assistants to the middle of the cemetery. Here he and the other ministrants kneel on a carpet; and all others present kneel in their places. The Litany of the Saints is chanted in the usual way. At the words "That you grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed," etc., the priest rises, and making the sign of the cross over the cemetery, says:

That you reconcile + and hallow + this cemetery. R:. We beg you to hear us.

2. He kneels again and the litany is concluded.

3. Then all rise, and the celebrant, taking the aspersory, intones the following antiphon, which is continued by the clergy:

Purify me with hyssop, * Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

The entire psalm 50 is said, but without the doxology (see p. 325), and the above antiphon is repeated.

4. During the psalmody the celebrant, beginning at the right, goes around the entire cemetery, sprinkling it with holy water, above all the place where the profanation occurred. On returning to his place he stands and says:

P: Let us pray.

Ministers: Let us kneel. R. Arise.

The priest:

Merciful Lord, who willed that the potter's field priced with your blood should be bought as a burial place for strangers, be pleased to remember this mystery of your goodness. For you, Lord, are also our potter, the field of our rest, the price of this field. You gave it even as you accepted it. At the cost of your life-giving blood you gave us peaceful rest. Therefore, Lord, you who are the most merciful pardoner of our guilt, the most considerate judge, the most lavish dispenser of clement judgment, hear our entreaties and be to us an advocate and reconciler, forgetting the harsh judgment that we rightly deserve, and remembering only the mercy of your loving redemption. Deign to purify and to reconcile this resting place of your pilgrims, who look for a haven in your heavenly kingdom. And may you finally awaken the bodies of those who are or who will be buried here, by the power and the glory of your resurrection, to incorruptible glory, calling them forth not to condemnation but to unending happiness. We ask this of you who are coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.

All: Amen.

{The new code of rubrics for the Missal, no. 447 h, seems to take for granted that Mass will be offered after the reconciliation of a cemetery.}

6. RITE OR SHORTER FORM FOR CONSECRATING A FIXED ALTAR

which has lost its consecration if the table or mensa was separated from its support, even if only for a moment. See the Code of Canon Law, 1200.[1]

After the altar has been repaired the bishop, vested in rochet and white stole (or a delegated priest vested in surplice and white stole) goes to the altar and anoints with chrism in the form of a cross the four points of contact of the table with the base. At each anointing he says:

In the name of the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit.

Then he says the following prayers:

Let us pray.

Lord, we humbly appeal to your sovereignty, asking that it please you to effectually bless + and to sanctify + this altar anointed with a libation of holy oil to receive the offerings of your people; that having been anointed by us, your unworthy servants, with holy chrism and in the power of your name, to the honor of the blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints, and in memory of your servant, N., this altar may be well-pleasing to you, and may remain a permanent altar. May you regard as a worthy holocaust whatever henceforth is offered or consecrated thereon. May you graciously accept, merciful Lord, the sacrifices offered here by all your servants. May the bonds of our sins be thereby loosed, our stains blotted out, pardon obtained, and graces acquired, so that together with your saints and your elect we may merit the joys of everlasting life; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, we humbly implore you, through your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to hallow + with a blessing from on high this altar devoted to holy purposes. And as you once accepted with wondrous favor the offering of your High Priest Melchisedech, so also be pleased ever to accept the gifts laid on this new altar. May the people who assemble in this holy dwelling of your Church be ransomed and sanctified by these offerings, and their souls be rewarded with everlasting life; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Without delay the officiant should declare and testify in writing that this altar has been duly consecrated by him, with ordinary or delegated authority as the case may be, and that it is to be regarded as such, and under the same title it enjoyed before it was desecrated.

7. ANOTHER RITE OR SHORTER FORM FOR CONSECRATING A FIXED ALTAR

which has lost consecration by serious breakage or by the reliquary tomb having been broken or opened: Code of Canon Law, 1200.[1]-2

The bishop, vested in rochet and white stole (or a delegated priest vested in surplice and white stole), goes to the altar, and at some distance from it blesses water, salt, ashes, and wine, beginning with the exorcism of salt:

