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Dedication and Consecration of a Church, The 

The consecration of a church building was traditionally associated with its first use. This connection was broken by a canon enacted in 1868. It required the building and its ground to be fully paid for and free of debt or legal encumbrances when consecrated. The 1979 BCP once again connects first use of the church building and consecration. As a practical reality, depending on the bishop's schedule, the service of consecration may not be the very first service in the new building. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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