THE BLESSING OF SAINT RAFAEL CHURCH
Linmansangan, Binalonan, Pangasinan. The Bishop of the Diocese of Urdaneta Most Rev. Jacinto “Jack” Jose, DD together with the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Noel Bulosan, the clergy and the parisheoners solemnly blessed the new church of St. Rafael last Saturday – November 15, 2008 at 9:00 o’clock in the morning.
The dedication of a church is a significant and rare event in the life of a Christian Community. It involves more than merely setting a building for the celebration of sacred things, since the people who plan, build and dedicate a sacred place are themselves the Church, who “gather to hear the Word of God, to pray together, to celebrate the Sacraments, and to participate in the Eucharist.” (Rite for the Dedication of a church and an altar)
The Eucharist is the very heart of the Rite of Dedication of a Church and an Altar in the same way that the Eucharist is central to the life of the Church, the Body of Christ. Just as a Christian becomes the temple of God, receiving in succession the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, so too a building becomes a house of God and the Church with ablutions (Baptism) and anointing with the Sacred Chrism (Confirmation), before entering into the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving and Praise (Euhcarist).
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Father in heaven, source of holiness and true purpose, it is right that we praise and glorify your name. For today we come before you, to dedicate to your lasting service this house of prayer, this temple of worship, this home in which we are nourished by your word and sacraments. Here is reflected the mystery of the Church. The Church is fruitful, made holy by the blood of Christ: a bride made radiant with his glory, a virgin splendid in the wholeness of her faith, a mother blessed through the power of the Spirit. The Church is holy, your chosen vineyard: its branches envelop the world, its tendrils, carried on the tree of the cross, reach up to the kingdom of heaven. The Church is favored, the dwelling place of God on earth: a temple built on living stones, founded on the apostles with Jesus Christ the cornerstone. The Church is exalted, a city set on a mountain: a beacon to the whole world, bright with the glory of the Lamb, and echoing the prayers of her saints.
Lord, send your Spirit from heaven to make this Church an ever-holy place, and this altar a ready table for the sacrifice of Christ. Here may the waters of baptism overwhelm the shame of sin; here may your people die to sin and live again through grace as your children. Here may your children, gathered around your altar, celebrate the memorial of the Paschal Lamb, and be fed at the table of Christ’s word and Christ’s body. Here may prayer, the Church’s banquet, resound through heaven and earth as a plea for the world’s salvation. Here may the poor find justice, the victims of oppression, true freedom. From here may the whole world clothed in the dignity of the children of God, enter with gladness your city of peace. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
(Blessing/Dedication – San Rafael Church)
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