Home A SERVICE FOR THE BREAKING OF GROUND FOR A CHURCH BUILDING

A SERVICE FOR THE BREAKING OF GROUND FOR A CHURCH BUILDING

The people may assemble at the construction site, 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 Breaking of Ground.

A wooden cross may be erected at the place where the Lord's table will be located, if this is appropriate to the condition of the construction site.

The use of banners and colorful vestments can add to the joyful, festive character of the celebration.

GATHERING

GREETING

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 733 Marching to Zion

Praise 545 The Church's One Foundation

559 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

If the hymn is a processional, it may precede the Greeting.

OPENING PRAYER*

Almighty and everlasting God, ever exalted yet always near:

Be present with us, gathered together here

to set apart this ground upon which we stand

to the honor and glory of your great name.

Let your Spirit descend upon your church that will come together here,

and within these walls let your glory dwell.

Fill with your love all who shall seek your face here;

and as they depart from this place,

go with them in the peace and power of your Holy Spirit;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

ANTHEM, HYMN, OR OTHER ACT OF PRAISE

SCRIPTURE Suggested lessons:

Genesis 28:11 –22 Jacob's dream moves him to erect a pillar.

1 Chronicles 21:28 –22:16 David prepares to build the Temple.

Ezra 3 Foundation laid for the Second Temple

PSALM *Psalm 122 (UMH 845, response 2) or

PSALM 118 (UMH 839, response 2)

Psalm 122 may be shortened to verses 1–2, 6–9. The response may be:

"I have chosen and sanctified this place" (1 Chronicles 7:16).

SCRIPTURE Suggested lessons:

1 Corinthians 3:10 –17 You are God's temple.

Ephesians 4:1 –7, 11–13 There is one body and one spirit.

Revelation 21:9 –27 The new Jerusalem

HYMN OR SONG*

In addition to the hymns listed above, those listed under Dedication of a Building in UMH are suggested.

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.

John 4:19 –24 Worship God in spirit and truth.

SERMON

OFFERING

BREAKING OF GROUND

Pastor:

To the glory of God, in the presence of this congregation,

I now direct that ground be broken

for the Name United Methodist Church.

The responsibility and the privilege rest upon us

to cause a building to rise here

that shall be a house of this people of God

and a place devoted to the worship of almighty God

and to the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As each one of those selected turns a spadeful of earth, the pastor says one of the following sentences, to which the people respond:

That a church may meet here

where children shall learn to love God

and grow in grace and goodness,

and in favor with God and all people,

we break this ground today.

That a church may meet here

where youth shall be inspired to pray and serve, R

That a church may meet here

where the weary and heavy laden shall find inner peace

that the world can neither give nor take away, R

That a church may meet here

where God is worshiped in prayer and praise,

where the Word of God shall be so read and preached

that it shall become the living Word,

and the Sacraments so celebrated

that all life shall become sacramental, R

That a church may meet here

where multitudes shall be refreshed in spirit, relieved from pain,

released from bondage, and redeemed from sin, R

That a church may meet here

where the grace of God may make our human lives into a Christ-like love

and our homes places of living witness

for that realm where Christ is Lord, R

That a church may meet here

from which, by the power of your Holy Spirit,

your people are sent forth into this community and all the world

as champions of justice and peace to all peoples, R

THE LORD'S PRAYER

HYMN * See suggestions.

The following hymns in UMH are also suggested:

548 In Christ There Is No East or West 733 Marching to Zion

DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING

GOING FORTH

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Copyright: “A Service for the Breaking of Ground for a Church Building” Copyright © 1964, 1965 by Board of Publication of The Methodist Church, Inc.; © 1984 by Abingdon Press; Copyright © 1992 UMPH; renewal © 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.,

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