Bishop Richard F. Stika has announced that a Mass of dedication for the new Sacred Heart Cathedral will be celebrated on Saturday, March 3, 2018. An exact time will be announced at a later date.
Bishop Stika said the Mass and Rite of Dedication of a church and its altar is one of the most solemn liturgical celebrations in the Catholic Church. The rite is sacred and dates back to the early years of the Church. He noted that the Mass and the rite will elevate “this beautiful structure into holiness.”
“The Mass and Rite of Dedication of the Cathedral will be a truly historic event in the history of our young diocese. It is a beautiful and elaborate ceremony in which the walls will be anointed, the baptistery, ambo and tabernacle will be blessed as well as so many other items that play an important role in the liturgical space of a building,” he said.
“Special emphasis will be given to the altar of sacrifice, which will be anointed with the Holy Chrism that will indeed set it apart from just serving as a marble table. It will be in a very sacramental way Jesus himself. Also, the blessing of the cathedra (chair of the bishop) will be a focal point for it is from this word in Latin that the name cathedral is drawn from. The cathedral is the mother church of the diocese from which the bishop presides from his chair,” the bishop added. “From the dedication on, March 3 will be a day of celebration in the Diocese of Knoxville and will be remembered in a special way at all of our parishes in years to come. Bishops from around the country and even in other parts of the world will be invited to attend. But truly it will be a celebration for all the faithful of the Catholic Church in East Tennessee.