Home A SERVICE FOR THE CONSECRATION OR RECONSECRATION OF A CHURCH BUILDING

A SERVICE FOR THE CONSECRATION OR RECONSECRATION OF A CHURCH BUILDING

"On acquisition or completion of any church-owned building, a service of consecration may be held" (The Book of Discipline 2012, ¶ 2545). The following service is based on the ancient tradition that the consecration of a church building is the proclamation of the Word and the celebration of Holy Communion as the first act of worship in the new building.

This may also be the first service after the renovation or reopening of a church building. If the building or renovation costs have been fully paid, the term dedication may be substituted whenever the term consecration occurs.

GATHERING

It is appropriate and also an ancient tradition that the congregation and leaders of worship gather at some place outside the building and enter in procession for the consecration service.

Before the procession the people may read or sing Psalm 24 (UMH 755, 212, 213).

PROCESSIONAL HYMN * Suggested from UMH:

57 –152 The Glory of the Triune God 731 Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken

934 Hymns listed under Adoration and 660 God Is Here

Praise 577 God of Grace and God of Glory

553 And Are We Yet Alive? 529 How Firm a Foundation

559 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation 545 The Church's One Foundation

92 For the Beauty of the Earth (especially stanzas 5, 6) 546 The Church's One Foundation

87 What Gift Can We Bring?

Certain items that will be used in worship may be carried in the procession, such as a Bible, water for the baptismal font, plate for the communion bread and cup, a cross, paraments for the Lord's table, and other works of art. If a choir or praise team leads the procession, it may assemble in the church and sing as the people enter.

PRESENTATION OF THE BUILDING

A person or persons designated come(s) forward and say(s)

I (we) present this building to be consecrated (reconsecrated/dedicated)

for the worship of God and the service of all people.

NAMING OF THE BUILDING

Bishop, district superintendent, or their representative, hereafter called the officiating minister:

By what name shall this house be known?

Pastor or designated lay official:

It shall be called the Name United Methodist Church.

CONSECRATION OF THE BUILDING *

Dear friends, rejoice that God so moved the hearts of people

that this house has been built for praise and prayer.

Let us now consecrate it for service and celebrate its holy use.

Several persons may lead sections of the following prayer of consecration, which the officiating minister should begin and conclude:

O eternal God, mighty in power and of incomprehensible majesty,

whom the heavens cannot contain,

much less the walls of temples made with hands,

you have promised your special presence

whenever two or three are assembled in your name

to offer praise and prayer.

By the power of your Holy Spirit consecrate this house of your worship.

Bless us and sanctify what we do here,

that this place may be holy for us and a house of prayer for all people.

Guide and empower in this place by the same Spirit

the proclamation of your Word and the celebration of your Sacraments,

the pouring out of prayer and the singing of your praise,

professions of faith and testimonies to your grace,

the joining of men and women in marriage

and the celebration of death and resurrection.

Save us from that failure of vision

which would confine our worship within these walls,

but send us out from here to be your servants in the world,

sharing the blessings of Christ with the world he came to redeem.

The officiating minister concludes:

Now, O God, sanctify this place,

for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.

Yours, Lord, is the dominion, and you are exalted as head above all.

ANTHEM, HYMN, OR OTHER ACT OF PRAISE

CONSECRATION OF THE PULPIT

Those leading in worship and the congregation present may process to the pulpit.

The officiating minister lays a hand upon the pulpit and says:

Eternal God, we thank you that Christ your living Word

speaks to us through the words of Holy Scripture,

written of old by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit

and proclaimed today by the anointing of the same Spirit.

When your Word is read and preached from this pulpit,

purify the lives and lips of those who speak here,

that your Word alone may be proclaimed

and your Word alone may be heard and obeyed.

May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts

be acceptable to you, our Rock and our Redeemer,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God's Word is a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path.

We consecrate this pulpit

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

(in the name of the holy and Triune God ). Amen.

A Bible is placed upon the pulpit at this time.

SCRIPTURE Suggested lessons:

Genesis 28:10 –22 The house of God

1 Kings 8:22 –30 Solomon's prayer dedicating the Temple

Ezra 6:13 –22 Dedication of the Second Temple

PSALM 122 (UMH 845, response 2) or

PSALM118 (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 3:9 –13, 16–17 Jesus Christ is the foundation.

Hebrews 10:19 –25 Confidence to enter the sanctuary

1 Peter 2:4 –10 You are a royal priesthood.

Revelation 21:9 –7 The new Jerusalem

HYMN OR SONG*

Suggested from UMH, in addition to those suggested under Processional Hymn in this service:

938 Hymns listed under 584 Lord, You Give the Great

Dedication of a Building Commission

97 For the Fruits of This Creation 114 Many Gifts, One Spirit

139 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

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.

SERMON

HYMN OF INVITATION OR RESPONSE * See suggestions.

CONSECRATION OF THE BAPTISMAL FONT

Those leading in worship and the congregation present may process to the baptismal font.

The officiating minister lays a hand upon the font and says:

Most gracious God, we thank you that through the waters of baptism

you have given us new life, adopted us as your children,

and made us members of your Church.

When we pour the water of baptism,

making and renewing our covenant vows,

pour out your Spirit and give new birth;

wash away sin and clothe your people in righteousness;

that, dying and being raised with Christ,

we may walk in new and abundant life;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all.

We consecrate this font

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Water is poured into the font at this time. Persons may be baptized using Services of the Baptismal Covenant.

A hymn or stanza may be sung. See UMH 604–11.

See also in The United Methodist Book of Worship:

Baptismal Prayer (Hymn 174)

Come, Be Baptized (Hymn 173)

CONSECRATION OF THE LORD'S TABLE

Those leading in worship process to the Lord's table.

The officiating minister lays a hand upon the table and says:

Lord God, we thank you that when we gather at the Lord's table

the living Christ is known to us

in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup;

and we are renewed as his body, whose life is in his blood.

When we eat this bread and drink from this cup,

refresh all those who partake at this holy table.

Feed the hunger of our hearts with the bread of heaven,

and quench our deepest thirst with the cup of salvation.

Strengthen us for your service in the world,

and give us a foretaste of the feast to come,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Jesus said: "Whoever comes to me shall not hunger,

and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."


We consecrate this table

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A response may be sung, such as the refrain of One Bread, One Body ( UMH 620) or Be Present at Our Table, Lord (UMH 621).

OFFERING

An offering may be received.

A hymn may be sung while the gifts are brought to the Lord's table.

Communion vessels, bread, and wine are placed upon the table at this time. Flowers may be placed near the table, and candles may be lighted.

HOLY COMMUNION

Holy Communion may be celebrated, using A Service of Word and Table II, III, or IV. One of the musical settings may be used for the Great Thanksgiving.

HYMN OR SONG*

DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING *

GOING FORTH *

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Copyright: “A Service for the Consecration or Reconsecration of a Church Building” Copyright © 1984 by Abingdon Press; Copyright © 1992 UMPH. Altered 2013 by the Discipleship Ministries to reflect UMC commitments to baptismal language in full communion agreements entered since 2008 and the 2012 Book of Discipline.

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