25 August 2002. Discussing whether the investiture ceremony as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre should be done in Mass.


About John Lilburne


25 August 2002 "Gloria standing and knights"

19 August 2001 on last year's Mass with investiture's of The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem


Investiture Ceremony

I found more information on the investiture ceremony for the "Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem."

James-Charles Noonan has a chapter about them in "The Church Visible: The ceremonial life and protocol of the Roman Catholic Church" (Viking Penguin, 1996).

He presents two ceremonies: one is in the Mass and the other is not. The one in the Mass is described as the "United States Custom". It seems to have been provided by the Eastern Lieutenancy of the United States. The introduction to it has:

"Minor changes have been made in an effort to bring the ceremonies into closer conformity with approved liturgical guidelines. Ceremonies of the Order vary in minor degree from nation to nation. At present, many investitures are conducted within the structure of the Holy Mass. When the investiture is to be conducted within the Mass, the following ceremonial should be closely followed." (page 168)

The ceremony it has is similar to the one used at the Melbourne cathedral on 25 August 2002, although different words were used. But where does it come from?

According to James-Charles Noonan:

"The Grand Magistery is careful to permit local customs; however, there remains a set liturgical formula for investiture that is in keeping with both history and practices set in the Constitution of 1977."

That Constitution may have answers, but I have not yet found it. The approach of permitting local customs does not seem consistent with faithfully following the liturgical books.

The ceremony that is not in the Mass has an approval of the Sacred Congregation of Rites of 25 July 1962.

It does not seem appropriate to me that the ceremony be in the Mass. According to the "Book of Blessings", n. 28:

"Because some blessings have a special relationship to the sacraments, they may sometimes be joined with the celebration of Mass. ... No blessings except those so specified may be joined with the eucharistic celebration."

It has a blessing for medals which is not in the Mass (US Book of Blessings, n. 1442; De Benedictionibus, n. 1162). Another similar ceremony is the "Order for the Blessing and Conferral of a Scapula". Again it is not in the Mass.

The introduction to the Book of Blessings, n. 39, makes it clear that Conferences of Bishops can prepare rites for their region. With the approval of the Apostolic See these are to be used. But I doubt this has been done for this ceremony, either in the USA or Australia.

By J.R. Lilburne, 28 August 2002. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.