(Quote) Carrie-529869 said:
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:
Correction: dedicated, not consecrated...
(Quote) Carrie-529869 said:
Quote: Jerry-74383 said:
Correction: dedicated, not consecrated. [The Eastern churches use the term 'consecration' with regard to churches; in the Latin church persons and things are 'consecrated', whereas places (e.g. churches and altars) are 'dedicated']
All Catholic churches are to be dedicated or blessed as soon as possible after construction (a church would be blessed instead of dedicated if it is intended to be used as such temporarily):
Can. 1214 The term church means a sacred building intended for divine worship, to which the faithful have right of access for the exercise, especially the public exercise, of divine worship.
Can. 1217 §1 As soon as possible after completion of the building the new church is to be dedicated or at least blessed, following the laws of the sacred liturgy.
§2 Churches, especially cathedrals and parish churches, are to be dedicated by a solemn rite.
It's not a mere terminology difference. My understanding is that Consecration is used occasionally, but not often due to the headache of "unconsecrating" ground if it ever ceases to be a church in the future (possible parish closings, etc)
First, getting back to my main point:
Churches are not just "a house"; they are places set aside for sacred worship. Thus, it is not reasonable to compare customs for social behavior at a party to the conflict between those attempting to engage in prayer and those engaging in secular social activity in a church.
Those who want to chat can simply relocate into the vestibule or outside the building. This is not a viable option for those who wish to pray before or after Mass for reasons that should be obvious. Thus, charity and common courtesy alone dictate that those engaged in social chatter be the ones to more elsewhere.
For reasons stated below, I can see no reasonable explanation for churches not being at least blessed; further, to not bless or dedicate a church prior to use would be a very serious breach of canon law.
The comments I provided above regarding the distinctions between consecration and dedication are from the New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law. While I don't have convenient access to all of the liturgical books to perform exhaustive research on the question, I have not found anything to suggest the information is incorrect, although I did find some informal usage that appears to be using the term 'consecration' as a synonym for the solemn dedication mentioned in canon 1217 §2.
It appears the term 'consecration' was used in the pre-Vatican II rituals. I don't know if those same rituals also used the term 'dedication', either as a synonym for 'consecration' or for a different level of blessing. In both the old and new rituals a church may also be blessed rather than consecrated/dedicated, as explained above.
I have not yet found anything to suggest that the shift from using 'consecration' to 'dedication' when applied to a church was intended to be more than a change in terminology, but then I haven't found anything that explicitly states this, either.
A complicating factor in comparing the pre-Vatican II consecration ritual to the post-Vatican II solemn dedication ritual is that many of the post-Vatican II rituals, even where they retain the same or very similar name, are significantly less solemn than their predecessors. Thus, comparing them head-to-head may not necessarily clarify anything.
Climbing out of the semantic rat hole...
You first stated that "most catholic churches are not consecrated", then added in a subsequent post, "My understanding is that Consecration is used occasionally, but not often due to the headache of "unconsecrating" ground if it ever ceases to be a church in the future (possible parish closings, etc)"
Several points on these statements:
(a) While it can indeed be difficult to convert sacred places to profane use, much of the difficulty arises from the procedures for terminating the use of the building for sacred worship, not from rescinding the consecration, dedication, or blessing. The requirements that are responsible for the most difficulty in many cases are that the (arch)bishop must: (1) determine that there is a grave cause for doing so; (2) determine that the good of souls will not be harmed; and (3) obtain consent from those who may legitimately claim rights to the property.If the property is to be sold there are additional financial requirements that are not affected by whether the property is blessed. For a more detailed explanation, see www.jgray.org
(b) Church closings were not at all common until sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s, so it is unlikely that this concern would have been on anyone's radar screen before that. Obviously, the vast majority of churches would have been built and consecrated/dedicated/blessed before that time. Thus, even if these concerns have led to a change in practice with regard to consecration/dedication/blessing of churches, only a small portion of the churches in use would be affected. It is important to note that any such changes would very likely be a violation of canon law and, as explained in (a), would have little effect on expediting the disposition of the church should it be closed or sold in the future.