Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How 2 Consecrate a Chapel With Style

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.


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

The parts that I got to watch were amazing. Only downer was Cardinal Leveda's sermon.

gemoftheocean said...

Well, PART of that crapped out on me with windows and that was one of the places I rebooted! So I didn't miss anything, huh? :-D

What my question is HOW IN HECK DO THEY HAVE A CEREMONY like that for 4.5 hours and no one has to leave to "go?"

Maybe if you're sitting in the choir you can get away with it...but if you're the MC or something....fergeddaboutit.... poor deacon Lillard! [a VERY nice man. He has such zeal. I was present when he delivered one of his first sermons at the Epiphany Mass ... which was a true high mass.] His mom must be so proud of him!

Adrienne said...

I attended a chapel consecration (unfortunately is was SSPX) but at least they got the ceremony right.

And yes - it is beautiful. I knew it was going to be very long and so I made sure I didn't drink a bunch of coffee or anything beforehand.

It was hotter than blazes and the exterior of the church was still nothing but gravel. It was a small chapel so some of us had to kneel outside in the gravel. Not fun but still worth the pain...

gemoftheocean said...

I think my favorite part was when they put the relics in. It REALLY ****es me off no end that I have NO idea what "they" did with the relics in our former altar at my former parish. They still retained the altar, and have it in storage in the church hall, but the top was recovered in solid wood and I don't know if the stone is under all that.

I know you can't just "sell" relics. So WHAT HAPPENED. And does that info have to go to the diocesean archives?

I didn't get to hear the full list of all the relics in the new Chapel in Nebraska, but I was impressed that they used a lot of relics from the martyrs in Mexico, which is most fitting I think, given the patroness of the Americas is OLG -- and these fairly recent martyrs are really a good example to those studying for the priesthood. I also noted one of the martyr's relics were some from Oliver Plunket.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...