Today the S.S.S. Community at Liverpool celebrates the Solemnity of the Anniversary of the Dedication of The Shrine. (In some modern liturgical commentaries this celebration is often referred to as the “Forgotten Solemnity”; overtones, perhaps, of when the Holy Spirit used to be referred to [in pre- Conciliar days!!] as the “Forgotten Paraclete!!” The Rite of Dedication of a Church and an Altar (Ordo dedicationis ecclesiae et altaris) was celebrated at The Shrine [canonically “oratory”] of the Blessed Sacrament, Dawson Street, Liverpool, by the Most Reverend Derek Worlock, C.H., Archbishop and Metropolitan of Liverpool, on Wednesday, 27th November, 1985.
“The rite for the dedication of a church and an altar is rightly considered to be among the most solemn of all liturgical services. A church is the place where the Christian community is gathered to hear the Word of God, to offer intercession and praise him, and above all to celebrate the holy mysteries, and it is the place where the holy Sacrament of the Eucharist is kept. Thus it stands as a special kind of image of the Church herself, which is God’s temple built from living stones. And the altar of a church, around which the holy people gather to take part in the Lord’s sacrifice and to be refreshed at the heavenly meal, stands as a sign of Christ himself, who is the priest, the victim, and the altar of his own sacrifice”.
“Since sacred edifices, that is, churches, are permanently set aside for the celebration of the divine mysteries, it is right for them to receive a dedication to God. This is done according to the rite for dedicating a church, a rite impressive for its striking ceremonies and symbols.”
“There is much even in an ‘empty’ church that can help people to pray, and pray well. In our busy world of today the mere opportunity to be in an ‘empty’ place, a place of refuge, of peace and silence, provides a chance to relax and seek to make sense of our daily lives in a building redolent of the eternity of God.”
Consecrated for Worship
Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales