Consecration (religion)

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Consecration of Cluny by Pope Urban II.

An ordination (from ancient Germanic Weiha- , "holy, consecrated, numinos") is a religious ceremony that can relate to people or things.

In the old religions and natural cults, people with a special religious vocation were consecrated - ( shamans , priests , prophets , kings ). The Catholic , Orthodox and Anglican churches know the sacrament of ordination (episcopal, priestly and deacon ordination), the Christian community the sacrament of priestly ordination .

The Latin language differentiates between ordinatio (sacrament of consecration), consecratio (consecration) and benedictio ( blessing ). The rendering of these terms in German by consecration or blessing is partly inconsistent in church texts and in linguistic usage.

What the terms have in common is that a grace should be conveyed through symbolic actions and usually by saying a prayer of consecration . Consecration means that the consecrated person is no longer intended for normal, profane “use” in the future and in the long term , but for another, religious and symbolic-symbolic use. Someone or something is withdrawn from worldly "use" and placed in the sole service of God. But everyday blessings such as sprinkling with holy water (cf. Asperges ) should also ensure that the life of this person or the normal, profane use of the object is under the blessing of God.

The ordination is in the above churches ordination and permanent assignment to serve as Bishop, Priest or Deacon and according to the teaching of the above churches, a sacrament . The consecration of a virgin , which is a consecration , and the benediction of an abbot or abbess are sacramentals ; however, their donation is reserved for the local bishop .

Places or things can be blessed, for example with the consecration of churches , altars , consecration of flags , bells and candles , house blessings , blessings of meals and the blessing of animals . Certain times (the Triduum Sacrum , Holy Week or "Christmas" ) and certain places ( churches , places of pilgrimage ) are called "consecrated".

The term inauguration refers in particular to the solemn form of handing over buildings to the public.

See also


  • Müller, Gerhard Ludwig, Felmy, Karl Christian, Hofhansl, Ernst W. and Germann, Michael, “Weihe / Weihehandlungen”, in: Religion in Past and Present [RGG, 4th edition 2005, Brill online 2011]. Consulted online on 14 July 2019 < >

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Friedrich Kluge : Etymological dictionary of the German language. Edited by Elmar Seebold . 23rd, extended edition, unchanged reprint, anniversary special edition. de Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1999, ISBN 3-11-016392-6 , p. 881 f.
  2. Initiation in Duden, accessed on April 12, 2019