Non Solum: Inaugurating an Old/New Space

A reader recently submitted the following question:

I am a member of a small Catholic intentional community. In about a month, we will be moving from our current home to a larger, former convent building. This new building contains a small chapel which we will use for our daily celebrations of the Liturgy of the Hours and a regular weekday Mass. We are looking for resources or ideas on how to ritually mark this transition of praying as a community in a new space. The rite of dedication would not be appropriate, as we know that this was done shortly after the building was constructed. After the sisters departed, the building sat empty for a few years, so it feels appropriate to “inaugurate” the space in some way. Does anyone have any resources or ideas they would like to share?

As our religious communities (parishes, religious houses, seminaries etc.) continue to close and are subsequently re-purposed, liturgies marking a change in their usage will increasingly be needed.


  1. It seems that a “Red Mass” (votive mass of the Holy Spirit) or a Mass of Thanksgiving (white/gold vestments) would be the most appropriate “inaugural” liturgy. Depending on the choice of mass formulary, either the “Veni Creator” or the “Te Deum” could be sung at the conclusion of the liturgy. It might also be an appropriate occasion to have a combined celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours with the Mass (cf. GILH 93-99).

  2. The work done by diocesan pastoral planners in connection with parish mergers has included efforts to develop appropriate rituals for changes in parish communities. It may be worthwhile to contact a nearby member of the Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development (, or you could search the Internet for such resources.

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