Office for Laying the Foundation Stone of a Church or Chapel




All things being ready, the Bishop, or other person duly authorized by him, shall say:

IN the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

EXCEPT the Lord build the house, their labour is but lost that build it.

Bishop. Our help is in the Name of the Lord;
Answer. Who hath made heaven and earth.
Bishop. O Lord, hear our prayer;
Answer. And let our cry come unto thee.
Bishop. Blessed be the Name of the Lord;
Answer. From this time forth for evermore.

Then shall be said or sung Psalm 84.

Then shall be read this Lesson.

Ezra 3. 10.

AND when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Then shall be sung Jubilate Deo, page 457, or a Hymn.

Then shall the Bishop say:

Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious;
Answer. And he that believeth in him shall not be confounded.
Bishop. The stone which the builders refused;
Answer. Is become the head-stone of the comer.
Bishop. This is the Lord’s doing;
Answer. And it is marvellous in our eyes.
Bishop. Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid;
Answer. Which is Jesus Christ.
Bishop. Praise ye the Lord;
Answer. The Lord’s Name be praised.

Then the Bishop, laying his hand upon the stone, shall say:

O LORD Jesu Christ, Son of the living God, who art the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person; the one foundation, and the chief corner-stone: Bless what we now do in laying this stone in thy Name, and be thou, we beseech thee, the beginning, the increase, and the consummation of this work, which is undertaken to thy glory; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

Then, all things being made ready, the stone shall be laid, by the person appointed thereto, with these words:

IN the faith of Jesus Christ, we lay this foundation stone, In the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then shall the Bishop say:

HERE let true faith, the fear of God, and brotherly love ever remain. This place is set apart for prayer, and for the praise of the most holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who ever liveth with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Then shall the Bishop say:

The Lord be with you;
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Bishop. Let us pray.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

O ETERNAL God, mighty in power, of infinite majesty, whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, much less the walls of temples made with hands; who yet hast promised to be present wherever two or three are gathered together In thy Name: Direct and bless, we pray thee, our efforts to build this house for thy worship and service, and grant us such successas may tend to thy glory and the salvation of thy people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, who art the shield and defence of thy people: Be ever at hand, we beseech thee, to protect and succour the builders of this house; keep them, in their building, from all sin and profaneness, and shelter them from all accident and peril; that the work, which through thy mercy hath now been begun, may by their labour be brought to a happy end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, who hast laid in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, upon whom alone thou dost build the living temple of thy Church: Grant unto the work of thine own hands continual increase of glory and spiritual strength, and daily make thy people more meet for the eternal tabernacle of thy rest in the heavens; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Spirit, be honour and glory, now and for evermore. Amen.

An Address may be given.

After a Hymn has been sung, during which a collection may be made, the Bishop shall say the following Prayers.

PREVENT us, O Lord, In all our doings with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast built thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner-stone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE LORD bless you, and keep you. The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace, both now and evermore. Amen.