churches, blessing of

Any building intended for use as a church or public chapel should be solemnly blessed, before Divine services are celebrated therein. This blessing is reserved to the bishop, but, with his consent, any priest may impart it. The ceremony prescribed in the Roman Ritual consists mainly of sprinkling the exterior and interior walls with holy water, and prayers, followed by a Mass. This solemn blessing cannot be given to private or domestic chapels, nor to any building which the bishop prudently foresees will later be turned over to secular use. See also: consecration of churches

New Catholic Dictionary

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