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
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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