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kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this we beseech thee, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer. Amen.
THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore.Amen.
SERVICE FOR LAYING THE CORNER-STONE OF A CHURCH.*
¶ The minister standing at or near the place where the stone is to be laid, shall say to the congregation:
ELOVED BRETHREN: In all ages of the world good men have had their sacred places consecrated to the worship of the Most High. Thus Jacob erected a pillar in Bethel, and poured oil upon it, saying, "This is God's house." Moses built and consecrated a tabernacle in the desert; and Solomon built and dedicated a temple for the Lord, which he filled with the glory of his presence before all the people. So you have purposed in your hearts to build a house for the Lord; and we are now assembled to lay the corner-stone of this new house of prayer, a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. And let us not doubt but that he will favorably approve our godly purpose, and let us devoutly unite in singing his praise, and in prayer for his blessing upon this our undertaking.
*This and the next following chapter are taken mainly from the proposed ritual mentioned in the note on page 24.
¶ Then let a hymn be sung, after which let the following, or an appropriate extemporaneous prayer be offered:
OST glorious God: Heaven is thy throne and the earth thy footstool: what house then can be built for thee, or where is the place of thy rest? Yet, blessed be thy name, O Lord God, that it hath pleased thee to have thy habitation among the sons of men, and to dwell in the assemblies of thy saints upon the earth. And now, especially, we render thanks unto thy holy name that it hath pleased thee to put it into the hearts of thy servants to erect in this place a house to thy honor and worship. We thank thee for thy grace which has inclined them to contribute of their substance for the glory of thy name: and we pray thee, to continue thy blessing upon their pious undertaking. Amen.
May many unite with them in their holy work, until this habitation of thy house shall be complete, and ready for dedication to thy service, free from all debt or claim of man. Amen.
May peace and harmony prevail in the counsels of thy servants, and may no selfish or divided aims find place among them. May the work of this building be completed without hurt or accident to any person. And when thou shalt have prospered the work of their hands upon them, and this house shall be prepared and finished for thy service, grant that all who shall enjoy the benefit of this pious work, may show forth their thankfulness, by making a right use of it, to the glory of thy
blessed name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Grant that all who shall hereafter worship thee in the temple here to be builded, may so serve and please thee in all holy exercises of godliness, that in the end they may come to thy temple on high, to be numbered with thy saints in glory everlasting. Amen.
Hear us, O Lord, for thou art our God in whom we trust. And when we shall cease to pray unto thee on earth, may we, with all those who in like manner have erected such places to thy name, and with all thy saints and redeemed ones, eternally praise thee for all thy goodness. vouchsafed unto us here on earth and laid up for us there in heaven. Amen.
Accept these our prayers, we beseech thee, for the sake of thy dear Son, and to thee, the only true and living God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be honor, praise, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Then may be read the Psalm cxxxii., and 1 Cor. iii. 9-23, which need not here be inserted, as they should be read from the Bible.
Then shall follow the sermon, or an address suitable to the occasion, after which the contributions of the people shall be received.
¶ Then shall the minister, standing by the stone, exhibit to the congregation to be placed in an excavation of the stone, and a list of its contents should be read; after which the minister may deposit the box in the stone and cover it: and the stone shall be laid and adjusted by the minister, assisted by the builder.
¶ Let the minister then strike the stone with a hammer three times, and say:
the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost, we lay this cornerstone for the foundation of a house to be
builded and consecrated to the service of Almighty God, according to the order and usages of the Church. Amen.
¶Or what some may regard as preferable.
NOR the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom in the earth, and for the glory of HIS name, we lay the corner-stone of this house of God, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
The service may then conclude with extemporary prayer and the benediction.