A New Altar

In Liturgy, Paul Turner's Blog by Paul TurnerLeave a Comment

Q:  Suppose you have a church that is pretty seriously renovated and gets a new altar. But the parish starts celebrating Mass on the new altar prior to the dedication. Now the bishop is coming. What rite should they use? my understanding is that you cannot dedicate an altar once mass is being said on it (like there is no need to bless a chalice once you have used it for Mass).    The rite is a bit confusing – “What Would Paul Turner Do?

A:  I’d go ahead and have the bishop do the full dedication as if nothing had happened. We celebrate mass on tables and benches in homes and prisons, and we never dedicate those objects for temporary use. I’d let the parish experience the whole blessing. It should change their appreciation of what that altar is for.

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