Blessing a chapel and altar

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: If one blesses a chapel and altar using the rite in Dedication of a Church and Altar–so the altar is blessed rather than dedicated, as it’s not fixed, not the parish church’s altar, etc.–would it be appropriate at this liturgy to use the Prayer Over the Gifts and the Preface from the dedication Mass (nos. 74 and 75 in Chapter II of the ritual book)? There isn’t any direction regarding the Prayer Over the Gifts or the Preface in the rite for blessing a church and altar; the direction is simply, “The Mass continues in the usual way…” (no. 25 in Chapter V of the ritual book). But the direction for the Preface at no. 75 states clearly that this particular Preface “is an integral part of the Rite of the Dedication of a Church.” So does that mean it should not be used except at a full dedication? I appreciate, as always, your guidance and time! 


A: I’m checking chapter V of my book, New Church, New Altar. There I say that on days that rank 1-4 on the Table of Liturgical Days, the Mass of the day must be celebrated, “but on other days the blessing may take place either during the Mass of the day or within the Mass of the title of the church or oratory.” I cite ODCA V:4 and CB 957.

So, I’d vote no. This is a different kind of Mass than the dedication Mass, and the presidential prayers reflect its more subdued nature.