This place is holy… House of God & Gate of Heaven The Liturgy of the Dedication of a Church
"My House will be called a house of prayer," says the Lord. "In it, all who ask, receive; those who search, find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened." (Mt 21, 13; Lk 11, 9-10)
DEDICATION… The DEDICATION… …is that grandiose liturgy by which a church is consecrated to God; image of the heavenly Jerusalem, image of heaven, and image of our souls called to be the "temple of God" through baptism and holiness of life.
With the passing of the centuries, the ceremonies of the Dedication of a Church developed into a long, majestic and splendid rite. One can see there an analogy with the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and marriage. The new church is first baptized: one sprinkles the walls with holy water. Then it receives confirmation: the bishop traces a cross with holy chrism on each of the twelve crosses which are placed around the interior of the church. Then follows the nuptials with Christ Jesus, by the celebration of the Eucharist.
The Cross: symbol of our salvation. Twelve: for the twelve apostles of Christ Jesus, immolated Lamb. Twelve crosses: decorated and illuminated by a candle on the anniversary of the Dedication.
"My temple will be in the midst of them," says the Lord. "They will be my people and I will be their God, and I shall dwell in the midst of them " ( 2 Cor 6, 16). "I shall make them happy in my house of prayer" (Is 56, 7). We are your Temple, O Lord! You have made our souls your sanctuary! St. Benoît-du-Lac (Canada)
It is a feast particularly dear to the hearts of monks: that of the consecration of their church, of its DEDICATION. Since a thousand years, this feast sings in the hearts of BENEDICTINES OF SOLESMES. Since 150 years, it resounds also in the hearts of monks and moniales of the Congregation of Solesmes.
12 octobre 1010 : It should first be said that in monasteries, one sees the Dedication of an abbatial church as an image of the consecration of the souls of monks. It is a deep joy that we love to share with those who come to visit us. At Solesmes, in France, this great day goes far back… Very close to the castle of Sablé, its a feast day: a very great feast day. The Dedication of the little church of Saint-Pierre of Solesmes, recently given to the monks, is celebrated. It is a day of profound rejoicing in the hearts of the monks. October 12, 1010
Every year, on October 12, the monks relive the Dedication of their church. Locus iste sanctus est… This place is holy, it is nothing less than the house of God and the gate of heaven (Gen 28. 17).
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and bow in reverence of you (Ps 5, 8). This is the house of the Lord, solidly constructed. It is founded on firm rock.
O Lord, I love the house where you dwell, the place where your glory dwells. Come to His house to give Him thanks, Sing His praises in His dwelling place.
One more reason for which the Dedication celebrated at Solesmes is a feast day, is that it is also the birthday of Mother Cécile Bruyère (1845- 1909), first Abbess of Sainte-Cécile de Solesmes, spiritual heir to Dom Guéranger, Mother of the Congregation of Solesmes. The Majesty of the Lord fills the temple " Seek that interior temple where the divine Majesty resides, and to which love gives us access. This tender and devoted love is a permanent act of adoration " (Mother Cécile).
" How beautiful is your dwelling place, O Lord! My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the Lord! Just as the swallow makes a nest and the sparrow makes its dwelling for its little ones, so your altar is the dwelling place of my soul." (Ps 84/83) I shall see the Lord in His Temple!
Jerusalem, blessed city, called Vision of Peace! It rises into the heavens, made of living stones, and the angels surround it like a wedding cortège. She comes down from heaven, all new, ready for her spiritual nuptials. She is adorned, and the spouse unites herself to the Lord. Her courts, like her walls, are of the purest gold.
Her gates, sparkling like jewels, are wide open and the virtue of her merits lets in...
...all those who in this world have suffered for the name of Jesus Christ.
By blows, by rubbings, the stones have been polished; they are fixed in place by the hand of the Artisan; He inserts them forever in the sacred edifice.
He took the stone which served as a pillow to him, erected it as a stele, and poured oil over its summit. He gave the name Bethel: House of God to this place. From the beginnings of the religious history of the people of Israel, certain places sanctified by a presence, a particular theophany, were consecrated. From camp to camp, Abraham erected an altar to God. Jacob, after a dream in which God renewed the promises to him made to Abraham, woke up and said: "This place is holy, it is nothing less than the house of God and the gate of heaven." (Gen 28, 16-19)
Solomon in prayer before the House of Yahweh which he just built T o S o l o m o n, t h e p a c i f i c k i n g, w a s d e s i g n a t e d t h e g l o r y o f b u i l d i n g t h e T e m p l e o f t h e L o r d.
Adorabo ad templum sanctum tuum, et confitebor nomini tuo, Domine. Alleluia ! I shall adore in your holy temple, and I shall praise your name, Lord. (Ps 5, 8)
Before the people in prayer, Solomon offers to God the "House " which he had just built, in the form of a model which he presents before the altar: "Day and night, may your eyes watch over this temple, over this place in which you have promised to put your name." (2 Ch 6, 20)
Domine Deus, in simplicitate cordis mei laetus obtuli universa… Lord Jesus, in the simplicity of my heart of my heart I have offered everything with joy. Deign to keep this good will of mine.
Solomon offers a holocaust on the altar of bronze. He offers to God, who appears to him, the sacrificial lamb.
"Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up ! " (Jn 2, 19) After Jesus death on the cross, the veil of the Temple was torn. The risen body of Jesus is the new Temple. Christians are living stones of it.
By the Presence of Jesus, the Son of the Father made man, the true temple, the new and eternal Temple, is the sacred humanity of the incarnate Word.
" I will worship toward thy holy temple, and bow down holy temple, and bow down in reverence of you" (Ps 5, 8). "You are fellow-citizens with the holy people of God and part of Gods household… Every structure knit together in him grows into a holy temple in the Lord… And YOU TOO, in him, are being built up into a dwelling-place of God in the Spirit" (Ep 2, 19-21).
Translation of the hymn chanted throughout this slide show
Mounting The Benedictine Moniales Abbaye Sainte-Marie des Deux-Montagnes (Canada) Texts Texts Liturgy of the Dedication To contact us, click : firstname.lastname@example.org Website of the moniales, click : www.sm2m.caChants Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes and Abbaye Sainte-Marie des Deux-Montagnes Website of the monks of Solesmes, click : www.abbayedesolesmes.fr