Dedication, Feast of

Dedication, Feast of
   The annual commemoration of the consecration of a Church building is so called. From ancient authors we learn that when Christianity became prosperous and flourishing, churches were everywhere erected and were solemnly consecrated, the dedications being celebrated with great festivities and rejoicing. The rites and ceremonies used upon these occasions were a great gathering of Bishops and others from all parts, the celebration of divine offices, singing of hymns and psalms, reading the Holy Scriptures, sermons and orations, receiving the Blessed Sacrament, prayers and thanksgivings, liberal alms bestowed on the poor, gifts to the Church; and, in short, mighty expressions of mutual love and kindness and universal rejoicing with one another. These dedications from that time forward were always commemorated once a year and were solemnized with great pomp and much gathering of the people, the solemnity usually lasting eight days.
   The Feast of the Dedication is frequently kept in many parishes now and its observance has been found to be most helpful to both Priest and People, recalling to mind the joy and gladness of the day of the Consecration of their Church and being the time for the revival of old faiths and pledges, and consequently of renewed interest in the Church, its work and its worship.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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