An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Secularizing a Consecrated Building

This service is used to deconsecrate and secularize a consecrated building that is to be taken down or used for other purposes. The form for this service is provided by the BOS. The presiding minister may be the bishop or a deputy appointed by the bishop. The altar and all consecrated and dedicated objects that are to be preserved are removed from the building before the service begins. The service begins with an address by the presiding minister. This statement acknowledges that for many the building has been "hallowed by cherished memories." The address prays that those who suffer a sense of loss will be comforted by knowledge that the presence of God is not tied to any place or building. The presiding minister also states the intention of the diocese that the congregation will not be deprived of the ministry of Word and sacrament. The bishop's Declaration of Secularization is then read. It revokes the Sentence of Consecration, and remits the building and all objects in it for any lawful and reputable use in accordance with the laws of the land. After the Declaration of Secularization is read, the presiding minister and people say the Lord's Prayer. The presiding minister says the concluding prayers. The peace may be exchanged at the end of the service.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.