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Todd Williamson


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D. Todd Williamson is the Director of the Office for Divine Worship.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Rite of Installation

The Rite of Installation of a Bishop or Archbishop is, while actually quite simple, a very profound Rite of the Church. There is rich symbolism in it and much to reflect on.

Monday Night, November 17th

On this night, there will be a celebration of a Liturgy of the Word with the Rite of Reception of the Archbishop. While this celebration is primarily for priests of the Archdiocese (a chance for the Presbyterate to gather with their soon-to-be, new Shepherd), it will also be attended by representatives of the Archdiocesan Curia, Civic Representatives (Governor Quinn and Mayer Emmanuel) and Ecumenical and interreligious guests. They will greet the Archbishop as he takes up his new Pastorate.

It begins with the new Archbishop knocking on the door of Holy Name Cathedral, Monday night. The Rector of the Cathedral, Msgr. Dan Mayall will open the doors and bring him into the building.

The doors of the Church are very symbolic. There, we greet Catechumens who wish to be initiated into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There we greet parents who want their child to be reborn in the waters of baptism. There we greet the body of those who go before us in death. The doors are very symbolic.

This is very much all that it seems – it’s the new Pastor, knocking on the door of the church building that will be his home; it’s the new Archbishop, knocking on the door of the Mother Church of all Catholics in Cook and Lake Counties; it is the Shepherd of the Archdiocese of Chicago, entering his Cathedral.

Once he is inside the Cathedral, the Archbishop reverences a Crucifix – one that is a replica of the Crucifix which hangs over the Atlar of Holy Name Cathedral. After that, he blesses himself with holy water and sprinkles those around him. The Procession then moves up the center aisle to the Sanctuary for the Liturgy of the Word.

Archbishop Cupich will preach on a reading from Ezekiel, the vision of the dry bones.

Tuesday, November 18th

In the very beginning of the Mass of Installation, Cardinal George will introduce Archbishop Carlos Maria Viganò, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America. The Nuncio will go to the Ambo of the Cathedral and he will read an English translation of the Apostolic Mandate of Pope Francis, appointing Archbishop Cupich as the ninth Archbishop of Chicago.

Immediately after the Mandate is read, a deacon takes the actual Mandate and shows it to the College of Consultors – a consultative body of priests who advise the Archbishop. He holds it up for their actual inspection. In a sense, it’s for their verification: “Yes, we have seen the actual Mandate of the Pope.”

Then, the deacon takes the Mandate, and shows it to all the people gathered in the Cathedral. They too are to inspect the Mandate.

Once the Mandate has been presented to all who are present, the Nuncio asks Archbishop Cupich if he accepts the appointment of the Holy Father. Once Archbishop Cupich announces that he accepts the appointment, the whole Cathedral acclaims, “Thanks be to God!” Indeed!

And then, perhaps the most dramatic point of the whole Rite of Installation takes place – The Apostolic Nuncio and Cardinal George lead Archbishop Cupich to the Cathedra, the bishop’s chair. (This is actually where we get the name “Cathedral” – it is the Church that houses the Cathedra.)

Once Archbishop Cupich sits in the Cathedra, then he becomes the Archbishop of Chicago! This is the moment that it happens and the means by which it happens: Being seated in the bishop’s chair!

Once seated, Cardinal George presents Archbishop Cupich with the crozier, the bishop’s staff. For the Installation of Archbishop Cupich he will be presented with a crozier that belonged to George Cardinal Mundelein.

The only appropriate response to all of this is to give glory and praise to God – and that is exactly what happens in the Mass. After he is seated in the Cathedra, Archbishop Cupich will stand, and the whole assembly will praise God in singing the Gloria.  From this point, the Mass continues as usual, with Archbishop Cupich being the principle celebrant.

In many ways, it’s a simple rite. In all ways it is terribly profound for the Church of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Installation Program Guide

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