Symbolic moments during Bishop Peter’s ordination

Picture galleries of Bishop of East Anglia ordination
December 14, 2022
Peter Collins ordained as the fifth Bishop of East Anglia
December 14, 2022
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Symbolic moments during Bishop Peter’s ordination

The ordination of the Rt Rev Peter Collins as the fifth Bishop of East Anglia today at St John’s Cathedral in Norwich, included a number of significant and symbolic moments.

Who was present

Twenty-two of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales concelebrated the Mass and took part in the consecration of the new bishop. Priests of the Diocese of East Anglia and the Archdiocese of Cardiff were also concelebrants. The permanent deacons of the Diocese were also present, totalling around 150 clergy. There were representatives from every parish and Catholic school in the Diocese, together with representatives from the different Diocesan organisations.

As the appointment of a new bishop is always at the gift of the Pope, the Vatican’s Apostolic Nuncio (Ambassador) to Great Britain was represented by Mgr Ervin Lengyel, First Counsellor of the Apostolic Nuncio of Great Britain.

 The Anglican Bishops of Norwich and St Edmundsbury and Ipswich attended the Mass together with other Christian and faith leaders.

Civic guests included His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, The Lady Dannatt and General The Lord Richard Dannatt, His Honour John Devaux, representing the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk. Also present were the mayors of Norwich and Peterborough and the High Sheriff of Norfolk.

The Family of Bishop Peter and members of his former parish of St Mary of the Angels, Canton and Holy Family, Fairwater in Cardiff were also present. In support of him were two close friends: Fr Allan Davies-Hale from Cardiff, a former fellow student at the Royal English College in Spain and Fr Paul Dean from Birmingham, a student of Bishop Peter while he was Vice Rector at the same college.

What happened during the ordination

The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Walsingham was brought into the Cathedral from the Slipper Chapel by the Rector of the Shrine, Mgr Philip Moger and Rev Kevin Smith, Administrator of the Anglican Shrine, the Papal Knights followed by members of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Dames of Saint Gregory and the Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Canon Peter Collins was consecrated as a bishop by Bishop Alan Hopes – now the Bishop Emeritus of East Anglia, assisted by Archbishop Mark O’Toole – current Bishop of Menevia and Archbishop of Cardiff, the diocese from which the new bishop comes – and Archbishop George Stack, Archbishop Emeritus of Cardiff.

There were Scripture readings by: Ufuoma Ehwerhemuepha, a student from St John Fisher High School, Peterborough, chosen to represent the Catholic schools of the Diocese; and Diocesan Trustee Moira Goldstaub from Stowmarket.

The Gospel was proclaimed by Deacon James Hurst from Newmarket.

After the Gospel reading, the Rite of Ordination began.

Provost-Emeritus Canon David Paul presented Bishop-Elect Peter to Bishop Alan for ordination. Bishop Alan then asked if there was a mandate from the Holy See and Pope Francis.  The mandate, or Papal Bull, was first shown to the Cathedral Chapter of Canons and then to all the people in the cathedral by Bishop-Elect Peter, then read first in Latin by Mgr Ervin Lengyel and in English by the Chancellor of East Anglia, Canon Eugene Harkness, and it was accepted by all present.

The homily was preached by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

As part of the ceremony, Bishop-Elect Peter was first asked questions by Bishop Alan about his fidelity to proclaiming the gospel, teaching the Catholic faith, building up the life of the Church in the Diocese of East Anglia, his obedience to the Pope, and his care for the priests, deacons, religious and people of the diocese.

Bishop Alan then invited all to pray for the Bishop Elect who lay prostrate on the floor.  The prayers of the saints were then invoked in a sung litany.

When the Litany was finished, Bishop Alan and all the other bishops present laid their hands, in silence, on the head of Bishop-Elect Peter.  This silent gesture indicates the invocation of the Holy Spirit to come down on the Bishop-Elect.

Bishop Alan placed the open Book of the Gospels upon the head of the Bishop-Elect, whose ministry is subject to God’s Word.  Two deacons held the book over his head until the Prayer of Consecration was completed.

When the prayer was finished, Bishop Peter’s head was anointed with the Oil of Chrism, symbolic of his sharing in the priestly, prophetic and kingly role of Christ.  This oil is used also in Baptism and Confirmation.

He was then presented with the Book of the Gospels – symbolising his proclamation of God’s Word and his sound teaching.

Symbols of office

The new bishop was then given the three symbols of his office.

The ring – symbolising his fidelity to Christ and his Church

The mitre – a pointed hat symbolising his authority, and worn whenever he presides at a liturgy.

The crozier or pastoral staff – a symbol of his role as shepherd to the people of his diocese.

Bishop Alan then led Bishop Peter to his special chair – known as the Cathedra. From the moment Bishop Peter sat on the chair, Bishop Alan ceased to be Bishop of East Anglia and Bishop Peter was acclaimed as the fifth Bishop of East Anglia.

Bishop Peter was greeted by all the bishops present with the Kiss of Peace.  Bishop Peter then greeted representatives from the Diocese of East Anglia from his Cathedra and then other dignitaries in the nave.

Bishop Peter then presided for the remainder of the Mass as the principal celebrant. At the end of the Mass, Bishop Peter walked around his cathedral, blessing all present.

The Apostolic Nuncio’s representative, Mgr Ervin Lengyel, addressed the congregation on the Nuncio’s behalf, followed by Bishop Peter in his first public words as the fifth Bishop of East Anglia.

The various processions then left the cathedral and refreshments were served in the cathedral garden and the Narthex Hall.

You can watch a video recording of the ordination at:

You can view a picture gallery of the ordination here or below.

Read our report of what was said at the Ordination.

Pictured above The Book of The Gospels is held over the head of Bishop-Elect Peter Collins.

Ordination of Bishop of East Anglia Peter Collins, Dec 22