“Through his death and resurrection, Christ became the true and perfect temple of the New Covenant and gathered together a people to be his own.
This holy people, made one as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one, is the Church that is, the temple of God built of living stones (cf. 1 Pt 2:5), where the Father is worshiped in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24).
Rightly, then, from early times “church” has also been the name given to the building in which the Christian community gathers to hear the word of God, to pray together, to receive the sacraments, and to celebrate the Eucharist.
Because the church is a visible building, it stands as a special sign of the pilgrim Church on earth and reflects the Church dwelling in heaven” (RDCA 1 and 2).
Moreover, the Cathedral Church is so important to a diocese because “it is the site of the bishop’s cathedra, the sign of his teaching office and pastoral power in the particular Church, and a sign of the unity of the believers in faith that the bishop proclaims as shepherd of the Lord’s flock” (CB, 42).
Every year the local Church celebrates the feast of the dedication of the Cathedral Church. The RDCA No. 7 states that: “A day should be chosen for the dedication of the new church when the people can be present in large numbers, especially a Sunday.”
Ten years ago, Bishop Socrates Villegas of the Ecclesiastical District of Cubao presided the solemn consecration of the new altar of the Immaculate Conception Parish. This is in lieu of the requirement of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission that future cathedrals of the new suffragans of Manila must be dedicated and/or have a consecrated altar. For the Diocese of Cubao, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral celebrates her dedication every August 14.
RDCA 26: “In order that the importance and dignity of the local Church may stand out with greater clarity, the anniversary of the dedication of its cathedral is to be celebrated, with the rank of a solemnity in the cathedral itself, with the rank of a feast in the other churches of the diocese, on the date on which the dedication of the church recurs.”
Therefore, the following prayers and readings will be used:
LITURGY OF THE HOURS
Major Hours: Common of the Dedication the Church
Divine Office: with “Te Deum”
Prayer: Outside the dedicated church
Prayers: Common of the Dedication of a Church: Outside the dedicated church
Preface: Dedication of a Church
Readings: Common of the Dedication of a Church
As we celebrate in our own parishes and communities in the diocese this wonderful feast of our Local Church, this is a way to enrich the liturgical and ecclesial spirituality of the faithful. As Fr. Chupungco said in one of his talks: “Liturgical spirituality demands that all celebrate the liturgy in union and communion with the entire Church, whose local head is the bishop.”
Let us unite our parishes, our communities, and ourselves to the Church of Cubao, so that together, with one heart and one voice, we pray: “Renew by the light of the gospel the Church of Cubao. Strengthen the bonds of unity between the faithful and their pastors, that together with Benedict our pope, Honesto our bishop, and the whole college of bishops, your people may stand forth in a world torn by strife and discord as a sign of oneness and peace” (Eucharistic Prayer I for Various Needs and Occasions).