3. RITE FOR RECONCILING A PROFANED CHURCH

which previously was only blessed

1. If a church is profaned, a cemetery which is contiguous is not thereby to be considered profaned, or vice versa. But if both are profaned their reconciliation is performed together.

If a church that was blessed is profaned, it may be reconciled by the pastor or by any priest who has his permission, expressed or presumed. The altar should be entirely bare. It should be prearranged that the officiants can conveniently go around the building, both outside and inside. At hand there should be a vessel of holy water and an aspersory made of hyssop. The priest, vested in amice, alb, cincture, white stole and cope, goes with his assistants to the main entrance of the church, and standing outside facing the door, he intones the following antiphon which is continued by the clergy:

Purify me with hyssop, * Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Then the entire psalm 50 is said with the doxology, and the above antiphon is repeated. Meanwhile the priest goes around the exterior of the church, alternately sprinkling the walls of the church and the cemetery grounds. But the cemetery is not sprinkled if it has not been desecrated. On coming back to the entrance the priest says:

Let us pray.

Almighty and merciful God, who conferred on your priests above all others this great grace, that whatever they do worthily and exactly in your name, is regarded as being done by you; we pray that in your kindness you may be present wherever we are present and may bless + whatever we bless. And at our lowly coming, through the merits of your saints, may demons flee and the angel of peace be at hand; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

2. After this prayer all go into church, two by two, and the ministrants proceed to the altar. During this procession the Litany of the Saints is chanted. The priest kneels at the altar until the following versicle has been chanted: “That you grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,” etc.; after which he rises and sings in a clear voice:

That you purify and reconcile + this church and this altar (and cemetery). R. We beg you to hear us.

3. However, if the cemetery has not been profaned, omit the words “and cemetery.”

Then he kneels again until the litany is concluded. After this he stands, and facing the altar he says:

P: Let us pray.

Ministers: Let us kneel. R. Arise.

The priest:

We beseech you, Lord, let your mercy precede the execution of our plans, and by the intercession of all your saints, let your forgiveness and kindness anticipate our requests; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

4. Then the priest kneels at the altar, and signing himself with the cross, says:

P: God, come to my rescue.

All: Lord, make haste to help me.

P (standing): Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

All: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

5. Then the priest intones the following antiphon, which is continued by the clergy or choir. Psalm 67 follows, with the chanters singing the verses of the psalm; after each verse the antiphon is repeated by all (for the music of the antiphon and psalm see the music supplement).

Psalm 67

P: God arises; * His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: In your churches bless God; * bless the Lord, you of Israel’s well-spring.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: There is Benjamin, the youngest, * leading them.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: The princes of Juda in a body, * the princes of Zabulon, the princes of Nephthali.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Show forth, O God, your power, * the power, O God, with which you took our part.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Let the kings bring you gifts * for your temple in Jerusalem.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds, * the herd of strong bulls and the bullocks, the nations.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Let them fall prostrate with bars of silver; * scatter the peoples who delight in war.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Let nobles come from Egypt; * let Ethiopia extend its hands to God.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, chant praise to the Lord, * who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: See, His voice resounds, the voice of power: * “Confess the power of God.”

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Over Israel is His majesty; * His power is in the skies.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

C: Awesome in His sanctuary is God, the God of Israel; * He gives power and strength to His people. Blessed be God.

All: God arises; His enemies are scattered; * and those who hate Him flee before Him.

The usual doxology is omitted at the end of the above psalm.

6. While the foregoing antiphon and psalm are sung, the priest goes around the interior of the church sprinkling it, especially the place where the desecration took place. Then he returns to the middle of the sanctuary, faces the altar, and says:

God, who lovingly and benignly defend the purity of every place which is under your dominion, hear us, we pray, and grant that in future this place be preserved inviolably hallowed, and that the whole Christian community who here invoke you may be the recipients of your bounty; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

7. Lastly the Mass of the day is celebrated, adding to the collect of the day under one conclusion the “ritual collect,” which is No. 10 among the “Missae Votivae ad diversa” in the new Missal.

8. In the case of a church which was consecrated, a priest may reconcile it only if he has the permission of the Ordinary, and then he uses the rite given in the Roman Pontifical. He vests in the manner noted above and is assisted by a number of clerics vested in surplices.

If, in a real and urgent emergency, the Ordinary cannot be reached the pastor of a church which previously had been consecrated may reconcile it without delay, and later inform his superior of the fact.