José Antonio Abad e-mail(Inicie sesión)

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José Antonio Abad e-mail(Inicie sesión)


Various Spanish councils, several Spanish fathers -especially Saint Isidore- and certain liturgical books leave no doubt as to the existence of a rite of episcopal ordination in the old Spanish Liturgy. However, in none of the manuscripts of the Liber Ordinum -the book which should have contained such a rite- does there exist even fragmentary elements.

This obvious gap is remedied to a certain extent in this study, in which the author, making use of a few surviving elements such as, principally, the Liber Commicus, the Antifonario de Leon, the Missale Mixtum and the Sacramentarios de Roda y Vic; and on the basis of a study of comparative liturgy, the structure as well as the text of this rite of episcopal ordination is reconstructed.

The work consists of two parts. In the first the antecedents of the episcopal consecration are studied, among those which especially stand out is that relating to the choice of candidate. The author distinguishes three distinct moments in the election of the bishop: a) the Spanish-Roman epoch, b) during the barbarian invasion (with a different form in Galicia and Tarragona) and, c) the period of the catholic monarchy.

The second part -without a doubt the more extensive, important and original- is dedicated to the reconstruction of the rite of ordination, although it also touches on that which relates to the immediate preparation and to the immediate post consecration.

In so far as it refers to the rite as such, the author considers the following to be its structure: 1. The vesting of the candidate in the pontifical vestments in the sacrarium; 2. the oath against simony and the profession of faith before the altar, after the recital of the first reading or Propheta; 3. imposition of hands by the consecrating bishops; 4. the consecrating "benedictio"; 5. the anointing of the head with the chrism; 6. the traditio of the crozier and the episcopal ring; and, 7. the kiss of peace. The author excludes from the structure of the rite the traditio or impositio of the Gospel.

The part previous to the consecration would consist of the offices Ad Vesperas and Ad Matutinum, in which the consecrating bishop would take part. The part which followed would include the ordination mass -in which the new bishop would not concelebrate- the procession to the church in which the new bishop celebrated his first episcopal mass, and the mass of the neo-bishop.

To conclude, we might add that the author believed it to be more appropriate not to put together the texts in a complementary dossier, but to distribute them in the margin of each one of the parts of the rite. In this way it was thought that it would be easier to obtain a unified vision of the whole.


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