Tomorrow is the 72nd anniversary of the consecration of our church by Bishop Cyril Cowderoy, twelve years after the building was finished before the war. Vigil Mass this evening at 6, Mass tomorrow at 10 and 6. The consecration candles will be lit around the church, marking the places where the bishop anointed the walls during the ceremony. Catholic Churches are set apart for the worship of God – so they can’t be used for other purposes. The consecration of a special building affirms the doctrine of the Incarnation, because God enables us to use his material gifts to give glory to him – so the beauty in our church building helps us see that the physical world is important; the gifts of artists, architects, musicians and others are signs of God’s love for humanity. We try and thank God for this by returning love to him through church buildings and religious art which glorify him. So church buildings are important: we behave reverently inside them, and we help when we can to contribute towards their upkeep.
We should pray on this Dedication festival for God’s continued blessings for our parish as we gradually return to fitting worship in our building, and pray for the souls of Bishop Cowderoy, Father Byrne, and the architects and builders of our church.