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PATRIARCHAL INSTRUCTION ON THE RITE OF
THE OBLATION TO THE CONSECRATOR

Following ancient tradition, it is laudable and pious for a newly consecrated Bishop to make a symbolic offering of candles, bread, and wine to his consecrator in accordance with this instruction. This offering is derived from the ancient custom of the faithful making similar offerings to the clergy to provide the consumable items necessary for public worship. Thus, this offering is symbolic of the bishop's devotion to canonical service and continued support for the public worship of the Church. The usage of this communion follows that of the Tridentine Roman Rite, but differs from it somewhat.

The symbolism of the items offered are as follows:

Candles: Symbolic of the Church. They are lit, symbolizing the light of Christ. The first candle is provided as symbolic of the authority in Church leadership of the consecrator, the second is of the new authority of the newly-consecrated bishop.

Bread: The bread symbolizes the nourishment of the faithful through both spiritually through the Holy Eucharist and through the care of one's flock.

Wine: Symbolic of sanctifying graces conveyed through the sacraments of Christ's Holy priesthood, of which a bishop shares to the fullest extent.

The gold bread and the wine cask represent the consecrator, who acts on behalf of the Church. The silver bread and wine cask represent the newly-consecrated bishop. In addition to the gold items, the silver items also bear the coat of arms of the consecrator because it is through the action of that consecrator, acting on behalf of the Church, that the newly-consecrated bishop received his authority. Through this symbolism of this rite, the newly-consecrated bishop expresses his willingness to lead that part of the Church placed under his care and authority, nourish his flock through the public worship of the Church, tend to the needs of those under his care, and help his flock achieve the sanctifying graces conveyed through the sacraments. So important is this that in this communion it is carried out at a distinct rite.

The norms for this rite of oblation are as follows:

1. The offering takes the form of a post-mass offering and shall be made after the Last Gospel of the mass of consecration. If an enthronement of the new Bishop as Ordinary or Metropolitan is to follow immediately, then the offering made precede or follow that enthronement. Additionally, the offering may take place at a later time after the mass of consecration at a court of the consecrator or other appropriate rite being conducted by the consecrator.

2. The offering consists of two lit candles of significant size, but not so large that they are difficult to handle, two ornamental loaves of bread, and two miniature ornamental casks of wine. One cask and one loaf shall be gilded, and the other cask and loaf shall be silvered. The gold loaf shall be place on a gilded salver, and the silver loaf upon a silver salver. On the loaves and casks shall be the consecrator's coat of arms.

3. The consecrator and new bishop are vested in cope and mitre. Following the mass, the consecrator and new bishop remove the chasuble and dalmatic and take the cope in the color of the day. The consecrator sits wearing the mitre at the faldstool or the throne according to convenience. If this is done at the throne, there should be a table placed nearby for the purpose of receiving the items. Else, the table should be placed on the Gospel side of the altar. The candles should be placed evenly on either side. The loaves and casks may be arrayed in a convenient, appropriate, and dignified manner.

4. The new bishop approachs with his attendants and, retaining the mitre, kneels before the consecrator. Taking the items from his attendants, the new bishop hands them to his consecrator, who then hands them to his attendant to be arrayed on the table. The order in which the items are presented is as follows: the two candles, the gold loaf, the silver loaf, the gold cask, and the silver cask.

5. Having presented the items, the new bishop kisses the ring of his consecrator. The consecrator blesses the new bishop with the sign of the cross. The new bishop rises and proceeds to his own faldstool.

 

 

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