God's creature, salt, I cast out the demon from you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said to His apostles: "You are the salt of the earth"; and through the Apostle says: "Let your speech be at all times pleasing, seasoned with salt." May you become a sacred thing for the consecration of this altar, to drive away all temptations of the devil. May you be a shield for body and soul, health, protection, and a safeguard for all who use you; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord God, almighty Father, who from on high bestowed on salt the gift of seasoning all food created for man, bless + this creature, salt, to banish the foe, and endow it with healing properties for the welfare of both body and soul of those who use it; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Next he exorcizes the water:

God's creature, water, I cast out the demon from you in the name of God the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit. May you drive out Satan from the borders of the just, lest he lurk within the shadows of this church and this altar. And you, Lord Jesus Christ, pour out your Holy Spirit on this your church and altar, that those who worship you here may be rewarded in body and soul, that your name may be glorified among all nations, and the hearts of unbelievers be converted to you, and have no other God but you, the only true Lord, who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.

All: Amen.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord God, almighty Father, Creator of all the elements, who by Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, willed that this element, water, should serve in the salvation of mankind; we humbly beg you to hearken to our prayers, and to hallow + this water by your benign glance. Let it be freed from the power of all unclean spirits, so that wherever it is sprinkled in your name the gift of your blessing may descend, and by your mercy all evils may be driven away; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Next he blesses the ashes:

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, spare those who repent, show mercy to those who call upon you, and be pleased to send your holy angel from on high to bless + and hallow + these ashes. Let them be a wholesome remedy to all who invoke your holy name, and who, conscious of their transgressions, accuse themselves; to all who mourn over their offenses before your divine mercy, or humbly and earnestly ask your loving pardon. Grant that in calling on your holy name those who sprinkle these ashes on themselves to redeem their sins may receive health in body and protection for soul; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Then he takes salt and sprinkles it on the ashes in the form of a cross, saying:

May this salt and ashes be mingled together; in the name of the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Then taking a handful of the mixed salt and ashes, he drops it into the water in the form of a cross, saying:

May this salt, ashes, and water be mingled together; in the name of the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit.

All: Amen.

Then he blesses the wine:

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, who are the true vine, who in Cana of Galilee changed water into wine, show us your mercy again and again, and be pleased to bless + and to hallow this creature, wine. Wherever it is poured out or sprinkled, may that place be filled and hallowed with the bounty of your heavenly blessing. We ask this of you who are God, living and reigning with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

All: Amen.

Then he pours the wine into the water in the form of a cross, saying:

May this wine, salt, ashes, and water be mingled together; in the name of the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit.

All: Amen.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, maker and preserver of mankind, the giver of spiritual gifts and the lavish dispenser of everlasting salvation, send forth your Holy Spirit upon this wine mixed with water, salt, and ashes. Endow it with power from above that it may serve for the consecration of this your altar; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Then using this blessed water he makes a plaster or cement. which he blesses, saying:

Let us pray.

Most High God, who guard all things from the highest to the lowest, whose solicitude embraces every creature; hallow + and bless + these creatures of lime and cement; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

This mortar thus blessed is kept, but what remains of the blessed water is poured into the sacrarium.

Then the consecrator goes to the altar and anoints with chrism the sepulchre of the altar from which the relics have been removed. He anoints each of the four corners, making at each the sign of the cross and saying:

May this sepulchre be consecrated + and hallowed +; in the name of the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit. Peace be to this house.

Then he reverently places the case containing the relics and other things therein; and taking the stone or cover, he anoints the bottom side in the middle with chrism, saying:

May this cover (or this stone) be consecrated + and hallowed + by this anointing and God's blessing; in the name of the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit. Peace be to you.

Using the blessed cement, he fits the cover to the sepulchre (being assisted if required by a mason); after which he says:

Let us pray.

God, who are preparing from the community of the saints an everlasting dwelling for your glory, let this dwelling for you on earth also prosper, so that what has been started with your approval may be brought to completion by your grace; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Then with the help of a mason he seals the cover with cement, and signs the top with chrism, saying:

May this altar be sealed + and hallowed +; in the name of the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit. Peace be to you.

