A dedication ceremony without Japanese people
Although foreigners were delighted that Oura Cathedral had been constructed, because the ban on Christianity was still in place few Japanese dared to go near there
When a new church is built, there is a dedication ceremony where the church is dedicated to a particular patron saint. Oura was dedicated to the 26 martyrs of Japan. The dedication ceremony was planned for February 5th, the day on which they were martyred. However, it was delayed by two weeks because Father Girard wasn’t available.
The church's dedication ceremony was on 19th February 1865. The captains of the French, Russian, Dutch and British warships which were anchored in Nagasaki harbour attended together with their crews. The warships gave a gun salute, and it is said that until sunset the flags of these nations waved at the front of the church.
However, because this was a foreigner's ceremony, there was little interest in it from the Japanese, and it is said that although the Nagasaki magistrate was invited he didn't respond. Although many townspeople had gone (on sightseeing excursions) to see the church while it was under construction, less and less came as the date of the ceremony approached. The priests, who had been hoping the church would be a way to help them find the Hidden Christians, were disappointed.