RDCA II, 8-10: Mass and Liturgy of the Hours

The celebration of the Eucharist … should go without saying:

8. The celebration of the eucharist is inseparably bound up with the rite of the dedication of a church; when a church is dedicated therefore the liturgical texts of the day are omitted and texts proper to the rite are used for both the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the eucharist.

9. It is fitting that the bishop concelebrate the Mass with the priests who take part with him in the rite of dedication and those who have been given charge over the parish or the community for which the church has been built.

Nothing a surprise in RDCA 8-9. Here’s something to attract attention:

10. The day on which a church is dedicated is kept as a solemnity in that church.
The office of the dedication of a church is celebrated, beginning with Evening Prayer I. When the rite of depositing relics takes place, it is highly recommended to keep a vigil at the relics of the martyr or saint that are to be placed beneath the altar; the best way of doing this is to have the office of readings, taken from the respective common or proper. This vigil should be properly adapted to encourage the people’s participation, but the requirements of the law are respected. (GILH 270-273)

The fullest possibility would be Evening Prayer I on the dedication vigil, probably a bit after the Saturday Mass. The question here would be when to schedule the Office of Readings. Dedication weekend would likely be full, especially given a full Sunday Mass schedule. A mature community might keep a late-night vigil. These two liturgies give a music ministry a chance to really shine. What are your thoughts on this?

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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.

2 Responses to RDCA II, 8-10: Mass and Liturgy of the Hours

  1. The most ancient tradition says that it is the celebration of the Eucharist in a new church which dedicates it. I think the rite really want to emphasis the reality being celebrated with the liturgical texts, so when it is permitted to celebrate the dedication, the propers always take precedents over the rites of the day.

    The point about concelebration is interesting that it is specifically mentioned and it brings out more clearly the role of the bishop in relation to the parish and the clergy who are his co-workers.

    I wonder how many parishes remember to celebrate their anniversary of dedication as a solemnity, and actively celebrate so it is meaningful to the people. I wonder how many also remember to celebrate the titular of the church and the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral.

    The possibility of a vigil, especially with the relics, is a wonderful way to link devotion to liturgy and show how devotions flows from the liturgy. Further it is a way to show the richness of the liturgical life of the church to the people who might now be aware that it extends much beyond the Eucharist and the sacraments. An all night vigil in pray for the dedication would convey the solemnity of the occasion.

  2. Todd says:

    My parish needs to observe the dedication on that last Sunday in October–the actual date fell on Easter Sunday this year.

    We do observe the titular feast. And we did have a Wisdom Vigil with our saint’s relics the past two years.

    Cathedral dedication: yet to be.

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