• April 23, 2013
  • 264

Archbishop of Vilnius calls us to follow the Christ

Fot. Marian Paluszkiewicz

Ingres of the new Archbishop Gintaras Grušas was held in three languages: Lithuanian, Polish, English. On Tuesday, April 23, Heaven and Earth enjoyed the appointment of the new Archbishop of Vilnius, bishop and military chaplain Gintaras Grušas. On the Cathedral Square met 40 volunteers from the Vilnius Catholic School “Versmė”. From the Curia he was escorted by the bishops and clergy of many denominations.

The bishop inaugurated his ministry with an ingress, which is traditionally the first official entering into the cathedral. Where does this habit stem from?

The custom of ingress derives from the practice of Roman law. According to it, entering to the building or property meant obtaining the ability to manage and dispose of it.

According to the requirements of canon law, the beginning of a bshop’s ministry begins with a celebration of the Mass. The newly appointed bishop presides over the liturgy together with other bishops as a sign of their apostolic unity, as well as with the priests who work most closely with the bishop in the exercise of his ministry. At the beginning of the Eucharist, there are held ceremonies associated with Ingres.

The most important is to read the Apostolic Letter.

This rite is as canonical. Bishop takes up her duties in the diocese in the name of Christ with the mandate of the Bishop of Rome, by which he has been sent. Reading the document takes place in the presence of the participants, who are representative of the people of God diocese. In response to the decision of the Pope and with the joy of a new shepherd, after reading the writings of the apostolic, faithful to worship the God in Trinity, saying, ‘Thank God’, and singing ‘Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.’

This is an important moment in the liturgy. From that moment on, the newly appointed bishop has every right to ensure that in the cathedral church he occupies an appropriate place – the Episcopal, the sign of his authority, and the sign of unity on the part of the believers.  As we read in the ‘Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops’, the bishop by his priesthood is the successor of the Apostles posed by the Holy Spirit, as a shepherd.

Christ has given to the Apostles and their successors warrant and authority to teach all nations, sanctify the people the truth and take care of their spiritual life. For this reason, he became a bishop by the Holy Spirit who was given to him, the true and authentic teacher of the faith, priest and shepherd. And for this reason the bishop should be respected and obeyed.

After adopting the Cathedral, the gishop’s closest associates, auxiliary bishops and the clergy and others direct to him words of honor and respect. During the ingress, the blessing, he provides to the gatherede church, is also significant.

The Mass is no different in other rituals. Upon obtaining all insignia by the archbishop, the Mass began. The central moment was the homily delivered, the theme of which was the Year of Faith, asking for prayer, preaching by both clergy and laity.

At the outset his homily, the archbishop said that Vilnius is a special place, as it has released many saints and blessed, and here he mentioned Sopocko, Rev. Sopoćka, Faustyna, Rev. Matulewicz, St. R. Kalinowski   The heat and the great love he spoke of the Lady, which is enlightens the Ostra Brama. The archbishop faithful spoke in three languages: Lithuanian, Polish and English. He apologized Poles for his poor Polish, but promised that with their help he will improve. He asked for patience, loyalty and love for God and love for one another against each other.

‘Christ alone is our goal, and I invite you to take a walk with Christ’ – the newly appointed archbishop concluded his address to the Polish people.


During the Mass, the Bishop uses the same vestments as the priest, the alb, stole and chasuble. He also uses the signs of pontifical, which are: ring, crosier, miter, cross worn on the chest (pectoral), Archbishop also assumes the pallium. Insignia are transmitted to the bishop during his Episcopal Ordination. When the Archbishop goes in a procession, at the beginning he carries the cross with two transverse Metropolitan arms: upper – and lower shorter – longer.

The ring should always be worn by the bishop as a sign of loyalty and faith and relationship with the Church. Besides, it is a consequence of the commitments of ‘behavior of pure and inviolable to the treasure of faith, which, according to tradition always and everywhere is guarded in the Church.’ Crosier is a sign of his task as a shepherd, that is, being a guide for the people of God, showing them the way.

The bishop uses a crosier when going in procession, listens to the Gospel, gives a homily, the vows or promises, speaks during a confession of faith and blesses people. During the celebration, the bishop also assumes a miter. This is a hat that has a constant reminder of his quest for holiness. The symbolism of the miter refers to the biblical texts saying that the miter is a kind of turban with the words: ‘Dedicated to the Lord.’

The sign of the dignity of the church is, however, skullcap – a small round hat in purple. Skullcap is worn when the bishop celebrates the liturgy and beyond. Cross (pectoral) worn by the bishop on his chest on his chasuble reminds him of the necessity of Christian discipleship, preaching and witnessing the Crucified, and also it strengthens hims and announce that the path of suffering and the cross leads to glory. Typical of the archbishop is the pallium – ribbon made of wool of lambs blessed by the pope, on which is inscribed six black crosses and which rests on the shoulders of the Archbishop. It expresses unity, a bond of love and communion with the Holy See, and is an incentive to valor. Archbishop, who received the pallium from the Roman Pontiff, wears it on his chasuble when he celebrates masses.

Source: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2013/04/23/arcybiskup-wilenski-nawoluje-do-wedrowki-z-chrystusem/

Tłumaczenie by Emil Iracki w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by by Emil Iracki within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu. 

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