8. RITE FOR CONSECRATING A PORTABLE ALTAR

(From the new Roman Pontifical of 1962)

{The new Pontifical contains the very elaborate form for consecrating an altar when this is done simultaneously with the dedication of a church; another elaborate form when done apart from the dedication of a church; and two more forms for the consecration of a "portable altar" (altare portatile), one a solemn form and the other a simple form. This simple form, according to "Ephemerides Liturgicae" 77 (1963), fasc. V-VI, 409, is to be used, among other instances, instead of the shorter form for consecrating a portable altar granted to bishops only a few years ago; in other words, the last-mentioned is now abrogated. The first two elaborate forms are to be used, except by special indult, only when a bishop consecrates an altar. The new faculties conceded to bishops by Pope Paul VI permit them to delegate priests to consecrate portable altars (see Ephem. Lit. 78 [1964], fasc. II, 154-55). It must be clearly noted, however, as is evident in the rubrics below, that the term "portable altar" does not have its usual restricted meaning in the new Pontifical, but can mean either the entire table of an altar which is already erected in a church, or else an altar-stone which is to be inserted later in another altar. If all this seems hopelessly confusing, one had better consult the SCR for clarification.}

1. The consecration of a portable altar can be done with the solemn or simple form as indicated below. The solemn form is used when the table of an altar already erected in a church is to be solemnly consecrated: "altar portatile"; the simple form when one (or more) altarstone later to be inserted in an altar is to be consecrated "tabula." The letters printed in italics in the rubrics below refer to the simple form.

2. The solemn consecration of a portable altar is prohibited on the same days that the consecration of a fixed altar is prohibited. But the consecration with the simple form of one or several altarstones can be done on any convenient day and at any hour.

3. The following things are prepared at the place where the consecration takes place: (a) the relics of holy martyrs and the three grains of incense that are to be sealed into the altar should be resting on a white-linen-covered table, between two lighted candles;

(b) holy chrism

(c) a vessel of blessed "gregorian" water and an aspersory; this particular water may be blessed at a more convenient time before this sacred action, by the bishop or by another priest delegated by him, using the form given in the Pontifical:

(d) a thurible with lighted charcoal and the incense-boat and spoon,

(e) towels for wiping the altar or altar-stone;

(f) mortar for sealing the sepulchre for the relics; there should also be at hand a mason, who at the proper time will assist the celebrant in sealing the sepulchre;

(g) a vessel of water for washing the celebrant's hands, as well as particles of bread and towels;

(h) amice, alb, cincture, and a white stole and cope; a gold- embroidered mitre for a bishop; an amice, alb, and cincture for the deacon and subdeacon, as well as a white stole for the deacon, if the consecration takes place with the solemn form; if the consecration takes place with the simple form, the bishop wears the rochet, white stole, and gold-embroidered mitre; the ministers wear surplices;

(i) morever, if the consecration of a portable altar is done with the solemn form, the following are prepared: five small crosses made of fine candle-wax and grains of incense (these may be blessed before the sacred action) which are to be burned with them; several wooden spatulas for removing this burnt matter from the altar;

(j) when the consecration takes place with the simple form, the altar-stone or altar-stones should be resting on a white-linen- cover. table.

Part I

Blessing of the Altar

4. At the proper time the bishop (or the delegated priest) goes to the sacristy, where he vests with the assistance of the deacon and subdeacon in the aforementioned vestments. If a bishop presides he wears the gold-embroidered mitre and carries the crozier in his left hand.

5. Then, preceded by the acolytes with lighted torches, the cross-bearer, and the clergy, he goes with his ministers to the altar which is to be consecrated. Arriving there (a bishop removes the mitre and the crozier) he sings the following with all present making the responses (for the music see the music supplement):

6. The bishop, wearing the rochet and white stole, stands (without mitre) before the altar-stone to be consecrated, which is resting on table, and says:

Celebrant: God, come to my rescue.

All: Lord, make haste to help me.

C: Glory be to the Father, etc.

All: As it was in the beginning, etc.

{Then the bishop blesses "gregorian" water, unless it was already blessed before the sacred action by the bishop or another priest delegated by him, with the form given in the Pontifical.}

6. The bishop, having put on the mitre, walks around the altar, sprinkling it with "gregorian" water, using an aspersory made of hyssop, and without saying anything. Then, having returned the aspersory, he ascends the altar, and standing on the predella, dips his right thumb in the blessed "gregorian" water and traces five crosses on the altar-table in the manner given in the graph below. While tracing the crosses he says in each instance:

6a. The bishop, standing with the mitre on, dips his right thumb in the blessed "gregorian" water and traces five crosses on the altar-stone, in the manner given in the graph below. While tracing the crosses he says in each instance:

May this stone be hallowed; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.

