Spring 1969

Page 14



undertaken to express better and more accurately the apostolic succession of bishops as well as their duties and functions as these are described in the documents of Vatican II. "To achieve this," Pope Paul states, "it appeared appropriate to take from ancient sources the consecratory prayer which is found in the document called the Apostolic Tradition of Hippo/.ytus of Rome, written at the beginning of the third century, and which is still used in the ordination rites of the Coptic and West Syrian liturgies. Thus the very act of ordination may witness to the hat¡mony of the tradition in both East and West concerning the apostolic office of bishops." The insertion of this consecratot¡y prayer into the rite is the only major change; the other changes help to simplify and unify the ordination. The rite would be celebrated thus: 1) The consecrating bishop and at least two co-consecrators are to perform the ceremony, but all the bishops present may be invited to take part in the ordination and concelebrate the Eucharist. At least two priests from the diocese which the new bishop will serve are also to concelebrate to show the unity of the episcopate and presbyterate. 2) These two priests or two other priests assist the bishop-elect. 3) The episcopal ring, pectoral cross, and mitre are blessed beforehand. Since the use of ceremonial gloves is now optional, they are not formally given in this rite. 4) After the Liturgy of the Word a request for ordination is addressed to the principal consecrator by one of the priests assisting the bishop-elect. 5) A notary reads the mandate. The laity are given an opportunity to show their approval of the selection of the bishop-elect. 6) The principal consecrator gives a talk on the duties of a bishop and then questions the bishop-elect on how he intends to discharge these duties. 7) The Litany of the Saints is sung; the principal consecrator only recites its closing prayer. 8) The bishop-elect kneels before the principal consecrator and the senior co-consecrator. The principal consecrator places the open Book of the Gospels upon the head of the bishop-elect. Two deacons then hold the open book over the bishop-elect's head through the consecratory prayer. 9) The principal consecrator imposes hands upon the hearl of the bishop-elect in silence. The other consecrating