16 July 2013

An Order for the Granting of Sanctuary or Refuge

This rite needs to be developed. Please contact me at chutneyoverrice@gmail.com for suggestions, feedback, and input. The concluding blessing is adapted from The Book of Common Prayer 1979

The bishop and the chancellor of the diocese are to be informed of all grants of sanctuary or refuge. In accordance with ancient tradition, the candidate must be unarmed, surrendering all weapons before entrance into the church.

It is preferable that the granting of sanctuary or refuge be witnessed by a representative of the congregation. It is also preferred that the celebrant be the vicar, rector, or priest-in-charge of the congregation, the dean of the cathedral, or the bishop of the diocese.

The celebrant is vested with a stole. Psalms 46, 31, or 91 may be said with the accompanying antiphon and the Gloria Patri.


The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.

Kneeling within the altar space or at the altar rails, the candidate requests sanctuary or refuge saying

My name is N., and I, for the love of God, seek sanctuary (refuge) within the safety of this church.

The candidate may say the Lord’s Prayer.

The celebrant places the ends of the stole over the candidate’s shoulders, saying

N., I welcome you to the safety of this holy place, and I declare you to be under its protection, dignity, and peace; pledging to you the prayers, love, and support of the clergy and congregation of (name of church), in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A simple cross may be hung over the neck of the person receiving sanctuary or refuge, or a cross may be traced on the person’s forehead as a mark that the person is now under the protection of the church, the celebrant saying

Receive the cross of Christ’s mighty protection, and take refuge in him who is the lover and friend of souls. Amen.

The celebrant concludes

The Almighty Lord,
who is a strong tower to all
who put their trust in him,
to whom all things in heaven,
on earth, and under the earth bow and obey:
Be now and evermore your defence,
and make you know and feel
that the only Name under heaven
given for life, health, refuge, and salvation
is the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Peace may be exchanged, or the Grace may be said.

Joshua Ligan 2013.
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