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The '''Consecration of a church''' (
Εγκαινια Ναου) is the service of sanctification and solemn dedication of a building for use as a [[church]]. The [[consecration]] of a church is a complex service that is filled with profound symbolisms. Many biblical elements are taken from the [[Old Testament]]: the Consecration of the Tabernacle ([[Exodus]] 40) and of the Temple of Solomon ([[III Kingdoms|1 Kings]] 8; [[II Paraleipomenon|2 Chronicles]] 5-7).
===Vesting the altar table===
While Psalm 132 is read, a white linen cloth, representing the Lord's burial shroud, is laid over the altar table. The cloth, called the ''[[katasarkion]]'', is tied on the table with a [[cord]] that represents the cord with which our Lord's hands were tied when he stood before the high priests. The katasarkion is permanently installed, to remain as long as the church stands. After washing his hands, the bishop now covers the altar table with a more ornate cover, the [[Endyton|endyton]], that symbolizes the glory of God and places the other holy articles, including the antimins, [[Gospel Book]], the [[artophorion]], and candle sticks, on the altar table, as the reader reads Psalm 93.
===Anointing the church and conclusion===