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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Keys of the Church

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To the Rector belongs the control of the keys of the Church building, and this because he alone can determine what services shall be held in it. If he chooses he can hold services every day; he can celebrate the Holy Eucharist every day or as often as he thinks best, and no one can interfere with him. He has charge of the spiritualities of the Parish and in this he is left absolutely free, being amenable to his Bishop only. The Vestry have nothing to do in determining what use the Rector shall make of the Church building in carrying out the provisions of the Prayer Book. The Office of Institution recognizes this right in that one of its provisions is that "then shall the Senior Warden (or the member of the Vestry supplying his place) present the keys of the Church to the new Incumbent, saying, In the name and behalf of———Parish [or Church] I do receive and acknowledge you, the Reverend, (name) as Priest and Rector of the same; and in token thereof, give into your hands the keys of the Church."

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Keys of the Church'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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