OF Mass with 2 Bishops, Resources needed


I’m assisting in an OF Mass with 2 Bishops, one the ordinary of the diocese and the other a visiting bishop from another diocese. How would the Mass work? Would both be seated equally? I’d assume that the Ordinary would be in mitre and crozier while the visitor would be in crozier only. Would the Ordinary be the primary celebrant with the visitor concelebrating? Any assistence given is gratefully accepted.



Rather than telling you to leave it up to someone else to worry about (which you may well end up doing any way) here are some pointers:

  1. The local (i.e. diocesan) bishop would usually wear his mitre and carry his crozier
  2. The visiting bishop would wear a simple (so not fancy) mitre only (no crozier)
  3. The local bishop would usually be the presider or would otherwise be present “in choir”.
  4. Seating arrangements are as for any concelebrated mass although the visiting bishop should ideally be seated near or next to the local bishop (as co-equal members of the college of bishops) and preferably distinct from any priest celebrants.

Otherwise the mass continues as per usual.

Whether any of this actually happens is of course another matter. Some bishops have their own idea about how they like to do things!



Yes, the Diocese usually sends a seminarian or layman who knows ceremonial well for things like this – but knowing never hurt. Thank you!



We have had a lot of Masses like this in my Diocese over the last year and a half due to the new Cathedral dedication, a new bishop installed and a beloved Diocesan priest being named an auxiliary bishop.

The local bishop wears a mitre and carries a crozier. All other bishops wear a more plain mitre.

The local bishop sits in his bishop’s chair (Cathedra?) and the other bishops sit in choir near the local bishop.



For a couple of years at our abbey, a retired bishop of another diocese elected to live at the monastery to ease his transition into retirement. At our abbey we have an abbot, a retired abbot, a prior, and a sub-prior. If memory serves (this was some time ago) the bishop would wear his mitre at masses that the abbot would normally wear his (i.e. solemnities). At other Masses, only his pectoral cross (like the abbot). He would displace the abbot emeritus from his stall, the top right stall closest to the altar, directly across the choir from the abbot.



I’m assuming that this will be at your parish, correct?

  1. The local bishop will be the celebrant (unless he chooses to sit in choir and gives that honor to the visiting one).
  2. the visiting bishop will typically wear an all white mitre & no crozier.
  3. The Bishop will sit in the chair of the main celebrant.
  4. To the right and left of the Bishop will either be two Deacons or the pastor and a deacon.
  5. The visiting bishop and all other clergy present will sit in choir Vested. However, the visiting Bishop often is given his own chair (with kneeler in front if he’s not concelebrating) placed in front of the priests in choir. Depending on the layout of the sacarsity, this could be on the same side or opposite side of the local bishop.
  6. because it might get crowded up there, it would be best for all chairs to be facing perpendicular to the altar.

Here is a quick diagram of what I’ve seen before for seating:
x -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Y
z deacon -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Y
z Bishop-------------------------------------------------Altar-------------------------Visiting bishop —Y
z Pastor or deacon---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Y

x = servers / MC dedicated to helping the bishop
z = servers dedicated to servicing the mass
Y = other priests & clergy
z and Y could be flipped too. But with a visiting bishop, I would place the other clergy with the visiting bishop

NOTE: your diocesses should have a guide for this somewhere that they can send you. All dioceses have dealt with things like this before and they can give you the norms for your diocese.

God bless

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No, it’s for the Diocesean Men’s Conference- will be at the local convention center.



ahhh, then you should have enough space to sit them properly on the stage.



I believe the questions you pose are for others to worry about. There will be a master of ceremonies making the necessary arrangements.

Rather than anyone try to describe this wait until the day and observe. That will be a better way to learn what you want to know.



As the crosier is a symbol of a bishop’s authority in his diocese it will be the diocesan ordinary only with the crosier (pastoral staff). Both bishops will wear a mitre (a form of head-wear).



It depends. If the visiting bishop is a diocesan bishop or an auxiliary he will be a concelebrant not the principal celebrant. If he’s the metropolitan of the province or a papal legate he’ll preside. Consequently, the answer must be: We do not have enough information to give a definitive answer.



Have you met with the maser of ceremonies?


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