Liturgy by TLW



Dedication of a Parish Hall

By The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



As I prepared for the Dedication of a new Fellowship Hall at Shiloh, Walton, IN, in 1996, I became aware of the complete lack of material to make this a special occasion. After spending perhaps years of effort, prayer, planning, visioning, fund raising, and actual construction, I found that the offering in the Occasional Services 1982 of an introduction and a prayer a little lacking.


Therefore, I offer the following for a Eucharist that would lead in procession to the new site following the Post-Communion Prayer. It includes a Eucharistic Prayer of the Master Builder. During green seasons, the color may be red (for festivals of the church):





Entrance Hymn  "The Church's One Foundation"


Dialog of Praise:

A. The Lord's are the earth and its fullness,
C. The world and those who dwell in it.


A. He set the earth on its foundations,
C. So that it shall never be shaken.


A. What can we do without the Lord's help?
C. With God, all things are possible.


A. Every house is built by someone,
C. But the builder of all things is God.


A. So praise the Lord who made heaven and earth.
C. Praise the Lord who blesses us abundantly.


A. He has built a house for his holy work.
C. In our midst, he has done marvellous things.


A. Praise the Lord, who builds his kingdom with his people.
C. Praise the Lord, whose foundation is Christ, the chief cornerstone.


Hymn of Praise:  "Doxology"

Apostolic Greeting

Prayer of the Day (#220 from Occ. Serv. "Dedication of a Church Building")



Greetings and Announcements

First Lesson: Neh. 2:17-20a, 4:6

Second Lesson:  Heb. 3:1-6

Hymn  "God's Word Is Our Great Heritage"

Gospel:  Mt. 5:2,13-14


Hymn of Day   "The Church of Christ"


Litany of Thanksgiving at Dedication:

A. With praise and thanksgiving, let us pray to God, through whom all things are accomplished:
          Eternal God and Creator of all things, we give you high praise for the good work you do among us:
C. We give you thanks, O Lord.


A. For our baptism in faith, for your forgiveness of our sins, for the founding of our church and for its sustaining by your gracious hand:
C. We give you thanks, O Lord.


A. For the unity of the Holy Spirit, for the saving work of your Son, Jesus our Lord, in whose name you give us our mission.
C. We give you thanks, O Lord.


A. For bringing our present work to completion in a new Parish Hall, which we dedicate to your glory:
C. We give you thanks, O Lord.


A. For those who you inspired with this vision and those who helped to bring it about:
C. We give you thanks, O Lord.


A. For those who contributed their knowledge and gifts and those who contributed their sweat and labor:
C. We give you thanks, O Lord.


A. For those who prayed for this great gift, but who have been taken into your heavenly care before seeing it accomplished:
C. We give you thanks, O Lord.


A. Grant, by your grace, that all who enter into this place may know the blessings of your Son, Jesus Christ:
C. Hear our prayer.


A. Grant that those who will use this hall may deepen their participation in parish life:
C. Hear our prayer.


A. Grant that strangers and sojourners may feel a sense of welcome here in the Lord:
C. Hear our prayer.


A. May faith abide in this place:
C. In the name of the Father.


A. May love abound in this place:
C. In the name of the Son.


A. And may your presence be known in this place:
C. In the name of the Holy Spirit.


A. Use this building for your holy purpose, O God.
C. Use us as living stones to do your will.


P. Holy God, Mighty Lord, you bless us in so many ways with your gifts, and now especially with the gift of this new building. May its use bring all honor and glory to you, and advance the kingdom of your Son; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
C. Amen






Hymn during Offering:   "Built on a Rock"


Offertory Prayer:

A. Let us pray. Gracious Lord,
C. we offer to you a part of ourselves and a part of our church: brick and mortar, wood and nail, bread and wine, hands to do your will, hearts that are ready to serve. Accept them for the sake of him who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Great Thanksgiving

P. The Lord be with you.

C. And also with you.


P. Lift up your hearts.

C. We lift them to the Lord.


P. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C. It is right to give our thanks and praise.


Eucharistic Prayer of the Master Builder:

P. We give you thanks, Almighty God, for in the beginning, you set the earth upon its foundations and created all that exists. As master builder and architect of the universe, you fashioned the orders of the world and humankind in your own image. You built for yourself the kingdom of heaven and marked out the limits of the earth. And when your master work was complete, you called to yourself a people to be your own. You blessed them with gifts and made them a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. And when they turned from you in their sin, you sent forth your own Son, a humble carpenter from Nazareth, to show us your love, to forgive us our sins, and to bring us into the eternal kingdom that you had built. It is he who has built us into a Church as living stones in your house of love. For all this, we praise you and join the hosts of heaven in their unending hymn:

C. (spoken) Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of pow'r and might: Heav'n and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.


P. And so, Father, as living stones built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, we who have been redeemed by him come humbly into your presence and gather at the table to which he has called us, that we might receive your grace and find strength to do your will and to continue to build for your kingdom.

    In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

    Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

    With joy and with thanksgiving, almighty God, we proclaim the mystery of faith:

C. Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!


P. Therefore, O Father, with this bread and cup, we remember all that the Savior taught and all that he promised. We remember his example of faith and his witness to your love. We remember his establishment of the church, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. And we remember his life-giving sacrifice and death, his glorious resurrection, and his ascension to your right hand. We look to the day when he shall come again and announce to all the saved, "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

C. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


P. We lift this bread and cup before you, O Lord, as an offering of sacrifice and praise. Send down your Holy Spirit upon these gifts, that they may be the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Send down your Holy Spirit upon us also, that, in the sharing of this bread and cup, we may be sanctified in grace and built into a holy fellowship of unity and peace.

C. Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.


P. Great Architect of our Salvation, accept our prayers and praises for the sake of him who is our High Priest, Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, your Church gives honor and glory forever and ever.

C. Amen


Our Father




Post-Communion Prayer



P. Let us go forth in peace,
C. In the name of our Lord.


Processional Hymn  "Lift High the Cross" (print words in bulletin)



P. Brothers and sisters in Christ, after much prayer, planning, and work by so many members of this parish, we come here now to bless and dedicate this new Parish Hall to the glory of God. It will be a center for parish activities, a place where community and church come together, a place where people get to know one another and give witness to faith in Christ.

    Hear what the apostle Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians: "We are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ." (3:9-11)



A. The word of the Lord is upright:
C. All his work is done in faithfulness.


A. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
C. And prosper for us the work of our hands.


A. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
C. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen


Brief History of the Building Project, Reading of Letters of Congratulations, Reading of Memorial Names, Reading of Goals for Building Use.


Examination of Intent

P. People of God, you have heard the history and the goals for the building which you undertook to complete. Almighty God has clearly blessed you in your undertaking and guided your good work to completion. Is it your intention now to abide by these goals and to dedicate this building to God's service, for the advancement of the gospel, the fellowship of believers, and the witness of Christ's love in your community?
C. It is our intent, by the help of God.


Dedication Prayer

P.  Let us pray.  Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe. Your gifts are many, and in wisdom you have made all things to give you glory. Be with us now and bless us as we dedicate this new Parish/Fellowship Hall to your praise and honor.  Give us joy in all your works, and grant that this Parish/Fellowship Hall may always be a place where your will is done and your name is glorified;  through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  (#519)

C. Amen


P. All your works praise you, O Lord.

C. And your faithful servants bless you.