Knocking bishop installation rituals

I was very blessed to attend the installation mass of our new bishop, Kevin Rhoades, yesterday and can’t stop talking about all the wonderful things I saw and experienced throughout the day. The program was filled will a lot of history and explanations for most of what we saw and that was helpful to me.

My question is why does the incoming bishop knock four times on the door before entering the cathedral? I understand why he knocks but why is the number four used? Any ideas?

Gemmer

Actually he knocks three times, for the Trinity.

[quote="Chatter163, post:2, topic:183063"]
Actually he knocks three times, for the Trinity.

[/quote]

He knocks to gain entrance into his Cathedral. Not only is he being installed, he is also taking possession of his Cathedral and cathedra. The rector opens the door and greets him, presenting him with a Crucifix to kiss and venerate and Holy Water.

When we became a diocese, we had two separate ceremonies. The first one was the Instlallation Mass to mark the installation of our first bishop and the fact that our diocese was being erected. The second Mass, 19 days later, was to mark the occasion of the bishop taking over his Cathedral and cathedra.

We are going to have a series of rituals for Bishop Flores.

As has become custom in the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, the bishop will take possession of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville. Then there will be an Installation Mass at the Basilica National Shrine of the Nuestra Senora de San Juan del Valle in the afternoon.

It looks like it's going to be big. Both Cardinal DiNardo and the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Sambi will be there.

Here is the news release from the Diocese of Brownsville (www.cdob.org).

SAN JUAN, TX -- Bishop Daniel E. Flores will be installed as the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle - National Shrine.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will preside over the installation Mass and papal nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, will read the official decree of the Holy Father announcing the appointment. More than 40 bishops from the United States and Mexico are also expected to be in attendance.

On the eve of the installation, Monday, Feb. 1 Bishop Flores will pray the Solemn Vespers at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral with priests, religious and deacons of the diocese.

Pope Benedict appointed Bishop Flores as the new shepherd of the diocese on Dec. 9, 2009.

Bishop Flores who has been an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit since 2006, replaces Bishop Raymundo J. Peña who is at the mandatory retirement age of 75.

According to Sr. Mary Ann Walsh from the USCCB Media Blog, the knocking at the door of the cathedral is not part of the official liturgical rite for installation of a bishop. No one seems sure of its origin. Some say knocking three times has been the custom. usccbmedia.blogspot.com/2009/04/knock-three-times.html However, it was reported that Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha knocked five times on the heavy bronze doors of St. Cecilia Cathedral on the day of his installation
ct.dio.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1638:archbishop-lucas-installed-in-archdiocese-of-omaha&catid=18:diocesan-life&Itemid=49

Oh, my goodness. I saw the title of this thread and thought someone was going to "knock" -- as in "criticize" -- some poor bishop's installation ritual. I have read too much negativity, I fear . . . :o

[quote="IrishAm, post:6, topic:183063"]
Oh, my goodness. I saw the title of this thread and thought someone was going to "knock" -- as in "criticize" -- some poor bishop's installation ritual. I have read too much negativity, I fear . . . :o

[/quote]

You're not the only one, IrishAm!

also taken aback by the title

my guess at the knocking ritual, and it is only a guess, the rule of St. Benedict provides that a new applicant should knock at the door 3 times, and only then be admitted and given a chance to prove his worthiness after he has proven his persistence. Obviously the bishop is worth or he would not have been appointed but perhaps there is something symbolic in the monastic rule, a demonstration of humility.

deciding whether or not to attend, it will probably be jammed, but MIL would be in 7th heaven with all those bishops

[quote="rkrispies, post:7, topic:183063"]
You're not the only one, IrishAm!

[/quote]

Me too. I was so relieved once I understood this is about knocking on the door =).

[quote="puzzleannie, post:8, topic:183063"]
my guess at the knocking ritual, and it is only a guess, the rule of St. Benedict provides that a new applicant should knock at the door 3 times, and only then be admitted and given a chance to prove his worthiness after he has proven his persistence. Obviously the bishop is worth or he would not have been appointed but perhaps there is something symbolic in the monastic rule, a demonstration of humility.

[/quote]

hmmm...does this mean he makes three individual, consecutive knocks on the door, or does he knock a few times, pause, then again, pause, then a third time?

[quote="Spirithound, post:10, topic:183063"]
hmmm...does this mean he makes three individual, consecutive knocks on the door, or does he knock a few times, pause, then again, pause, then a third time?

[/quote]

Our bishop did the knocking three successive times. Then, the rector opened the door and greeted him with the crucifix and holy water.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.