Ministers: Amen.

7. If several altars, or several altar-stones, are being consecrated at the same time, the bishop carries out the same actions and words at each of the altars, or altar-stones, successively, the same as he did at the first.

8. In the meantime the choir sings, or the ministers recite, the following antiphon and psalm (for the music see the music supplement):

C: Ant.: I will go to the altar of God, * the God of my gladness and joy.

Psalm 42

During this psalm the choir, if necessary, repeats the antiphon after every two verses:

C: Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight against a faithless people; * from the deceitful and impious man rescue me.

All: For you, O God, are my strength. Why do you keep me so far away? * Why must I go about in mourning, with the enemy oppressing me?

C: Send forth your light and your fidelity; * they shall lead me on and bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place.

All: Then will I go in to the altar of God, * the God of my gladness and joy.

C: Then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God! * Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Why do you sigh within me?

All: Hope in God, for I shall again be thanking Him, * in the presence of my Savior and my God.

The usual doxology is omitted, but the above antiphon is repeated.

The psalm is broken off as soon as the celebrant finishes the sprinkling and the above antiphon is repeated as a conclusion.

9. After this the celebrant, standing before the altar, or the altar stone (without mitre), sings the following in the ferial tone:

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, the Creator of all things visible and invisible, and the consecrator of all that is holy, be pleased to assist at the dedication of this altar of the Lord, and to pour out on it your consecratory and sanctifying power, as we, all unworthy, anoint it with holy chrism. Grant that all who approach this altar in order to pay homage to you may experience your merciful aid; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Part II

Burial of the Relics

10. Then the bishop or celebrant (without mitre) reverently places the relics along with the three grains of incense in the sepulchre of the altar or altar-stone. While this is done the choir, as time allows, sings the following antiphons (for the music see the music supplement), or the ministers recite them:

Antiphon 1: You have been favored with places at God's altar, O saints of God, intercede for us to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Antiphon 2: I saw under the altar of God the souls of those who had been slain, and they cried out: "Why do you not avenge our blood?" And they received the reply from God: "Wait patiently a little longer until the number of your fellow servants is complete."

Antiphon 3: The bodies of the saints are buried in peace, and their names shall live forevermore.

These antiphons may be repeated if necessary.

11. Meanwhile the mason makes a mortar with the "gregorian" water, which the bishop blesses, saying in a low voice:

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Most High God, the keeper of all things from the highest to the lowest, who encompass all creatures in their inmost being, bless + this mortar; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

12. With the help of the mason the bishop smears the lid with mortar, puts it in place, and seals it on the sepulchre.

13. Then with hands joined the bishop sings the following in the ferial tone:

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, who fashion an everlasting dwelling-place for yourself out of the chosen saints, bestow heavenly increase on this work done in your name; and grant that we may always be aided by the merits of the saints whose relics we reverently enclose in this altar; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
Part III

Consecration of the Altar

14. Having put on the mitre the bishop stands on the altar- predella, or before the altar-stone, and dipping his right thumb in holy chrism traces the sign of the cross on the surface of the altar, or on the altar-stone, in the manner indicated in the graph given above. He says in tracing each cross:

May this stone be sealed, hallowed, and consecrated; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.

Ministers: Amen.

15. While this is being done the choir sings (see the music supplement), or the ministers recite:

C: Ant.: God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellow kings.

During this psalm the choir, if necessary, repeats the antiphon after every two verses:

Psalm 44

C: My heart overflows with a goodly theme; * as I sing my ode to the king, my tongue is nimble as the pen of a skillful scribe.

All: Fairer in beauty are you than the sons of men; grace is poured out upon your lips; * thus God has blessed you forever.

C: Gird your sword upon your thigh, * O mighty one!

All: In your splendor and your majesty * ride on triumphant;

C: In the cause of truth and for the sake of justice; * and may your right hand show you wondrous deeds.

All: Your arrows are sharp; peoples are subject to you; * the king's enemies lose heart.

C: Your throne, O God, stands forever and ever; * a tempered rod is your royal scepter.

All: You love justice and hate wickedness; * therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellow kings.

C: With myrrh and aloes and cassia your robes are fragrant; from ivory palaces string music brings you joy.* The daughters of kings come to meet you;

All: The queen takes her place at your right hand * in gold of Ophir.

