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Liturgical Press

New Church, New Altar

A Commentary on the Order of Dedication of a Church and an Altar

Paul Turner

New Church, New Altar
New Church, New Altar

ISBN: 9780814666593, 6659

Details: 192 pgs, 5 3/8 x 8 1/4 x 3/8
Publication Date: 09/10/2021

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The dedication of a new church or altar is a rare event that too few Catholic faithful and clergy are privileged to experience. When it happens, people have questions about the history, spirituality, and practical aspects of this amazing liturgy. This book by pastor and liturgical scholar, Fr. Paul Turner, will especially aid parish leadership in celebrating this rite with greater understanding.

In addition to the dedication of a new parish church, this book covers all of the other instances from this part of the Roman Pontifical: Laying the foundation stone, dedicating a church already in use, dedicating a new altar inside an older church, blessing a church to be used as a chapel or oratory, blessing an altar for a similar purpose, and the blessing of a chalice and paten. Essential for any serious student of the liturgy and helpful to those planning any of these celebrations, New Church, New Altar will expand the reader’s appreciation of these unusual liturgies so beautifully reformed after the Second Vatican Council.

Paul Turner is pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri and director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. He holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Sant' Anselmo in Rome. His publications include: Ars Celebrandi: Celebrating and Concelebrating Mass, The Stations of the Cross in Atonement for Abuse and for the Healing of All, Glory in the Cross, Let Us Pray, Inseparable Love, One Love, Whose Mass Is It? Light in the Darkness, and When Other Christians Become Catholic published by Liturgical Press. He is a contributor to Give Us This Day.


"Equal parts commentary on the rites and ecclesiology, Paul Turner’s latest book, New Church, New Altar: A Commentary on the Order of Dedication of a Church and an Altar, is essential reading for anyone building a church. It seamlessly weaves together the various rites, their history and meaning, and the applicable liturgical law to reveal that building a church is never just a construction project: it is also for and about 'building up spiritually the people of God into a dwelling place for God with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone' (Ephesians 2:21). And if you’re not building a church, don’t ignore this gem: use it to guide your community into a mystagogical reflection on how your church building and the rites that dedicate it reveal what it means to be church–living stones, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood."
Bernadette Gasslein, Editor, Worship

“Fr. Paul Turner has produced a wonderful commentary including rich historical references for a ritual that few people ever get to experience in person. Vicariously we can experience it through his writing.”
Michael S. Driscoll, Professor Emeritus of Theology, University of Notre Dame