Bishop’s Consecration


This rite includes the imposition of the Gospel, the imposition of the Hand, the ordination prayers, and the concluding ceremonies. The Apostolic Constitutions (written around the end of the fourth century) mention that the ordination precedes the full Eucharistic liturgy in order that the new bishop might preside over the whole of the rite.

This custom continues in the Coptic tradition. The imposition of the Gospel book, which is mentioned in the Apostolic Constitutions, is restricted in the Coptic rite to the consecration of the Alexandrian patriarch. The imposition of hands of bishops on a candidate for the episcopate, which is also mentioned in the Apostolic Tradition, is actually observed in the Coptic rite, but the bishops lay their hands on the ordinand’s arms.

The text of the first half of the ordination prayers is quite close to the text given in the Apostolic Constitutions. The second half contains all the elements common to the Byzantine rite. It seems that a nucleus of this prayer is old enough to have developed in at least two distinct forms prior to the fifth century, as evidenced by the Coptic/Byzantine version, on the one hand, and the Georgian/Syrian version on the other.

The seating (enthronement) of the bishop is one of the concluding ceremonies observed in the Coptic rite and mentioned in the Canons of Hippolytus (composed in the fourth century) and the Apostolic Constitutions. The Coptic manuscripts are late, from the 14th century onward. Catholic editions include that of R. Tukhi who published the rite in 1761.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *