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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups.

A synonym for consecration is to sanctify. An antonym is desecrate.


Roman Catholic Church

The Consecration of Deodat (1620, Claude Bassot).

The word "consecration" is used in the Catholic Church as the setting apart for the service of God of both persons and objects.

The ordination of a new bishop is also called a consecration. While the term "episcopal ordination" is now more common[citation needed], "consecration" was the preferred term in the centuries immediately preceding the Second Vatican Council.

The life of those who enter religious orders and similar institutes is also described as Consecrated Life.

A rite of consecration of virgins can be traced back at least to the fourth century.[1] By the time of the Second Vatican Council, use of this rite was limited to cloistered nuns.[2] The Council directed that the then existing rite should be revised.[3] Two similar versions were prepared, one for women living in monastic orders, another for consecrated virgins living in the world. An English translation of the rite for those living in the world is available on the web site of the United States Association of Consecrated Virgins.

Objects such as chalices are also consecrated, normally by a bishop, using chrism.

The consecration of an altar by a bishop in Spain.

A more solemn rite exists for the consecration of an altar, either of the altar alone or as the central part of the rite of consecration of a church. Since it would be contradictory to consecrate to the service of God a mortgage-burdened building, the rite of consecration or dedication of a church is carried out only if the building is debt-free. Otherwise, it is only blessed.

A very special act of consecration is that of the bread and wine used in the Eucharist, which according to Catholic belief involves their change into the body and blood of Christ, a changed referred to as transsubstantiation.

Eastern Churches

In the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches, the term "consecration" can refer to either the Sacred Mystery (Sacrament) of Cheirotonea (Ordination through laying on of hands) of a Bishop, or the sanctification and solemn dedication of a church building. It can also (more rarely) be used to describe the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ at the Divine Liturgy. The Chrism used at Chrismation and the Antimension placed on the Holy Table are also said to be consecrated.

Various Christian Churches

The consecration of William Evan Sanders, Episcopal Bishop of Tennessee (1962).

Church buildings, chapels and altars are consecrated to the purpose of religious worship, baptismal fonts and vessels are consecrated for the purpose of containing the Eucharistic elements, the bread and wine/the body and blood of Christ.

In the Eucharist, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans hold that the consecration is effected by the recitation of the Epiclesis (sometimes sung) over the bread and wine, whereby the bread is the communion of Christ's true body and the wine is the communion of Christ's true blood. Among Methodists, Presbyterians, and other Protestants that accept some form of Real Presence Theology, the elements are consecrated when the presiding/celebrating minister calls upon the Holy Spirit to "make them be for us the body and blood of Christ".

A person may be consecrated for a specific role within a religious hierarchy, or a person may consecrate his or her life in an act of devotion. In particular, the ordination of a bishop is often called a consecration. In churches which follow the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (the historical episcopate) the bishops who consecrate a new bishop are known as the consecrators and form an unbroken line of succession back to the Apostles. Also, those who take the vows of religious life are said to be living a consecrated life.

Among some religious groups there is also a service of "deconsecration", to return a formerly consecrated place to secular purpose (for instance, if the building is to be sold or demolished). In the Church of England, an order closing a church may remove the legal effects of consecration.

Latter Day Saints

In the nineteenth-century Latter Day Saint tradition, consecration involved the giving of member's worldly possessions to the church. While it might be considered a type of voluntary religious communism, Latter Day Saint consecration does not involve the abolition of private property. It was practiced off and on during the 19th century, but is now extremely rare among Latter Day Saint denominations. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints still covenant in the temple endowment ceremony to live the Law of Consecration by consecrating themselves, and everything with which the Lord has blessed them, or will bless them to the building up of the kingdom of God and the establishment of Zion.

The priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also perform a consecration of oil, for use of blessing the sick. The term 'consecration', as it applies to the Lord's Supper in other Christian churches, is simply called a 'blessing' by the Latter-day Saint priesthood.

