PART III : SACRED PLACES AND TIMES
TITLE I: SACRED PLACES
Can. 1206 The dedication of a place belongs to the diocesan Bishop and to those equivalent to him in law. For a dedication in their own territory they can depute any Bishop or, in exceptional cases, a priest.
Can. 1208 A document is to be drawn up to record the dedication or blessing of a church, or the blessing of a cemetery. One copy is to be kept in the diocesan curia, the other in the archive of the church.
Can. 1210 In a sacred place only those things are to be permitted which serve to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion. Anything out of harmony with the holiness of the place is forbidden. The Ordinary may however, for individual cases, permit other uses, provided they are not contrary to the sacred character of the place.
Can. 1211 Sacred places are desecrated by acts done in them which are gravely injurious and give scandal to the faithful when, in the judgement of the local Ordinary, these acts are so serious and so contrary to the sacred character of the place that worship may not be held there until the harm is repaired by means of the penitential rite which is prescribed in the liturgical books.
Can. 1212 Sacred places lose their dedication or blessing if they have been in great measure destroyed, or if they have been permanently made over to secular usage, whether by decree of the competent Ordinary or simply in fact.
CHAPTER I : CHURCHES
§2 The diocesan Bishop is not to give his consent until he has consulted the council of priests and the rectors of neighbouring churches, and then decides that the new church can serve the good of souls and that the necessary means will be available to build the church and to provide for divine worship.
§3 Even though they have received the diocesan Bishop's consent to establish a new house in a diocese or city, religious institutes must obtain the same Bishop's permission before they may build a church in a specific and determined place.
Can. 1219 All acts of divine worship may be carried out in a church which has been lawfully dedicated or blessed, without prejudice to parochial rights.
Can. 1220 §1 Those responsible are to ensure that there is in churches such cleanliness and ornamentation as befits the house of God, and that anything which is discordant with the sacred character of the place is excluded.
Can. 1222 §1 If a church cannot in any way be used for divine worship and there is no possibility of its being restored, the diocesan Bishop may allow it to be used for some secular but not unbecoming purpose.
§2 Where other grave reasons suggest that a particular church should no longer be used for divine worship, the diocesan Bishop may allow it to be used for a secular but not unbecoming purpose. Before doing so, he must consult the council of priests; he must also have the consent of those who could lawfully claim rights over that church, and be sure that the good of souls would not be harmed by the transfer.
CHAPTER II : ORATORIES AND PRIVATE CHAPELS
Can. 1223 An oratory means a place which, by permission of the Ordinary, is set aside for divine worship, for the convenience of some community or group of the faithful who assemble there, to which however other members of the faithful may, with the consent of the competent Superior, have access.
Can. 1224 §1 The Ordinary is not to give the permission required for setting up an oratory unless he has first, personally or through another, inspected the place destined for the oratory and found it to be becomingly arranged.
Can. 1229 It is appropriate that oratories and private chapels be blessed according to the rite prescribed in the liturgical books. They must, however, be reserved for divine worship only and be freed from all domestic use.
CHAPTER III : SHRINES
Can. 1234 §1 At shrines the means of salvation are to be more abundantly made available to the faithful: by sedulous proclamation of the word of God, by suitable encouragement of liturgical life, especially by the celebration of the Eucharist and penance, and by the fostering of approved forms of popular devotion.
CHAPTER IV : ALTARS
Can. 1235 §1 The altar or table on which the eucharistic Sacrifice is celebrated is termed fixed if it is so constructed that it is attached to the floor and therefore cannot be moved; it is termed movable, if it can be removed.
Can. 1236 §1 In accordance with the traditional practice of the Church, the table of a fixed altar is to be of stone, indeed of a single natural stone. However, even some other worthy and solid material may be used, if the Episcopal Conference so judges. The support or the base can be made from any material.
CHAPTER V : CEMETERIES
TITLE II: SACRED TIMES
Can. 1244 §1 Only the supreme ecclesiastical authority can establish, transfer or suppress holydays or days of penance which are applicable to the universal Church, without prejudice to the provisions of Can. 1246 §2.
Can. 1245 Without prejudice to the right of diocesan Bishops as in Can. 87, a parish priest, in individual cases, for a just reason and in accordance with the prescriptions of the diocesan Bishop, can give a dispensation from the obligation of observing a holyday or day of penance, or commute the obligation into some other pious works. The Superior of a pontifical clerical religious institute or society of apostolic life has the same power in respect of his own subjects and of those who reside day and night in a house of the institute or society.
CHAPTER I : FEAST DAYS
Can. 1246 §1 The Lord's Day, on which the paschal mystery is celebrated, is by apostolic tradition to be observed in the universal Church as the primary holyday of obligation. In the same way the following holydays are to be observed: the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of St Joseph, the feast of the Apostles SS Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints.
Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holydays of obligation, the faithful are obliged to assist at Mass. They are also to abstain from such work or business that would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, or the due relaxation of mind and body.
§2 If it is impossible to assist at a eucharistic celebration, either because no sacred minister is available or for some other grave reason, the faithful are strongly recommended to take part in a liturgy of the Word, if there be such in the parish church or some other sacred place, which is celebrated in accordance with the provisions laid down by the diocesan Bishop; or to spend an appropriate time in prayer, whether personally or as a family or, as occasion presents, in a group of families.
CHAPTER II : DAYS OF PENANCE
Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.