Today I got to watch a good part of the 4.5 hour ceremony of the Consecration of the Chapel on the grounds of the FSSP seminary in Denton, Nebraska. I'd read about this ceremony on a blogspot about two years ago, but never expected to see one.
I don't know if EWTN will rebroadcast this, or make a DVD of it (I hope!) - but you can download the following:
Consecration / Mass Booklet and Explanatory Chapel Consecration Booklet
Irritatingly, my own internet connection was somewhat "persnickty" so for about 1/2 the ceremony I didn't get as good a picture as I might have, but after I gave Fr. Boyle a "heads up" HE was also able to see some of it, and he posted a blog item and had a better link to it (technology wise) than I had selected. (So I'm saving THAT link, because EWTN's "maze" is a pain in the kazoo to figure out the quickest way to get to "LIVE." - not to mention NOT dinking around wtih some stupid player ewtn tries to foist on you.)
I was delighted to see that Deacon Rhone Lillard, who is soon to be ordained to the priesthood, was MC for Bishop Bruskewitz. There was one little bit I noticed where he got to correct the bishop. So yes, MCs do have to be on their toes, because it isn't every day someone gets to consecrate a church.
I also was delighted to see Fr. Jose Zepeda, was one of the "deacons" who assisted while vested in red, the sacred relics which were placed in the altars. There were also many assisting bishops, so Bishop B. didn't have to do all of them himself! [The Sainted Fr. Shipley tells me of the time some 50+ years ago where HE played a big role in keeping things all "together" for then Bishop Buddy when the Immaculata, on the campus of USD was consecrated, the main altar and all 12 side altars were consecrated that day by the bishop personally!]
There were a lot of interesting features in this Mass which one would seldom see nowadays...there was a procession all around the church, both inside and out when the bishop bless the outside walls with "Gregorian Water" a special kind of Holy water which also includes ashes, he used a hyssop branch to do so -- then there was a special "open sesame" deal, with special prayers said before the chapel doors were officially opened by the porter after the bishop formally requested entrance (reminded me a little of the dude from The House of Lords going to approach the House of Commons chamber to tell them that the queen wants to see 'em ... except no one slammed the door in the bishop's face -- but not too many times you'd see a bishop get to use the bottom of his crozier to bang on a door -- cool stuff!)
Once inside the bishop also blessed to portals, there were twelve crosses blessed all inside the church (the bishop having to climb a ladder to do so), the altars were all consecrated, and the relics put in each altar, (REAL masons actually lend a hand here too, to make sure things get done right in the clean up -- and there is even a special mortar used, and the water in the mortar is also "Gregorian water") there was also a ceremony with making wax crosses on the altar, which I missed a large portion of, because my connection had flaked out.
I was a little disapppointed that I hadn't managed to pick out my own pastor, Fr. Gismondi or the associate, Fr. Dennis Gordon (he has TWO brothers who are also FSSP priests!) -- they were probably in full view but between the camera switching view, and irritable connection "issues" I missed them clean.
I was very amused at the end after a greeting had been read from the pope and an indulgence given to all present, the bishop mentioned the same indulgence would be given to those who attend an annual anniversary Mass of the Chapel's consecration -- the bishop HASTENED to add that that from now on the anniversary date will be celebrated on Jan 22....the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter -- so as not to have the anniversary always fall in Lent! [Maybe this time they DID borrow the concept of the queen having a real birthday and an "official" one - in her case it's to increase the chance of better weather on the "official" day.]
But it was grand, grand, simply grand.