In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: The word “consecration”…In both the liturgical, and devotional contexts – I’m not quite sure how to wrap my mind around what this term means.

As you know, we removed this word from the ‘advancement’ of a man to the Order of bishop. Yet I have heard recent reference to select bishops present at such an ordination as “Co-consecrators”. I know of no other reference in the liturgical context, save for Consecration to a Life of Virginity.

In the devotional world, use of this word seems to be more frequent, e.g., Third Order Carmelite Consecration to Mary – thus, a lay person can be “consecrated” to Mary,.

Can you suggest a good, proper understanding of this word?


A: The word is used quite a bit. In addition to what you mention, a church and an altar may be consecrated. Chrism is consecrated, but the other oils are blessed. And, of course, we have the consecration of the bread and wine at Mass.

The word implies something more than a blessing, and it is used sparingly but in significant moments in the life of the Church.

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