An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Recognition and Investiture of a Diocesan Bishop

This is one of the “Episcopal Services” in the BOS. It is designed for the recognition, investiture, and seating of a bishop who has already been ordained and consecrated. The Presiding Bishop presides at this service, but another bishop may be deputized for the occasion. The service takes place in the context of a eucharist. The rubrics envisage that this service will take place in the cathedral church. However, it may be held in another suitable place, and the service may be adapted when necessary. At the Recognition, the Presiding Bishop is escorted to a chair placed at the entrance to the chancel, facing the people. The new bishop is escorted by the welcoming procession to a place before the Presiding Bishop. Ps 23 appropriately follows with the antiphon “I will give you a shepherd after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” The new bishop petitions for recognition and investiture. A representative of the diocese states that the new bishop was duly elected and that consents to the election have been received. The people recognize and receive the new bishop and promise to uphold the new bishop in this ministry. After the Litany for Ordinations or another litany, the Presiding Bishop says the collect of the day or the collect for ordination. The liturgy of the word continues in the usual manner. After the sermon and the creed, the new bishop may reaffirm the commitments of episcopal ordination. At the Investiture, the Presiding Bishop invests the new bishop with all temporal and spiritual rights and responsibilities of the bishop's new office. If the pastoral staff is given to the new bishop, it is presented by the former bishop of the diocese, or it is brought from the altar and presented by the representative of the diocese. The new bishop lays a hand upon a Bible that is brought from the altar, and takes the oath of office. If the bishop is to be seated in the cathedra, the seating follows the taking of the oath. The new bishop is escorted by the Presiding Bishop and the representative of the diocese to the chair designated for the diocesan bishop. The new bishop may be seated in the cathedra by the dean of the cathedral. After the bishop sits, the people may offer their acclamations and applause. Bells may be rung and trumpets sounded. The new bishop is the chief celebrant at the eucharist. Other bishops and representative presbyters of the diocese may concelebrate the eucharist with the new bishop. The postcommunion prayer for this service is the prayer used after communion at ordinations. At the end of the service, the new bishop blesses the people, and the people are dismissed by a deacon.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.