Solemn Consecration of St. John Cantius Church

On October 20th, 2018 at 5 pm Bp. Joseph Perry will celebrate the consecration of St. John Cantius Church. The rite will be in the ordinary form in Latin.

Although our church was blessed before use, it was never solemnly consecrated as a place of worship wholly dedicated for the Glory of God. Below is a description of a consecration from the congregation of Divine Worship and the Catholic Encyclopedia

Consecration is a rite reserved to a bishop, who by the solemn anointing with holy chrism, and in the prescribed form, dedicates a building to the service of God, thereby raising it in perpetuum to a higher order, removing it from the malign influence of Satan, and rendering it a place in which favours are more graciously granted by God (Pontificale Romanum).

On the walls inside the church twelve crosses must be painted, or (if they are made of stone or metal) attached to the walls. These crosses are not to be of wood or of any fragile material. They must never be removed, and documents failing, they serve to prove that the church has been consecrated. Under each cross a bracket holding a candle is affixed.

The 12 candles stem from the symbolic use of this number in biblical tradition. The 12 stones used by Moses to build the altar of the covenant represented the 12 tribes of Israel. There are the 12 gates of the new Jerusalem mentioned in the Book of Revelation (21:12-14). Likewise, there are the 12 apostles. When we say the Creed we confess that “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.” Our faith is “apostolic” because it is based on the teachings of Jesus, carried on by the apostles, the direct successors of whom are our bishops, guided by the Holy Spirit.

The rite of dedication of a church probably originates from the time of the Emperor Constantine (272-337) when Christians received freedom of worship. For many centuries it consisted of the first solemn celebration of the Eucharist. At a later stage a rite of placing relics was added. The nucleus of the present rite with the different anointings originated in the Middle Ages.