7. Thanksgiving for a Church Building

7. Thanksgiving for a Church Building




Special Service

¶ The congregation may stand, and the following portions from the Psalms may be read by the presiding minister and/or the people. It should be noted by the presiding minister that references to the House of God are to be understood in the New Testament as references to the Church which is God’s people and not a building.

“Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; it is He Who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all genera­tions.” Psalm 100

“I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together: Where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to the testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love You. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, Peace be within you. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.” Psalm 122

“How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will be still praising You. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:1-4,10

“The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, the world, and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters. Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands, and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! And lift them up, you everlasting doors! and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory.” Psalm 24

¶ The minister shall say:

BELOVED IN THE LORD: We are gathered to set apart this house for the worship of the one living and true God. Let us then dedicate this place to our use for His worship.

Minister: In gratitude for the gracious keeping of the divine covenant throughout past generations, in reliance upon the promise that the gates of hell will

People : We dedicate this house for the worship of God in praise and prayer, for the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God and for the celebration of the Holy Sacraments.

¶ Then the minister shall say:

Beloved in the Lord: Seeing that it has pleased Almighty God to prosper us in our undertaking to build (or secure) a house for His worship, let us now invoke His abiding blessing, to the end that pure apostolic doctrine and order may be maintained here, and that the Holy Spirit may make His own ordinances effective. In so doing let us reverently look to Him in PRAYER:

PRAYER:

Almighty and everlasting God, Maker of heaven and earth, we thank You that You dwell in the high and holy place, but also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit. We adore You for Your manifold perfections, for the infinite majesty and glorious beauty of Your being, and for the truthfulness and sanctity of Your divine revelation.

We thank You for Your infinite mercies to us, and in particular, for the gift of Your Son to be our Savior. We praise You for the Church of God, of which He is the only Head and King and of which we are but humble and imperfect members. We acknowledge that we are not worthy to receive the blessings of good providence from Your hand. We especially recognize the abundance of Your great goodness in granting us membership in the Church universal, the spiritual Body of Christ, through Your particular grace.

And now You have put it into our hearts to prepare this house of worship where men may gather for Your service. We earnestly pray that You will watch over and protect this place which we have dedicated in Your name. Please grant that only the pure gospel of the free grace of God may be preached here. May all that is proclaimed be firmly grounded upon the unchanging foundation of Holy Scripture. Grant that no portion of Your sacred revelation may be neglected, but that Your servants who minister here will give due regard to all its parts and thus exhibit its majesty and scope. We pray that by the favor of Your Spirit sinners may be converted to You in this house, and that the saints of God, the members of Your holy body, may be edified and sanctified by the proclamation of Your matchless Word.

May the Holy Spirit of God always be present to guide and illumine those who teach here. May He prepare the hearts of the hearers to receive with meekness the instruction which is presented, so that their lives may truly adorn the doctrine of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

May this house serve to the extension of the kingdom of God. Teach us also to look for the return of the Lord of glory so that we will be renewed in our present service of Him. May we always be prepared to greet Him and to enter with Him into the marriage supper of the Lamb, to dwell forever not in this earthly house but in that holy city where they need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lamb is its light.

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

¶ An appropriate Psalm or hymn may be sung.

¶ Sermon

¶ Benediction and Doxology.

 

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