See also


  1. ^ The Sacraments (Liturgical Press, 1987, ISBN 0814613659, 9780814613658), p. 211
  2. ^ Apostolic Constitution Sponsa Christi - AAS 43 (1951), 16
  3. ^ Sacrosanctum Concilium, 80


  • Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church, Isabel F. Hapgood (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, New York) 1975.
  • Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition, Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky (Tr. Hieromonk Seraphim Rose, Saint Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina CA) 1984.
  • The Law of God, Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy (Tr. Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville NY) 1996.

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups.


  • But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
  • I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls
    The burial-ground God's-Acre! It is just;
    It consecrates each grave within its walls,
    And breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Ah, my friends, it is not only from the study walls of pastors, but from the walls of every shop, every counting-room, and every hall of justice and legislation, that the countenance of the all-holy Jesus is looking down, and saying, "Do all for me."
  • Live, as it were, on trust. All that is in you, all that you are, is only loaned to you; make use of it according to the will of Him who lends it; but never regard it for a moment as your own.
  • See that you receive Christ with all your heart. As there is nothing in Christ that may be refused, so there is nothing in you from which He must be excluded.
  • Living or dying, Lord,
    I ask but to be Thine;
    My life in Thee, Thy life in me,
    Makes heaven forever mine.
    • Henry Harbaugh, p. 160.
  • Teach us, Master, how to give
    All we have and are to Thee;
    Grant us, Saviour, while we live,
    Wholly, only Thine to be.
  • Seek to make life henceforth a consecrated thing; that so, when the sunset is nearing, with its murky vapors and lowering skies, the very clouds of sorrow may be fringed with golden light. Thus will the song in the house of your pilgrimage be always the truest harmony. It will be composed of no jarring, discordant notes; but with all its varied tones will form one sustained, life-long melody; dropped for a moment in death, only to be resumed with the angels, and blended with the everlasting cadences of your Father's house.
    • J. R. MacDuff, p. 159.
  • If you want to live in this world, doing the duty of life, knowing the blessings of it, doing your work heartily, and yet not absorbed by it, remember that the one power whereby you can so act is, that all shall be consecrated to Christ, and done for His sake.
  • Take me, O my Father, take me!
    Take me, save me, through Thy Son;
    That which Thou wouldst have me, make me,
    Let Thy will in me be done.
    Long from Thee my footsteps straying,
    Thorny proved the way I trod;
    Weary come I now, and praying —
    Take me to Thy love, my God!
    • Ray Palmer, p. 158.
  • God consecrates us with His Spirit; whom He adopts, He anoints; whom He makes sons, He makes saints; He doth not only give them a new name, but a new nature. God turns the wolf into a lamb; He makes the.heart humble and gracious; He works such a change as if another soul did dwell in the same body.

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From BibleWiki

the devoting or setting apart of anything to the worship or service of God. The race of Abraham and the tribe of Levi were thus consecrated (Ex 13:2, 12, 15; Num 3:12). The Hebrews devoted their fields and cattle, and sometimes the spoils of war, to the Lord (Lev 27:28, 29). According to the Mosaic law the first-born both of man and beast were consecrated to God.

In the New Testament, Christians are regarded as consecrated to the Lord (1 Pet 2:9).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

Consecration is a special ceremony, usually religious, in which a person, or an object or a building is dedicated to a special purpose. When a new church is built there will be a special opening ceremony, called a "consecration".

The verb is to consecrate. The adjective is consecrated.

  • A synonym (another word) for consecration is sanctification (verb: to sanctify).
  • An antonym (the opposite) is desecration (verb: to desecrate) (for example when people smash holy things in a church).

The word "consecration" is used in the Catholic Church as the setting apart for the service of God of both persons and objects.

The ordination of a new bishop is also called a consecration.

The life of those who enter religious orders (for example: monks and nuns) is also described as "Consecrated Life"


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