C: Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear, * forget your people and your father's house.

All: So shall the king desire your beauty; * for he is your lord, and you must worship him.

C: And the city of Tyre is here with gifts; * the rich among the people seek your favor.

All: All glorious is the king's daughter as she enters; * her raiment is threaded with spun gold.

C: In embroidered apparel she is borne in to the king; * behind her the virgins of her train are brought to you.

All: They are borne in with gladness and joy; * they enter the palace of the king.

C: The place of your fathers your sons shall have; * you shall make them princes through all the land.

All: I will make your name memorable * through all generations.

C: Therefore shall nations praise you * forever and ever.

The usual doxology is omitted, but the above antiphon is repeated. If the consecration is finished first the psalm is broken off and the antiphon repeated as a conclusion.

16. The bishop puts incense into the thurible and blesses it: then he incenses the altar, or the altar-stone, while the choir sings (see the music supplement), or the ministers recite, one or several of the following antiphons:

Antiphon 1: The angel came and stood at the altar of the temple, carrying a golden censer.

Antiphon 2: A great quantity of incense was given to him that he might offer it on the golden altar before the throne of the Lord.

Antiphon 3: The smoke of the incense ascended from the angel's hand to the presence of God.

17. When the antiphons are finished the bishop (without mitre) with hands joined sings the following:

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

{The following (i.e., all contained within the brackets) are omitted if the consecration of the altar is done with the simple form.}

We beg you, Lord, let our prayer rise like incense in your sight, and let your Christian people be the recipients of copious favors. Let all who will devoutly offer to you bread and wine for hallowing on this altar or receive the hallowed elements in return experience your help in this life, along with remission of all sins, and finally the grace of everlasting salvation; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Here the bishop blesses the incense that is to be burned on the altar, unless it was already blessed before the sacred action by the bishop or another priest delegated by him. with the form in the Pontifical.

18. The bishop, having put on the mitre, forms five crosses out of grains of incense on the same five spots where earlier he traced the crosses with the blessed water and the holy chrism. On each one of these he puts one of the crosses made of fine candle- was. The latter are then lighted so that they burn the incense. After this all kneel and the bishop, who is also kneeling (without mitre), intones the following antiphon which is taken up by the choir (for the music see the music supplement):

Antiphon: Come, Holy Spirit, + fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love.

19. After the singing all rise, and the bishop (with mitre), facing the people with hands joined, says in a loud voice:

My dear brethren, let us appeal to the mercy of God, the Father almighty, that in the solemn prayer we are about to utter during the present rite, He would sanctify this altar, which is to be dedicated to spiritual sacrifices. May He be pleased ever to bless and to hallow the offerings that will be placed on it by His servants in pledge of their devotion. May He find favor in the incense of the spirit and be ready to hear the petitions of His people.

Then turning back toward the altar and removing the mitre he adds at once:

Let us pray.

Deacon: Let us kneel.

And all, including the bishop, kneel and spend a little time in silent prayer, until the deacon says:

Arise.

Hereupon all rise, and the bishop with hands joined sings the following oration in the ferial tone:

Lord our God, we pray that your Holy Spirit may descend upon this altar, that He may sanctify thereon our and your people's gifts, and that it may please Him to cleanse the hearts of all who partake of them. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God,

C: Forever and ever.

All: Amen.

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

C: Lift up your hearts.

All: We have lifted them up to the Lord.

C: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All: It is fitting and right to do so.

It is indeed fitting and right, worthy and salutary that we should always and everywhere give thanks to you, O Lord, holy Father, almighty everlasting God. For after the offenses that came in the wake of the first fallen man, you instituted figurative sacrifices to be offered in propitiation to you, so that the fault engendered by pride might be expiated by the gifts of a future time, for which purpose altars are consecrated and a temple is dedicated. Hence be present in your inexpressible kindness and mercy, and pour out your precious blessing on this stone, so that by your bounty all who offer sacrifice on it may receive your reward. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

20. And the bishop immediately adds:

C: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Deacon: Let us bless the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

21. After the altar or altar-stone has been thoroughly cleansed by the clergy or the ministers, the bishop celebrates Mass on it or he commissions another priest to do so, as convenience dictates.

But if the consecration takes place with the simple form, the bishop gives the blessing and departs.

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