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Consecration of a church

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The '''Consecration of a Churchchurch''' (in Greek, ''thyranoixia'' refers to ; literally "opening of the doors") is the service of sanctification and solemn dedication of a building for use as a [[church]]. The Consecration [[consecration]] of a Church church is a complex service that is filled with profound symbolisms. Many biblical elements are taken from the [[Old Testament]]: the Consecration of the Tabernacle ([[Exodus ]] 40) and of the Temple of Solomon ([[III Kingdoms|1 Kings ]] 8; [[II Paraleipomenon|2 Chronicles ]] 5-7).{{Services}}
==Background==
Within the Orthodox Church once Once a building has been consecrated as a church it may not be used again for a secular purpose. Before construction of a new building as a church, the local [[diocese|diocesan]] [[bishop]] must bless the endeavor. Before construction begins , the bishop lays a foundation stone that may or may not contain [[relics]] of a [[saint]]. After construction of the new church has been completed the building can be Consecratedconsecrated.
The consecration is usually performed by the diocesan bishop, but if he is unable to perform the consecration he may ask another bishop, [[archimandrite]], or possibly a senior [[priest]] to perform the service on his behalf.
While the consecration encompasses the whole church, the ceremony centers around the Holy holy [[Altaraltar]] and Holy holy [[Alter Tablealtar table]] in particular. As salvation for an Orthodox Christian is union with Christ, called ‘‘Life ''Life in Christ’‘Christ'', the center of this ''Life in Christ'' is the Holy Altarholy altar, The Consecration the consecration of a Church church is , in effect , the [[Baptismbaptism]] and [[Chrismationchrismation]] of the Churchchurch.
==Preparations==
In preparation for the Consecrationconsecration, the Altar Table altar table is cleared, leaving it uncovered with nothing on it. The Consecration consecration begins with the celebration of an [[All-night [[Night Vigil]] on the eve of the Consecration consecration service. At this time all the materials needed for the Consecration service are assembled.
==Consecration==
On the day of the Consecrationconsecration, the service begins with blessing of a quantity of waters by an appointed Priestpriest. [[Matins]] (OrthosOrthros), a morning service , may be held using a covered table before the Royal Doors set with a candle, [[paten|diskos]], [[starasterisk]], and a cover for the diskos where , upon his arrival , the bishop places the Holy Relicsholy [[relics]].
===Processions===
The service begins with reading of [[Psalm ]] 143, followed by reciting of petitions and prayers. The people and singers, led by the bishop, who carrying the covered diskos on which Holy Relics the holy relics have been placed, and priests, make a procession around the church three times, reminiscent to of the three processions around the [[font ]] at Baptismbaptism. Each time the procession reaches the front of the church, the bishop places the diskos with the Holy Relics holy relics on a table placed there earlier and reads from the Holy Scriptures.
After the third procession is completed , the bishop chanting chants a dialogue from Psalm 24 as he enters the church in an act that ; this represents Christ the King entering and taking over the building by defeating the power of the devil. After the dialogue is completed the bishop, holding the Diskos diskos on which are the Holy Relicsholy relics, makes the [[sign of the cross ]] and enters the Churchchurch.
===Sealing of the Holy Relicsholy relics===In the early days of Christianity when the Church was not allowed to existheavily persecuted, the Christians met in underground burial places where there the Christians they celebrated the Eucharist on the graves of [[martyr]]ed saints. After the Church was recognized this custom was continued by placing Holy Relics relics in the Altar Table altar table during the consecration of the Church, church. This is a reminder that the Church was built on the Blood blood of the Martyrs martyrs and their faith in the Lord.
After the bishop has entered the Church church, he continues on into the Altaraltar. In the Altar altar he places the diskos on the Altar Tablealtar table. There he removes the Holy Relics relics and places them in a small box. The bishop then pours Holy holy [[Chrismchrism]] over the Relicsrelics, symbolizing the union between our Lord and His Martyrshis martyrs. With prayers and the reading of Psalm 145, the bishop then places the box with the Relics relics in a cavity in the Altar Table altar table where it is sealed in with a wax/mastic that contains fragrant spices as were used by [[Joseph of ArimetheaArimathea]] and [[Nicodemus the Righteous|Nicodemus]] to [[anoint]] our Lord’s Lord's body before his burial. In this , the Holy Altar holy altar represents Christ’s Christ's tomb.
===Washing and Anointing anointing the Altar Tablealtar table===After placing the Holy Relics relics in the Altar Table altar table (Dispositiondisposition), the bishop proceeds on to the washing and anointing of the Altar Tablealtar table. For this purpose the bishop is vested in a special white linen garment over his vestments called a [[savanon|sratchitza]] or savanon, . The baptism of the Altar Table altar table begins with the prayer of consecration by the bishop, followed by petitions by the [[diaconate|deacon]]. The bishop then is given a basin of water and, with a blessing and prayer, pours the water of over the Table table three times and washes the Altar Table it while Psalm 84 is read. Symbolizing Baptismbaptism, the Table table is cleaned by washing and made Holy holy by the [[Gracegrace]] of the [[Holy Spirit]].
After the Table table is dried, the bishop sprinkles Rosewater of rosewater on it and continues reading Psalm 51. The assisting priests then dry the Table table with the [[Antimenantimins]]s. Having anointing anointed the Table table with Holy Chrismchrism, once in the center and on each side, the bishop proceeds to spread the Chrism chrism over all the Table table while reciting a section of Psalm 133. The excess Chrism chrism is wiped off by the priests with the Antimens antimins, and [[icon]]s of the four [[Evangelist]]s are fastened, one at each corner, to the Altar Tablealtar table.
===Vesting the Altar Tablealtar table===While Psalm 132 is read , a white linen cloth, representing the Lord’s Lord's burial shroud, is laid over the Altar Tablealtar table. The cloth, called the ''[[Katasarkionkatasarkion]]'', is tied on the Table table with a cord that represents the cord with which our Lord’s hand Lord's hands were tie tied when he stood before the High Priestshigh priests. The Katasarkion katasarkion is permanently installed, to remain as long as the Church church stands. After washing his hands, the bishop now covers the Altar Table altar table with a more ornate cover , the [[Endyton|endyton]], that symbolizes the Glory glory of God and places the other Holy Articlesholy articles, including the Antimensantimins, [[Gospel Book]], the [[Artoforionartophorion]], and candle sticks, on the Altar Tablealtar table, as the reader reads Psalm 93.
===Anointing the Church church and conclusion===After the Altar altar has been Consecratedconsecrated, sanctified, and adorned, the entire Church church is censed with incense while Psalm 26 is read. Then, the bishop anoints with Holy Chrism holy chrism the four walls of the Church church and Holy Iconsholy icons, making the sign of the Cross cross on each with the Holy Chrismchrism. The bishop then offers prayers for the Altaraltar, Churchchurch, and the faithful and places a lighted vigil light on the Altar Tablealtar table. As the Consecration consecration service comes to an end , the bishop removes the sratchitza he is wearing and may offer it to be cut up into small pieces that are given to each person in Churchchurch. Concluding prayers are then offered and the Consecration consecration service is dismissed before the first [[Divine Liturgy]] is celebrated in the newly consecrated Churchchurch.
==Source==
==External links==
*[http://www.goarch.org/en/Chapel/liturgical_texts/consecrate_church.asp The Service of Consecration] ([[GOARCH: Church Consecration]])*[http[w://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consecration |''Consecration'' at Wikipedia]] [[Category: ConsecrationLiturgics]][[Category:Sacraments]]
[[Categoryro: LiturgicsTârnosire]]
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