RDCA IV, 12-14: Minister and Choice of Day

The third portion of the altar dedication inttroduction addresses three issues (nos. 12-16) and on outline of the dedication Mass (17-23). Let’s begin with the rite’s insistence on a bishop, unless “altogether special circumstances” suggest a priest:

12. Since the bishop has been entrusted with the care of the particular Church, it is his responsibility to dedicate to God new altars built in his diocese.

If he cannot himself preside at the rite, he shall entrust the function to another bishop, especially to one who is his associate and assistant in the pastoral care of the community for which the new altar has been erected or, in altogether special circumstances, to a priest, to whom he shall give a special mandate.

The choice of the day is important. Ideally, the physical installation of an altar is timed with the bishop’s schedule so the Eucharist celebrated is the first for the altar being dedicated.

13. Since an altar becomes sacred principally by the celebration of the eucharist, in fidelity to this truth the celebration of Mass on a new altar before it has been dedicated is to be carefully avoided, so that the Mass of dedication may also be the first eucharist celebrated on the altar.

14. A day should be chosen for the dedication of a new altar when the people can be present in large numbers, especially a Sunday, unless pastoral considerations suggest otherwise. However, the rite of the dedication of an altar may not be celebrated during the Easter triduum, on Ash Wedncsday, the weekdays of Holy Week, and All Souls.

This would seem to mean the Saturday night of the weekend schedule. Any other days come to mind?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Rite of Dedication of a Church and an Altar, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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