What the Bishop’s Entrance Represents.
As he comes in, the bishop bestows peace upon the clergy, for Christ, when he came into the world, brought peace to the human race, which it had lost in its first parent. Then he enters the sanctuary, and, inclined towards the altar, prays and makes his confession. He begs for pardon, for Christ entered Jerusalem in order to suffer, and inclined himself towards death in order to wash us clean. In the Last Supper, he prayed to the Father for the Church, and then gave perfect pardon to Peter, penitent and admitting his guilt, or to the thief, and then to the entire people. Then he kisses the two priests, for by Christ the cornerstone two walls are joined together in one faith. Then he bestows peace upon the other ministers to his right, for Christ preached peace for those far and those nigh, and coming from the East and the West he joined them in a bond of peace.
He kisses the altar and Gospel-book, for men are joined to angels in peace through the passion of Christ. The altar represents the Jews, whereas the Gospel represents the Gentiles. After this, receiving the thurible, he incenses the altar: a figure of the angel who in the Apocalypse stood by the altar with a golden thurible, whence the smoke of spices rose in the sight of God. For Christ, the Angel of great counsel, offered himself up for us on the altar of the Cross. From him God the Father received a sweet odour, and appeared merciful to the world. The smoke of spices is the prayers of the saints who, through the ardour of charity, or like the kindled coals of the enlightenment of the Holy Ghost, rise towards God over the altar that is Christ.
Then he kisses the altar, for Christ was immolated for our peace on the altar of the Cross. Then the Gloria in excelsis begins, and the choir sings together, for in his death Christ restored the glory of the angels to men, in which death the joyous crowd of saints resounds praises. Then, turning to the people, he says Pax vobis, for Christ, in rising up from the dead, restored peace to the Church and said Pax vobis to his own. Then he says the collect on the right side, for Christ has already crossed from death to life, and conveyed us from exile back to the fatherland. The collect [oratio], however, signifies the blessing he gave to his own as he ascended into heaven.
After doing these things, the bishop proceeds to sit; and Christ, after duly doing all things, ascended into heaven, and rests sitting at the right hand of the Father. Some sit with the bishop, and others attend to him, for some of the elect now rest with Christ, while many others still serve him here working for him.
Ingressus episcopi quid significet.
Episcopus ingrediens pacem clero porrigit; quia Christus mundum ingrediens pacem humano generi attulit, quam in primo parente amisit. Deinde sanctuarium intrat, inclinans coram altari orat, confessionem faciens. Indulgentiam implorat, quia Christus Hierusalem passurus intravit, pro nobis lavandis se in mortem inclinavit; in coena Patrem pro Ecclesia oravit, poenitenti et confitenti Petro, vel latroni, deinde omni populo perfectam donavit. Post hoc duos sacerdotes osculatur, quia per Christum lapidem angularem duo parietes in una fide copulantur. Deinde caeteris ministris a dextra pacem dabit, quia Christus pacem his qui longe, et his qui prope praedicavit, et ab Oriente et Occidente veniens in vinculo pacis sociavit. Altare et Evangelium osculatur, quia passione Christi homines angelis in pace sociantur. Per altare namque Iudaei, per Evangelium gentes denotantur. Post haec thuribulum accipiens, altare thurificat in figura angeli qui in Apocalypsi cum aureo thuribulo altari astiterat, de quo fumus aromatum in conspectu Domini ascendebat. Quia Christus magni consilii angelus in ara crucis se pro nobis obtulit, cuius corpus thuribulum Ecclesiae fuit. Ex quo Deus Pater suavitatem odoris accepit, et propitius mundo exstitit. Fumus aromatum, orationes sanctorum sunt, quae super aram Christum, per charitatis ardorem, vel illuminationis Spiritus sancti carbones incensi ad Deum ascendunt. Deinde altare osculatur; quia Christus pro nostra pace in ara crucis immolabatur. Deinde Gloria in excelsis incipit, et chorus concinit; quia Christus per mortem suam gloriam angelorum hominibus restituit, in qua sanctorum populus laetabundus laudes perstrepit. Deinde ad populum se convertens, Pax vobis dicit, quia Christus a mortuis resurgens, pacem Ecclesiae reddidit, suisque Pax vobis dixit. Deinde in dextera parte orationem dicit; quia Christus iam de morte ad vitam transiit, nosque de exsilio in patriam transtulit. Oratio autem illam benedictionem significat, qua coelos ascensurus suos benedicebat. His peractis, episcopus sedere pergit; et Christus, omnibus rite peractis, coelos ascendit, et in dextra Patris sedens quiescit. Quidam cum episcopo sedent, quidam ei assistunt. Quia quidam electi nunc cum Christo requiescunt, plurimi adhuc in labore ei hic serviunt.