Consecration Sunday - Reflection by Dean Sue
Read Dean Sue's reflection for Wednesday, 14 July, 2021.
Consecration Sunday is one of the liturgical highlights in the life of Liverpool Cathedral. In 1924 this building was consecrated. To consecrate a building is to set apart the building for God. So for nearly 100 years this building has been set apart as a place of worship to God.
This place, sat on this hill, seen from many parts of the diocese, is a visual symbol of the greatness of God. It is a sacramental place where people come and have come to pray and to reflect on the bigger questions of life for over a hundred years.
It is a place that offers hospitality, it is a place of encounter. It is a place that offers people a common ground, to come and be and to reflect. It is a place which is open to all of faith and no faith. It is a place for the seeker, it is a place for the committed. It is a place where justice is lived out.
Ninety-seven years ago this place began its witness to something greater than itself and the first Liturgy to consecrate this building speaks about the Cathedrals place in the bigger story of Christ’s resurrection hope to all people.
Our Archivist Canon Val Jackson speaks about that first Consecration Sunday and its service to consecrate this building to the Glory of God.
The First Consecration service was held on July 19th 1924 in the presence of King George V and Queen Mary. The service order tells us that it is the “Form and Order of the service that is to be performed and of the Ceremonies that are to be observed in the Consecration of the Cathedral Church of Christ Liverpool.” The service was led by Bishop Albert Augustus. It is recorded that the meaning of the ceremonies should have an inward and spiritual meaning. At the service in 1924 it was the Bishop who traced the sign of Alpha and Omega with his crozier as the choir sang Veni Creator Spiritus. The Holy scriptures were read by members of the Cathedral Chapter at places of dedication. This was followed by the witness of the Consecration on stone and parchment. The Bishop laid his hand on the pillar of consecration and making his mark of consecration said these words. “This dwelling is God’s habitation, it is a possession above all price which may not be spoken against.” The King and Queen witnessed the signing of the Deed of Consecration using ink and quill for the signing , the ladle for the seal and the sand for the signature. The Bishop having satisfied himself that all is in order signed the Sentence of Consecration before pronouncing the following words.
By virtue of our sacred office in the Church of God we do now declare to be consecrate, and forever set apart from all profane and common uses this House of God, under the dedication of the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
To see the services we will offer this Consecration Sunday, online and in person, check out our website: www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk/.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.