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At a consecration the ceremonies are more solemn and elaborate than at a blessing.The ordinary minister of a consecration is a bishop, whilst the ordinary minister of a blessing is a priest.When we speak of consecration without any special qualification, we ordinarily understand it as the act by which, in the celebration of Holy Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. The day of consecration should be a Sunday or the feast of an Apostle, that is to say a dies natalitia , and not merely a day which commemorates some event of his life, e.g. The choice of any other day must be ratified by special indult of the Holy See. According to the ancient canons, both the consecrator and the bishop-elect are expected to observe the day preceding the consecration as a fast day.It is called transubstantiation , for in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of bread and wine do not remain, but the entire substance of bread is changed into the body of Christ, and the entire substance of wine is changed into His blood, the species or outward semblance of bread and wine alone remaining. Outside of Rome the consecration out to be performed, if it can be conveniently done, in the cathedral of the diocese, and within the province of the bishop-elect; the latter may, however, select any church or chapel for the ceremony. Titular bishops forfeit their right of episcopal dignity unless they are consecrated within six months of their appointment ( Benedict XIV, Const. The ceremony of consecration of a bishop is one of the most splendid and impressive known to the Church.The rite of their consecration is described in Numbers, viii.
The Church distinguishes consecration from blessing, both in regard to persons and to things.At every consecration the holy oils are used; at a blessing customarily on holy water.The new state to which consecration elevates persons or things is permanent, and the rite can never be repeated, which is not the case at a blessing ; the graces attached to consecration are more numerous and efficacious than those attached to a blessing ; the profanation of a consecrated person or thing carries with it a new species of sin, namely sacrilege, which the profanation of a blessed person or thing does not always do.An archbishop was consecrated by one of his suffragans, the senior being usually selected. The consecrator is seated on a faldstool placed on the predella of the altar, facing the bishop-elect, who sits between the assistant bishops, upon a seat placed on the sanctuary floor.
If the bishop-elect was not a suffragan of any ecclesiastical province, the nearest bishop performed the ceremony. If the consecration takes place in Rome, and the bishop-elect receives the permission to choose the consecrator, he must select a cardinal who is a bishop, or one of the four titular Latin patriarchs residing in Rome. The senior assistant bishop presents the elect to the consecrator, after which the Apostolic commission is called for and read.It implied the voluntary separation from certain things, dedication to God, and a vow of special sanctity.