A SERVICE FOR THE LAYING OF A FOUNDATION STONE OF A CHURCH BUILDING
The people may assemble at the site of the new building, or they may gather in a suitable place and process to the site. If the people process to the site following a service in their present house of worship, the service at the site may begin with the Laying of the Foundation Stone.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it.
HYMN OF PRAISE * Suggested from UMH :
57 –152 The Glory of the Triune God 529 How Firm a Foundation
934 Hymns listed under Adoration and 139 Praise to the Lord
559 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation 545 The Church's One Foundation
546 The Church's One Foundation
If the hymn is a processional, it may precede the Greeting.
DECLARATION OF PURPOSE
we are assembled to lay the foundation stone of a new house of worship.
Let us faithfully and devoutly seek the blessing of God on what we do.
Almighty and everlasting God, exalted yet near,
we offer to you this foundation for a house of praise and prayer
where your glory shall be manifest among us,
and from which your people shall go forth in ministry to all the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ANTHEM, HYMN, OR OTHER ACT OF PRAISE
SCRIPTURE Suggested lessons:
Isaiah 28:16–17 I am laying in Zion a foundation stone.
Ezra 3 Foundation stone laid for Second Temple
PSALM 24* (UMH 755, 212, 213) or PSALM 118 (UMH 839)
SCRIPTURE Suggested lessons:
1 Corinthians 3:10 –17 You are God's temple.
Ephesians 2:13 –22 Christ Jesus himself the cornerstone
Revelation 21:9 –27 The new Jerusalem
HYMN OR SONG*
See hymns suggested above or following Dedication of a Building (UMH).
GOSPEL * Suggested lessons:
Matthew 7:24 –27 A house built on rock
Matthew 16:13 –18 On this rock I will build my Church.
Matthew 21:12 –17 My house shall be a house of prayer.
LAYING OF THE FOUNDATION STONE
If items are to be placed in the foundation stone, they may be brought forward at this time and displayed before the people. These items may include a Bible, The United Methodist Hymnal, The United Methodist Book of Worship, The Book of Discipline, church periodicals, appropriate names and pictures, and other things suitable. When these have been placed in a box and put in the foundation stone the pastor stands at the side of the stone and says:
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that
foundation is Jesus Christ. (1 CORINTHIANS 3:10 a, 11)
Then with the aid of the builder or other persons chosen, the stone is put in place.
Praise the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord is laid!
Praise the Lord. Hallelujah!
An alleluia may be sung. Suggested alleluias from UMH:
186 Alleluia 78 Heleluyan
162 Alleluia, Alleluia (refrain)
CLOSING PRAYER *
Almighty God, on whom we build all our hopes,
with your lovingkindness bless this place
where we lay the foundation of a house
to the praise and honor of your holy name.
Accept the act by which we lay this foundation stone.
Bless those whose offerings enable us to build this house.
Guard and direct those who labor in building it,
shielding them from accident and peril.
May the walls of this building rise in security and in beauty;
and may the hearts of these your people
be joined together into a living temple,
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ being the chief foundation stone. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER *
HYMN * See suggestions.
DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING *
Copyright: 630–37 A Service for the Laying of a Foundation Stone of a Church Building © 1964, 1965 by Board of Publication of The Methodist Church, Inc.; © 1984 by Abingdon Press; © 1992 UMPH; renewal Copyright © 1992 UMPH. Opening Prayer, alt., p. 633, Breaking of Ground, alt., pp. 634–35 from Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Church 1956 (¶ 1931) © 1957 by The Board of Publication of The Methodist Church, Incorporated. Closing Prayer, alt., p. 637, from The Book of Worship, p. 472, 1944; renewal © 1971, 1972 by Abingdon Press.