When reaching the closed and locked door of the new church …
33. At the threshold of the church the procession comes to a halt. Representatives of those who have been involved in the building of the church (the faithful or the parish or of the diocese, contributors, architects, workers) hand over the building to the bishop, offering him, according to place and circumstances, either the legal documents for possession of the building, or the keys, or the plan of the building, or the book in which progress of the work is described and the names of those in charge of it and of the workers are recorded. One of the representatives addresses the bishop and the community in a few words, pointing out, if need be, what the new church expresses in its art and in its own special design.
Then the bishop calls upon the priest to whom the pastoral care of the church has been entrusted to open the door.
The address by the representative is interesting. With some churches, that presentation might be fairly substantive. Most likely, we keep to one or two points about the overall art of the building.
34. When the door is unlocked, the Bishop invites the people to enter the church in these or similar words:
Go within his gates giving thanks, enter his courts with songs of praise.
Then, preceded by the crossbearer, the bishop and the assembly enter the church. As the procession enters, the following antiphon is sung with Psalm 24:
Lift the ancient portals. The King of glory enters.
Another appropriate song may be sung.
The 2003 draft has a slightly different antiphon, plus the whole text of Psalm 24.
35. The Bishop, without kissing the altar, goes to the chair; the concelebrants, deacons, and ministers go to the places assigned to them in the sanctuary. The relics of the saints are placed in a
suitable part of the sanctuary between lighted torches. Water is then blessed within the rite described below, nos. 48-50.
Finally, note that the undedicated altar is not reverenced.
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