Installation of a Bishop

Installation of a Bishop

Installation of a Bishop is properly set within the service of Holy Communion, following the sermon and hymn of the day. The Nicene Creed may be said preceding the order of installation.
The presiding bishop, or another bishop designated by this church, presides at the installation of a bishop.



The assembly stands. The one being installed and the secretary come before the presiding minister and the assembly.
The secretary presents the one being installed to the presiding minister.
I present  [full name],
who has been elected and called by the church,
for installation into the office of bishop of __________ .
The secretary moves aside, and the assembly is seated.


Address and Questions

The presiding minister addresses the one being installed.

A reading from John: Jesus said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:21-23)
A reading from Matthew: Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles: Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. (Acts 20:28)
A reading from Second Timothy: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
And again: Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. (2 Timothy 1:13-14)
The presiding minister questions the one being installed.
To you is being given the care of the pastors and congregations of this church/synod.
I ask you in the presence of God and of this assembly:
will you assume the office of bishop of __________ ?
I will, and I ask God to help me.
Will you be faithful in your office?
Will you commit yourself to this new trust and responsibility,
in the confidence that it comes from God through the call of the church?
I will, and I ask God to help me.
Will you carry out this ministry in accordance with the holy scriptures
and with the confessions of the Lutheran church,
and in harmony with the constitutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?
I will, and I ask God to help me.
Will you be diligent in your study of the holy scriptures
and in your use of the means of grace?
Will you love, serve, and pray for God’s people,
nourish them with the word and sacraments,
and lead them by your own example in faithful service and holy living?
I will, and I ask God to help me.
Will you give faithful witness in the world,
that God’s love may be known in all that you do?
I will, and I ask God to help me.
Will you guide, encourage, and support the ministers and the congregations
of this church/synod in their ministries?
Will you be an advocate for the ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
and will you support this church’s work with global and ecumenical partners?
I will, and I ask God to help me.
Almighty God, who has given you the will to do these things,
graciously give you the strength and compassion to perform them.
The assembly responds:
The assembly stands.
The presiding minister addresses the assembly.
People of God, representatives of this church/synod,
will you receive  name  as a servant of God
and a shepherd in the church of Jesus Christ?
We will, and we ask God to help us.
Will you pray for her/him,
help and honor her/him for her/his work’s sake,
and in all things strive to live together in the peace and unity of Christ?
We will, and we ask God to help us.
The one being installed may kneel.


The presiding minister leads the assembly in giving thanks.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we give you thanks that by your Holy Spirit you sustain the church.
By the power of the Holy Spirit
you call, gather, enlighten, and sanctify the whole church.
The presiding minister lays both hands on the head of the one being installed.
A time of silent prayer follows.
The presiding minister continues.
Pour out your Spirit upon [name
to empower and enlighten her/his ministry as a bishop in your church.
Sustain her/him as a shepherd
who tends the flock of Christ with love and gentleness,
and oversees the ministries of the church with vision and wisdom.
Uphold her/him as a faithful steward of your holy word and life-giving sacraments
and a strong sign of reconciliation among all people.
Give courage and fortitude to sustain her/him in this ministry.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Savior and Lord,
through whom all glory and power and honor are yours
in your holy church, both now and forever.
The presiding minister addresses the one being installed.
The office of bishop is now committed to you
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Addressing the newly installed bishop, the presiding minister proclaims God’s blessing.
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
make you complete in everything good so that you may do God’s will,
working in you that which is pleasing in God’s sight;
through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever.

Prayers of Intercession

The newly installed bishop may stand or remain kneeling for the prayers.
The prayers are prepared locally for each occasion. Prayers reflect the wideness of God’s mercy for the whole world—
for the church universal, its unity, and the mission of the gospel;
for the newly installed bishop, all ministries in the church, and all Christians in their vocations;
for the synod/church body and the communities it serves;
for the well-being of creation;
for peace and justice in the world, the nations and those in authority, the community;
for the poor, oppressed, sick, bereaved, lonely;
for all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit;
for the assembly, and for special concerns.
Additional prayers may come from the assembly.
Prayers of thanksgiving for the faithful departed may include those who recently have died and those commemorated on the church’s calendar.
The newly installed bishop may kneel, as the presiding minister continues.
Remember to rekindle the gift of God that is within you.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity
but a spirit of power and love and self-control.

Giving of a Cross

The presiding minister places a pectoral cross around the newly installed bishop’s neck and says:
Receive this cross and wear it
as a sign of your calling to serve Christ and his people,
and as an emblem of the office to which you have been elected.
The newly installed bishop stands and the presiding minister presents her/him to the people. The assembly may offer acclamation with applause.


The presiding minister and the assembly greet each other in the peace of the risen Christ.
The peace of Christ be with you always.
And also with you.
The people may greet one another with a sign of Christ’s peace, and may say
Peace be with you
or similar words.
The assembly is seated. The service continues with the offering.


