Installation of Religious Superiors


In the monastic tradition, the office of abbot or abbess holds a special place of honor. For both, the Church reserves a special, solemn sacramental, a blessing conferred by the bishop upon the abbot / abbess as part of the enthronement / installation ceremony. Is there any equivalent for other major superiors outside of the monastic tradition?



I don’t think so…perhaps, in part, because non-monastic communities rotate their superiors a lot faster than monastic ones. Abbots/abbesses are more stable in their office.



That’s interesting. For historical reasons, as a matter of tradition, abbots are basically quasi-bishops within the abbey. The blessing and installation of an abbot resembles episicopal consecration in a lot of ways. The abbot is given the crossier and ring and wears the mitre. When the early mendicants adopted consecrated life for serving within “the world”, it is interesting that they didn’t also adopt the traditions surrounding the office of abbot. Abbots really are treated as quasi-bishops.


I’ve never heard of a bishop installing any superior except an abbot (or abbess). The community themselves may have a ceremony for it, but this would vary by the congregation and local community.

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