Church dedication

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Fr. Paul, just a need for some clarification: In Ars Celebrandi, you say that a church may not be dedicated on any of the days associated with numbers 1-3 on the Table of Liturgical Days; the Order of Dedication rite book is specific about which days this may not be celebrated on, listing all the days in numbers 1 and 2, but then does not mention Solemnities of the Lord as forbidden days, only listing All Souls from number 3 as a day on which a church may not be dedicated. Can a church be dedicated on a Solemnity of the Lord, then? (Of course, the book says that “in general, the dedication of a new church may not take place on days on which it is totally improper to neglect the mystery commemorated on that day”, and I assume that a Solemnity of the Lord is one of those days, but for them to then go on to list specific days but leave out others does but darken counsel.)

Thank you very much!


A: I say the same thing in my forthcoming book, New Church, New Altar.

You’re right that in the Order of the Dedication of a Church and an Altar, Chapter II, paragraph 7, several inappropriate days are listed, but not every one that falls under numbers 1-3 on the Table of Liturgical Days.

I hold my position based on the Table of Rubrics governing Ritual Masses in Appendix III of the Ceremonial of Bishops, which excludes the other days not explicitly mentioned in the ODCA.