Gemma Animae (7): Ingressus episcopi quid significet

Ch. 7

What the Bishop’s Entrance Represents.


Ch. 7
What the bishop’s entry represents
[Christ Brings Peace to the World]

As he comes in the bishop gives the clergy peace, for when Christ came into the world he brought peace to the human race, which had lost it through our first parent. Then he enters the sanctuary and prays,  making his confession while inclined towards the altar. 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 for the Church to the Father, and then gave perfect pardon to Peter, who repented and admitted his guilt, and to the thief, and then to the entire people [1]. Then he kisses the two assisting priests, for by Christ the cornerstone two walls are joined together in one faith. Then he will bestow peace upon the other ministers to his right, for Christ preached peace to mankind far and near, and coming from the East and the West he joined them together in a bond of peace.

He kisses the altar and Gospel-book, for men are joined in peace with the angels through the Passion of Christ. The altar represents the Jews, whereas the Gospel represents the Gentiles. Next, receiving the thurible, he incenses the altar as a figure of the angel of the Apocalypse who stood by the altar with a golden thurible, from which the smoke of spices rose in the sight of God. Christ, the Angel of great counsel, offered himself up for us on the altar of the Cross, and his body was the thurible used in the Church from which God the Father received a sweet odour and dealt mercifully with the world. The smoke of spices signifies the prayers of the saints that, burning in the fire of charity on flaming 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 on the altar of the Cross for the sake of our peace. Then he intones the Gloria in excelsis and the choir sings along, for by his death Christ restored man to the glory of the angels, and in gratitude the joyous crowds of saints resounds with his praises. Then, turning to the people he says Pax vobis, for in rising from the dead Christ 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 his seat; and Christ, after accomplishing all things fittingly, ascended into heaven and now sits 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 labor for him here below.


[1] In a pontifical Mass the celebrant makes his confession to the two assisting ministers, who then confess themselves, ask and obtain his pardon in the prayer Misereatur. The Indulgentiam prayer immediately following is a general absolution. Peter and the thief correspond to the two ministers absolved in the Misereatur, and the “entire people” to the assembly absolved in the general absolution.

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.

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