August 3, 2015
“There stood an angel at the altar of the temple, having a golden censer in his hand, and there was given to him much incense, and the smoke of the incense went up before God, Alleluia. “ (Apoc. viii 3, 4)
Thus does the Bishop speak when he is incensing the altar at its consecration. The rite of consecrating an altar of sacrifice can be traced back into the Old Testament. We read in Genesis that Jacob even anointed without oil the stone memorial he set up before God when he vowed his vow to the Lord of Hosts.
On the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Year of Our Lord 2015, His Excellency Edward Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma, consecrated the newly hewn marble altar of the Church of the Most Precious Blood. This solemn event was followed by Pontifical High Mass, where His Excellency was assisted by Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, FSSP; Fr. Angelo van der Putten, FSSP, the former pastor of the apostolate, as deacon; and Fr. William Define, FSSP, the current pastor of Most Precious Blood Parish, as subdeacon.
From the solemn procession with the relics of the martyrs that are enclosed in the sepulcher of the altar — St. Justin Marytr, St. Maria Goretti, and an ancient, unnamed martyr, to the fires lighted upon the five crosses engraved in the marble mensa, the ceremony is one of the most elaborate in the Roman Church. The reason for this is that upon this altar the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. Here the sacrifice of Calvary is renewed, and here upon this sanctified altar will Christ dwell in the true presence of the Eucharist in the tabernacle.
May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, be praised, loved, and adored, in all the tabernacles of the world, even unto the end of time.
(our thanks to Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, FSSP, for the contribution of this article)