Author Topic: Blessing of Converted Churches  (Read 1736 times)

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Offline BasilCan

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Blessing of Converted Churches
« on: November 09, 2007, 09:05:02 PM »
Okay, here is an interesting question.  My friend's orthodox mission has just purchased an ex-Episcopalian (Anglican) church, that had most recently been rented by some strange new age church/club. Anyways, what we want to know is this: are there any prayers of exoricism or blessings of buildings being converted into a church in the Greek,Russian,Serbian, Antiochian etc. service books? I know there are the prayers of Consecration of a new church, but these assume a new temple is being built. Any liturgical students know of any such service OR can suggest one?

Basil

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 09:56:15 PM »
I haven't seen anything in a prayer book, but iirc I think some communities have just done a blessing of the building (holy water) before using it.  I don't see why an exorcism prayer couldn't be used, but always tread lightly - don't just seek out any priest, ask the bishop.  You never know what will happen.
"If you are going to serve the Lord, be prepared for times when you will be put to the test. Be sincere and determined. Keep calm when trouble comes. Stay with the Lord; never abandon Him and you will be prosperous at the end of your days. Accept whatever happens to you. Even if you suffer humiliation, be patient. Gold is tested by fire and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation. Trust the Lord and He will help you. Walk straight in His ways and put your hope in Him. " Sir 2:1-6

Offline Keble

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 11:42:41 PM »
I've been at one; it's just like consecrating a new church.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2007, 11:54:34 PM »
I've been at one; it's just like consecrating a new church.
Same here. In the Greek & Antiochian Orthodox Churches in Australia , a purchased Church building is treated like any new Church building, and receives it's Consecration and Chrisimation from the Bishop. The Cathedral Church of Archbishop Stylianos (GO Australia), is a converted, sandstone Anglican Church dating back to the convict era.
I think some communities have just done a blessing of the building (holy water) before using it. 
In Australia, the Sanctification of Holy Water is used prior to the Liturgy only when the building is shared. For example, a PanOrthodox Liturgy takes place annually in the Olympic Stadium in Sydney which is preceded with a Sanctification of Holy Water service.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 11:56:07 PM by ozgeorge »
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Offline BasilCan

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2007, 12:12:10 AM »
Sounds like one would have a Lesser Blessing of Waters and then the consecration. Makes sense.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2007, 12:44:56 AM »
Same here. In the Greek & Antiochian Orthodox Churches in Australia , a purchased Church building is treated like any new Church building, and receives it's Consecration and Chrisimation from the Bishop. The Cathedral Church of Archbishop Stylianos (GO Australia), is a converted, sandstone Anglican Church dating back to the convict era. In Australia, the Sanctification of Holy Water is used prior to the Liturgy only when the building is shared. For example, a PanOrthodox Liturgy takes place annually in the Olympic Stadium in Sydney which is preceded with a Sanctification of Holy Water service.

Oh, I only meant the agiasmo as a precursor to eventual consecration; while I know that if this converted building is to be a permanent Orthodox house of worship it will be consecrated, I also realize that normally the Bishops are behind on getting consecrations done.  I should have read the OP more carefully and then addressed this.
"If you are going to serve the Lord, be prepared for times when you will be put to the test. Be sincere and determined. Keep calm when trouble comes. Stay with the Lord; never abandon Him and you will be prosperous at the end of your days. Accept whatever happens to you. Even if you suffer humiliation, be patient. Gold is tested by fire and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation. Trust the Lord and He will help you. Walk straight in His ways and put your hope in Him. " Sir 2:1-6

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2007, 09:56:33 PM »
I have seen a Trebnik with a special initial blessing for a house. In addition to the typical Theophany-style blessing with holy water, the service includes a couple exorcisms and an anointing. Probably modeled after a typical Consecration of a Church.
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Offline Starlight

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2007, 12:09:42 AM »
I've been at one; it's just like consecrating a new church.


Makes a lot of sense.

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2007, 08:42:37 PM »
I've been at one; it's just like consecrating a new church.

Our parish recently bought a new building from a failed Protestant church. We prayed the prayers for a new church.
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Offline BasilCan

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2007, 09:12:53 PM »
What prayers are these? What book can they be found in?

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Blessing of Converted Churches
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2007, 10:15:38 PM »
They're in the Book of Needs. I don't have a copy, so I can't tell you exactly what they are. I do remember, though, that the whole parish circumvented the building three times, and our priest brushed holy water on all the outside walls. Then we entered the church and went from room to room, and our priest brushed every room with holy water. We finally entered the sanctuary and blessed it with holy water and incense. There were several Trisagia and litanies, as well, but that could apply to almost all our prayers. :)
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