Throughout history, holy places have been treated with reverence, whether that reverence was shown by limiting access to the site, filling it with holy objects or by performing rituals. Today, many modern churches take the time to celebrate and bless their new buildings with a dedication ceremony. The details of the ceremony vary depending on the church's denomination, but most of them have similar components, which can include praise, worship, a speech or sermon and a prayer.
Welcome everyone to the dedication with a short speech thanking them for coming. Many churches choose to do this at a location outside of the building. At this time, you may choose to talk about what the church building will be used for or thank specific people or businesses for donating toward the cost.
Pray and ask for blessings on the new church building. You may want to ask for specific blessings that pertain to the function of the building. For example, if it is to serve as a recreation center for the youth of the church, you may ask that it be a safe place for youth to gather and enjoy socializing.
Enter the building and sing some praise songs or hymns, depending on your church's worship preference. This should be a time of celebration and thankfulness.
Give a brief dedication sermon. Many religions will include scripture pertaining to the theme of the dedication such as praise, gratitude or holiness. Or, you may choose to plan a sermon relating to the use of the building. This may include a call and response session, where the leader asks the audience to confirm their commitment to maintaining and preserving or encouraging the purpose of the building.
Conclude with another prayer and thank everyone for coming.
Consider hosting a potluck or other social function after the formal dedication ceremony. The food and company will help bring the members of the church closer together, and will serve as a thank you for those who came to help dedicate the building.
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