This order is for use in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The comparable rite for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is available at
At the installation of a synodical bishop, the presiding minister is normally the presiding bishop. At the installation of a presiding bishop, the presiding minister is the retiring presiding bishop or, where that is not possible, another bishop designated by the church.
The one being installed is appropriately vested in alb and stole. If she/he will preside at the meal of holy communion, a chasuble may also be worn. Until presented, she/he may be seated with the assembly.
Because of its ecumenical significance, the Nicene Creed is especially appropriate for use at this service.
The complete name of the person is used at the presentation. At other places in the service, the first or given name (without surname) is appropriate.
The secretary of the synod presents one being installed as a synodical bishop. The secretary of the church presents one who is to be installed as presiding bishop.
Three bishops in historic succession (the presiding bishop and two others) join in the laying on of hands in conformity with the canons of the Council of Nicaea. Other bishops and representatives of churches with which a relationship of full communion has been established with this church join in the laying on of hands. The laying on of hands may happen in one of several ways:
After the presiding minister lays on hands and keeps a time of silence, all may lay hands simultaneously as the presiding minister speaks the prayer.
All may lay hands in silence, either one at a time or simultaneously, followed by the prayer spoken by the presiding minister as she/he alone lays on hands. If the laying on of hands is done one at a time, silent prayer is kept throughout the action.
The laying on of hands and its accompanying prayer is not repeated for a person who is currently serving as a bishop. When a bishop is called to a new ministry as bishop, the following prayer is used after the initial thanksgiving, without the laying on of hands:
Ever-living God, strengthen and sustain your bishop  name , that with patience and understanding she/he may follow Jesus Christ in this new ministry as  presiding bishop / bishop of the [name of synod] . Pour out your grace, that she/he may love and care for your people and teach the faith; grant that together they may follow Jesus, offering to you their gifts and talents; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
The presiding minister may lay one hand on the head of the one being installed while saying the blessing, “The God of peace . . .”
Giving of a Cross
The pectoral cross is the one symbol of the office of bishop that is held in common throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Normally, the same cross that was worn by the outgoing bishop is presented to the newly elected bishop as part of the rite of installation.
In some synods, additional symbols associated with the ministry of oversight are presented at the time of installation. These additional presentations often reflect the piety and long-standing practice in the synod. When a crozier (bishop’s staff) is given to mark the shepherding aspect of the bishop’s ministry, the presiding minister may say:
Receive this staff as a sign of your pastoral office: keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you to shepherd in the church of God.
Beginning at the peace, the newly installed bishop may assume the role of presiding minister. Or, the installing bishop may preside for the entire service.
When scheduling the service for the installation of a bishop, the rhythms and emphases of the church year should be taken into account. For example, because of their solemn character, the days from the Sunday of the Passion through Easter Day are best avoided as days for such a service.
The installation of a bishop is usually set within a special service, apart from the primary service on a Sunday or festival. Propers are selected from those listed below.
When the installation is set within the primary service on a Sunday for which the color is green, propers are selected from those listed below.
When the installation is set within the primary service on another Sunday or festival, the propers for that Sunday or festival may be used. The prayer of the day for installation is said following the prayer of the day appointed for the Sunday or festival.
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, through your Son Jesus Christ you gave the holy apostles many gifts and commanded them to feed your flock. Inspire all pastors to proclaim your word diligently and your people to receive it willingly, that finally we may receive the crown of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Readings and Psalms
Exodus 3:1-12 God calls Moses
Numbers 6:22-27 The Aaronic blessing
Isaiah 40:1-11 The word of our God will stand forever
Isaiah 42:5-9 I have called you; I have taken you by the hand
Isaiah 52:7-10 The messenger who brings good news
Jeremiah 23:1-6 God will raise up faithful shepherds
Jeremiah 23:23-29 Speak God’s word faithfully
Psalm 16 In your presence there is fullness of joy. (Ps. 16:11)
Psalm 84 My heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God. (Ps. 84:2)
Psalm 91 You are my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust. (Ps. 91:2)
Psalm 95 We are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand. (Ps. 95:7)
Psalm 96 Declare the glory of the Lord among the nations. (Ps. 96:3)
Psalm 99 Proclaim the greatness of the Lord our God. (Ps. 99:5)
Psalm 103 The Lord crowns you with mercy and steadfast love. (Ps. 103:4)
Psalm 113 Let the name of the Lord be blessed from this time forth forevermore. (Ps. 113:2)
Psalm 121 My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. (Ps. 121:2)
Psalm 122 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” (Ps. 122:1)
Psalm 133 How good and pleasant it is to live together in unity. (Ps. 133:1)
Acts 20:28-35 Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock
Romans 10:13-17 Faith comes from what is heard
Romans 12:4-8 Gifts that differ according to the grace given to us
2 Corinthians 4:1-7 [8-12] Treasure in clay jars
2 Timothy 4:1-5 Carry out your ministry fully
1 Peter 5:1-4 Tend the flock of God that is in your charge
Matthew 9:1-8 God gives authority to forgive
Mark 4:1-9 Parable of the sower
Mark 10:35-45 The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve
Luke 10:1-12, 16-20 Sending of the seventy
John 10:7-18 The good shepherd
John 13:[3-11] 12-17, 20 Whoever receives one whom I send receives me
John 17:6-19 I have sent them into the world
John 20:19-23 Receive the Holy Spirit
John 21:15-19 Feed my sheep
Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who an- | nounces peace,*
who brings good news, who announc- | es salvation. Alleluia. (Isa. 52:7)
Or, during Lent:
May I never boast of | anything*
except the cross of our Lord | Jesus Christ. (Gal. 6:14)
Other gospel acclamation texts that may be used:
John, Apostle and Evangelist; Conversion of Paul; Holy Cross Day; Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist; Reformation Day; Lent 3, year B; Lent 5, year C.
Hymn of the Day
395 Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord
401 Gracious Spirit, Heed Our Pleading
579 Lord, You Give the Great Commission
743 Now to the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray
Preface Apostles
Color Red
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