"This last week I had the privilege of attending the consecration of Old St. Patrick Church in Kansas City, Missouri. The church was entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King by the bishop there, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert Finn, who also performed the consecration of the church with the traditional Pontificale Romanum and then celebrated Pontifical Mass.
"Never had I experienced such a rite. The power of the rites of consecration, with its deep symbolism and appeal to all the senses was overwhelming. I have been to consecrations of churches in the newer, post-Conciliar rites. They are anemic in comparison. There was for me an epiphany moment during the mysterious five-hour rite. As I watched the incense burn directly on the surface of the newly anointed altar at the five crosses symbolizing Christ’s saving wounds, the fragrant smoke curled upward and spread into a haze, as if the angel of the Apocalypse was present. The smell of the sacred chrism grew stronger with each breath and the schola began to sing “Veni Sancte Spiritus… Come Holy Spirit”. Then there was silence until the last of the incense burned away. The flames died, growing smaller and smaller, as if sinking into the altar’s mensa. Bishop Finn prayed:
“Almighty God, in whose honor and that of St. Patrick we do consecrate this altar, graciously and mercifully give ear to our humble prayers… that at all times, Thou mayest be moved to relieve the anxieties of Thy people who shall call on Thee in this place, to hear their prayers, to accept their vows, to strengthen their good purposes, to grant whatsoever they ask…”
"I asked myself: “What have we done?”
"As we saw last week, with the older, traditional Roman calendar, during this time of year we are using the texts from Sundays remaining un-prayed between Epiphany and Septuagesima, in order to complete the liturgical year. This week we would be turning our attention to the Collect for this 26th Sunday after Pentecost, the texts for which are revived from the 5th Sunday remaining after Epiphany. However, that Sunday is displaced by the Feast of the Dedication of the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior, which is the Cathedral of Rome, commonly called St. John Lateran. The texts for today’s Mass are taken from the Common for the Dedication of Church.
"This is the day the Cathedral of Rome was solemnly consecrated.
"The full name of the Lateran Basilica is the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior, St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist at the Lateran. Its titular feast is celebrated on the Transfiguration of the Lord. But the Church also provides for the solemn celebration of the day the church was dedicated or consecrated. Since the Lateran Basilica is “omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput… the Mother and Head of all the Churches of the City and the World”, its dedication is a feast everywhere, not just in Rome."
Father Z. segues from Old St. Patrick to St. John Lateran
This is part of a Father Z article for a recent Wanderer.