ceremony At St. Anne's Cathedral
Representatives of nearly every order and congregation in Great Britain were at St. Anne's Cathedral, Leeds, on Monday, when Mgr. Henry John Poskitt, D.D., M.A., was solemnly consecrated Bishop of Leeds. The consecrator was Mgr. Richard Downey (Archbishop of Liverpool and Metropolitan of the Northern Province) who was assisted by Mgr. Thorman (Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle), and Mgr. McNulty (Bishop of Nottingham).
The civic heads of the City of Leeds were also present at the Cathedral together with many prominent lay people from Yorkshire and other parts of the country.
Following the ceremony of consecration a reception was given at the Great Northern Hotel.
Mgr. Poskitt is the fourth Bishop to be appointed to the see of Leeds since the diocese of Beverley was divided into the dioceses of Leeds and Middlesbrough in 1878.
Like his three predecessors (Mgrs. Cornthwaite, Gordon and Cowgill) he is of Yorkshire birth and ancestry. Aged 47 he was an Anglican curate at Leeds before he was received into the Church. He came to Leeds from the Middlesbrough diocese four years ago to take up the rectorship of St. Joseph's Seminary. He was then parish priest at Redale, and had previously been curate at Scarborough and Filey.
The Canons of the Chapter headed by Mgr. Hawkswell and Provost Russell stood within the door of the Cathedral to receive the Bishop-elect, the Archbishop and the assisting Bishops, and the procession to the Sanctuary began to the singing of Elgar's Ecce Sacerdos Magnus.
Canons Vermeire and Dunford were deacon and sub-deacon. Mgr. Adamson (Liverpool) was the master of ceremonies, and was assisted by the Rev. J. Desin, D.D., and the Rev. M. Thorpe.
The Consecration The consecration ceremony is divided into four parts: the Preludes, the Consecration Proper, the Presentation of the Insignia, and the Conclusion.
The Archbishop of Liverpool was vested in full pontificals of the colour of the Mass of ihc day; the assistant Bishops in copes of the same colour; the Bishopelect in amice, alb, cincture, white stole crossed on the brcast, and cope and biretta.
Kneeling before the consecrator Mgr. Poskitt took the oath to be obedient to the Holy See. to promote its rights, honours, privileges and authority. visit the Vatican City at stated times, and render an account of his whole pastoral office to the Pope, execute all apostolic mandates, and preserve inviolable all the possessions of his church.
The examination followed, in which seventeen questions, concerning the Canons
of the Church, and articles of Faith, were proposed.
Then robed in his pontifical vestments, the Bishop-elect was presented to the consecrator who set forth the duties and powers of a Bishop.
"It behoves a Bishop to judge, interpret, consecrate, offer, baptise, and confirm."
The clergy and faithful were asked to pray that God might bestow the abundance of his grace on the elect. The Litany of Saints was recited while Mgr. Poskitt prostrated himself on the floor of the sanctuary, all others present kneeling.
The consecrator, aided by. the assisting Bishops, took the book of the Gospels and opening it placed it on the neck and shoulders of the elect, and the book was held in this manner by one of the clergy until it was given to the elect after the presentation of the ring.
Then followed the imposition of hands which is the essence of the consecration. Both the consecrator and the assistant Bishops placed both hands, to express the plentitude of the power conferred and the grace asked for, on the head of the elect, saying—" Receive the Holy Ghost."
The Veni Creator Spiritus was sung, during which the consecrator first made the sign of the cross with holy chrism on the crown of the head of the new Bishop,
and then anointed the rest of the crown. This unction is to symbolise the gifts of the Holy Ghost, with which the Church desires a Bishop to be filled. It is accompanied by the prayer " May constancy of faith, purity of love, sincerity of peace, abound in him."
The annointing of the hands of the Bishop in the form of a cross, and afterwards of the entire palms, followed. This indicates the powers that are given to him. Then the prayer was said—" Whatsoever thou shalt bless, may it be blessed; and whatsoever thou shalt sanctify, may it be sanctified; and may the imposition of this consecrated hand and thumb be profitable to all things to salvation."
The hands of the Bishop were then joined and placed in a linen cloth suspended from the neck.
Insignia of Office
The crozier was blessed and handed to the Bishop. The consecrator admonished him that the true character of the ecclesiastical shepherd is to temper the exercise of justice with meekness, and not to neglect strictness of discipline through love of tranquility.
He blessed the ring and placed it on the third finger of the Bishop's right hand, reminding him that it is the symbol of fidelity which he owes to Holy Church. The book of Gospels was handed to him, with the command to go and preach to the people committed to his care.
The Bishop next received the kiss of peace from the consecrator and assistant Bishops. The offei tory followed, and the new Bishop was led to the consecrator to whom he presented two lighted torches, two loaves of bread, and two small barrels of wine.
Towards the end of the Mass the consecrator blessed the mitre and placed it on the head of the Bishop. Then the gloves were blessed and the Bishop put them on his hands.
Fully vested Mgt. Poskitt now consecrated a Bishop, was enthroned on the episcopal throne. The Te Dean: was sung, and the Bishop, with mitre and crozier, faced the consecrator and chanted Ad multos winos, repeating this to the assistant bishops.
The ceremony concluded, the Bishop and officiating prelates and clergy proceeded through the church, the congregation kneeling as the new Bishop imparted the episcopal blessing,