Gallican Rite - The Occasional Services - The Consecration of A Church

The Consecration of A Church

The Consecration of a church does not occur in the recognized Gallican books and from prayers in the Gelasian Sacramentary and Missale Francorum. As Louis Duchesne shows in his analysis of both rites (Origines du culte chrétien), that at a time when the Roman Rite of Consecration was exclusively funerary and contained little else but the deposition of the relics, as shown in the Ordines in the Saint Amand Manuscript (Bibliotheque Nationelle Latine 974), the Gallican Rite resembled more closely that of the modern Pontifical, which may be presumed to have borrowed from it. The commentary of Remigius of Auxerre (late ninth century), published by Edmond Martène, and the Sacramentary of Angoulême (Bibl. Nat. Lat. 12048) are the other authorities from which Duchesne derives his details. The order of the Celtic Consecration given in the Leabhar Breac is very similar (see Celtic Rite). The order is:

  1. The Entrance of the bishop, with "Tollite portas, principes, vestras", etc., which exhibits the outline of the present rite.
  2. The Alphabets, as at present.
  3. The Exorcism, Blessing and mixing of water, salt, ashes, and wine.
  4. The Lustration of the Altar and the inside of the Church.
  5. The Consecration Prayers. These are the prayers "Deus, qui loca nomini tuo", and "Deus sanctificationum, omnipotens dominator", which occur at the same point at present. The latter prayer in the Gallican Rite is worked into a Preface (in the Roman sense of the word).
  6. The Anointing of the Altar with chrism, with the five crosses as at present. The Celtic Rite had seven.
  7. The anointing of the Church with chrism. Nothing is said about crosses on the walls.
  8. The Consecration of the Altar with the burning of a cross of incense thereon, and a Bidding Prayer and collect.
  9. The Blessing of linen, vessels, etc.
  10. The Translation of the Relics which have been kept in a separate place and a night watch kept over them. This service, which is clearly the modern elaborate consecration in germ, has also many points in common with the Akolouthia eis Egkainia Naou in the Byzantine Euchologion, which is still simpler. The three are evidently three stages of the same service.

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