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THE FORM OF
CONSECRATION OF A CHURCH OR CHAPEL;
ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AS ESTABLISHED BY THE BISHOPS, THE CLERGY, AND LAITY OF SAID CHURCH, IN GENERAL CONVENTION, IN THE MONTH OF JUNE, A. D. 1799.
The Bishop is to be received at the entrance of the Church, or Chapel, by the Church-wardens and Vestrymen, or some other persons appointed for that purpose. The Bishop and the Clergy who are present shall go up the aisle of the Church, or Chapel, to the Communion Table, repeating the Twenty-fourth Psalm alternately, the Bishop one verse and the Clergy another.
HE earth is the LORD'S, and all that therein is; the compass of the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and prepared it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall rise up in his holy place?
4 Even he that hath clean hands and a pure heart; and that hath not lift up his mind unto vanity, nor sworn to deceive his neighbour.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of them that seek him; even of them that seek thy face, O Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is the King of glory? It is the LORD strong and mighty, even the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is the King of glory? Even the LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.
¶ The Bishop shall go within the rails, with such of the Clergy as can be there accommodated. The Bishop, sitting in his chair, shall have the instruments of donation and endowment, if there be any, presented to him; and then standing up, and turning to the Congregation, shall say,
holy men, as well under the Law as under the Gospel, moved either by the express command of God, or by the secret
inspiration of the blessed Spirit, and acting agreeably to their own reason and sense of the natural decency of things, have erected houses for the public worship of God, and separated them from all unhallowed, worldly, and common uses, in order to fill men's minds with greater reverence for his glorious Majesty, and affect their hearts with more devotion and humility in his service; which pious works have been approved of and graciously accepted by our heavenly Father: Let us not doubt but that he will also favourably approve our godly purpose of setting apart. this place in solemn manner, for the performance of the several offices of religious worship, and let us faithfully and devoutly beg his blessing on this our undertaking.
¶ Then the Bishop, kneeling, shall say the following Prayer. ETERNAL God, mighty in power, and of majesty incomprehensible, whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, much less the walls of temples made with hands; and who yet hast been graciously pleased to promise thy especial presence, wherever two or three of thy faithful servants shall assemble in thy Name, to offer up their praises and supplications unto thee; Vouchsafe, O Lord, to be present with us, who are here gathered together with all humility and readiness of heart, to consecrate this place to the honour of thy great Name; separating it henceforth from all unhallowed, ordinary, and common uses; and dedicating it to thy service, for reading thy holy Word, for celebrating thy holy Sacraments, for offering to thy glorious Majesty the sacrifices of prayer and thanksgiving, for blessing thy people in thy Name, and for the performance of all other holy offices: accept, O Lord, this service at our hands, and bless it with such success as may tend most to thy glory, and the furtherance of our happiness both temporal and spiritual; through Jesus Christ our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.
¶ After this the Bishop shall stand up, and turning his face towards the Congregation, shall say,
EGARD, O Lord, the supplications of thy servants, and grant that whosoever shall be dedicated to thee in this house by Baptism, may be sanctified by the Holy Ghost, delivered from thy wrath and eternal death, and received as a
living member of Christ's Church, and may ever remain in the number of thy faithful children. Amen.
Grant, O Lord, that they who at this place shall in their own persons renew the promises and vows which they made, or which were made for them by their sureties at their Baptism, and thereupon shall be Confirmed by the Bishop, may receive such a measure of thy Holy Spirit, that they may be enabled faithfully to fulfil the same, and grow in grace unto their lives' end. Amen.
Grant, O Lord, that whosoever shall receive in this place the blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, may come to that holy ordinance with faith, charity, and true repentance; and being filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, may, to their great and endless comfort, obtain remission of their sins, and all other benefits of his passion. Amen.
Grant, O Lord, that by thy holy Word which shall be read and preached in this place, and by thy Holy Spirit grafting it inwardly in the heart, the hearers thereof may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and may have power and strength to fulfil the same. Amen.
Grant, O Lord, that whosoever shall be joined together in this place in the holy estate of Matrimony, may faithfully perform and keep the vow and covenant between them made, and may remain in perfect love together unto their lives' end. Amen.
Grant, we beseech thee, blessed Lord, that whosoever shall draw near to thee in this place, to give thee thanks for the benefits which they have received at thy hands, to set forth thy most worthy praise, to confess their sins unto thee, and to ask such things as are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as for the soul, may do it with such steadiness of faith, and with such seriousness, affection, and devotion of mind, that thou mayest accept their bounden duty and service, and vouchsafe to give whatever in thy infinite wisdom thou shalt see to be most expedient for them: All which we beg for Jesus Christ's sake, our most blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Then, the Bishop sitting in his chair, the Sentence of Consecration is to be read by some person appointed by him, and then laid by him upon the Communion Table; after which, the Bishop shall say,
LESSED be thy Name, O Lord, that it hath pleased thee to put it into the hearts of thy servants to appropriate and devote this house to thy honour and worship; and grant that all who shall enjoy the benefit of this pious work, may show forth their thankfulness, by making a right use of it, to the glory of thy blessed Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
After this, the Minister appointed is to read the service for the day.
FIRST. 1 Kings, chap. viii. verse 22 to verse 63,
¶ Morning Prayer being ended, there shall be sung from the Book of Psalms, in Metre, Psalm xxvi. verses 6, 7, 8, with the Gloria Patri.
¶ The Bishop shall then proceed to the Communion Service. The following shall be the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, for the occasion.
MOST glorious Lord, we acknowledge that we are not worthy to offer unto thee any thing belonging unto us; yet we beseech thee, in thy great goodness, graciously to accept the Dedication of this place to thy service, and to prosper this our undertaking; receive the prayers and intercessions of all those thy servants who shall call upon thee in this house; and give them grace to prepare their hearts to serve thee with reverence and godly fear; affect them with an awful apprehension of thy Divine Majesty, and a deep sense of their own unworthiness; that so approaching thy sanctuary with lowliness and devotion, and coming before thee with clean thoughts and pure hearts, with bodies undefiled, and minds sanctified, they may always perform a service acceptable to thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. 2 Cor. vi. 14.
BE ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for
what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what
concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The Gospel. St. John ii. 13.
ND the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence ; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
T Then shall be said or sung the Hundredth Psalm.
¶ The Sermon being ended, the Bishop shall proceed in the Service for the Communion, if it is to be administered at that time.
¶ After the Communion, or, if it is not administered at that time, after the Sermon, and immediately before the final Blessing, the Bishop shall say the following Prayer.
LESSED be thy
Name, O Lord God, for that it hath pleased thee to have thy habitation among the sons of men, and to dwell in the midst of the assembly of the saints upon the earth; bless, we beseech thee, the religious performance of this day, and grant that in this place now set apart to thy service, thy holy Name may be worshipped in truth and purity through all generations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.