Ecclesiastical ring

Ecclesiastical ring, eighteenth century
Episcopal rings for bishops and archbishops, (Musée national du Moyen Âge, Hôtel de Cluny, Paris)
"Council ring" given by Pope Paul VI in 1965 to those bishops who had participated in the Second Vatican Council

Finger ring worn by clergy, such as a bishop's ring.

- Ecclesiastical ring

45 related topics



Stylized staff that is a symbol of the governing office of a bishop or abbot and is carried by high-ranking prelates of Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and some Anglican, Lutheran, United Methodist and Pentecostal churches.

A crosier on the coat of arms of Basel, Switzerland which was ruled by Prince-Bishops during the Middle Ages
Eufemia Szaniawska, Abbess of the Benedictine Monastery in Nieśwież with a crosier, c. 1768, National Museum in Warsaw
Pope John Paul II holding the Papal ferula, not a crosier, 5 October 1997
The Insular style Lismore crosier, c. 1100. National Museum of Ireland<ref>Ó Floinn, Raghnal; Wallace, Patrick (eds), Treasures of the National Museum of Ireland: Irish Antiquities. Dublin: National Museum of Ireland, 2002. p. 235. {{isbn|978-0-7171-2829-7}}</ref>
Copy of the Aghadoe Crozier, Swedish History Museum, Stockholm. Originating from Aghadoe, County Kerry in the early 12th century, the crozier is formed from a single block of Walrus ivory, and contains a spiral design on the crook showing the head of an animal biting a human figure.<ref name="m214">Moss (2014), p. 314</ref>
Walrus tusk, Holy Spirit as a dove, England, ca. 1120–1130, Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris
Crozier head with floral cluster, English, late 12th century<ref>"Crosier head". National Museum of Scotland. Retrieved 20 August 2021</ref>
Archangel Michael defeating the dragon, Limoges enamel, The Museum of Gloucester, 1220-1250
Ivory crosier showing the Agnus Dei, Italy, 13th century, Musée du Louvre

Other typical insignia of prelates are the mitre, the pectoral cross, and the episcopal ring.


Violet variety of quartz.

Amethyst cluster from Magaliesburg, South Africa.
Main amethyst-producing countries
Faceted amethyst
Emerald cut amethyst
Amethyst crystals from Mexico
An amethyst geode that formed when large crystals grew in open spaces inside the rock.
Amethyst from Brazil in the Mineral museum in India
Roman intaglio engraved gem of Caracalla in amethyst, once in the Treasury of Sainte-Chapelle.
Uninscribed amethyst scarab at the center of a string of amethyst ball beads. Middle Kingdom. From Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Anglican bishops wear an episcopal ring often set with an amethyst, an allusion to the description of the Apostles as "not drunk" at Pentecost in Acts 2:15.

Pontifical vestments

Pontifical vestments, also referred to as episcopal vestments or pontificals, are the liturgical vestments worn by bishops (and by concession some other prelates) in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Anglican, and some Lutheran churches, in addition to the usual priestly vestments for the celebration of the Mass and the other sacraments.

An Eastern Catholic bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church along with other priests
A Byzantine Rite bishop blessing with dikirion and trikirion upon being vested

ecclesiastical ring


Ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of authority and oversight in a religious institution.

A 6th-century image of Saint Augustine, bishop of Hippo Regius.
Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, student of John the Apostle
A bishop with other officials on an 11th-century grave in Sweden.
Johann Otto von Gemmingen, Prince-Bishop of Augsburg
A mitre is used as a symbol of the bishop's ministry in Western Christianity.
One form for the coat of arms of a Catholic bishop
A bishop administering Confirmation. Rogier van der Weyden, The Seven Sacraments, 15th century.
In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church the administration of Confirmation is normally reserved to the local bishop.
Danish Lutheran bishops wearing a cope over cassock, surplice, ruff and pectoral cross.
The consecrated bishop is the only minister of Holy Orders. Photo of pre-Vatican II ceremony.
Katharine Jefferts Schori, The 26th presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church (United States)
Mikael Agricola (1510–1557), a Finnish Lutheran clergyman and the Bishop of Turku
United Methodist Episcopal Shield
Francis Asbury's ordination as bishop by Thomas Coke at the 1784 Christmas Conference.
Eastern Rite Catholic bishops celebrating Divine Liturgy in their proper pontifical vestments
An Anglican bishop with a crosier, wearing a rochet under a red chimere and cuffs, a black tippet, and a pectoral cross
An Episcopal bishop immediately before presiding at the Great Vigil of Easter in the narthex of St. Michael's Episcopal Cathedral in Boise, Idaho.
Catholic bishop dressed for the Sacrifice of the Mass. No Pontifical gloves.

Traditionally, a number of items are associated with the office of a bishop, most notably the mitre, crosier, and ecclesiastical ring.

Congé d'élire

Licence from the Crown in England issued under the great seal to the dean and chapter of the cathedral church of a diocese, authorizing them to elect a bishop or archbishop, as the case may be, upon the vacancy of any episcopal see in England.

Elizabeth II is the living embodiment of the Crown in each of her Commonwealth realms

The necessity of royal confirmation of the election of a bishop in Anglo-Saxon England, with the Crown delivering or withholding his ring and crozier, was previously claimed on the basis of the Croyland Chronicle credited to the abbot Ingulf; this is, however, now known to be a much later forgery.

Pope Benedict XV

Head of the Catholic Church from 1914 until his death in 1922.

Portrait by Nicola Perscheid, 1915
The birthplace of Giacomo della Chiesa in Pegli
Giacomo in 1866 at age twelve
Pope Pius X consecrates his future successor Pope Benedict XV as Archbishop Giacomo della Chiesa in the Vatican on 22 December 1907
Archbishop della Chiesa on pastoral visit in 1910
Cardinal Della Chiesa in 1914
Coronation of Pope Benedict XV in 1914
Eugenio Pacelli at the Imperial Headquarters with the peace proposal of Benedict XV to Emperor Wilhelm II.
Pope Benedict XV during his reign.
Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli delivers packages from Benedict XV to Italian POWs in 1917
Under Pope Benedict XV Cardinals Domenico Ferrata (above) and Rafael Merry del Val in 1914 switched positions in the Vatican
Joan of Arc enters Orléans (painting by J.J. Sherer, 1887). Joan was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri
His friend Cardinal Rampolla at age 70 shortly before his death
Portrait of Benedict XV by Antonio Fabrés (1916, Museo del Prado)
The handwriting of Pope Benedict XV
"Salus Populi Romani"
Statue of Benedict XV in the courtyard of St. Esprit Cathedral, Istanbul

The Pope donated his own episcopal ring and crosier to the new bishop and spent much time with the della Chiesa family on the following day.

Clerical clothing

Non-liturgical clothing worn exclusively by clergy.

On the right, an example of the full collar shirt and cassock; on the left, a clerical shirt that could have a tab collar inserted.
The rabat, worn until the early 20th century.
The ruff, as worn by a Danish Lutheran bishop

Along with the pectoral cross and episcopal ring, this marks them off from other clergy in appearance.

Investiture Controversy

Conflict between the church and the state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops (investiture) and abbots of monasteries and the pope himself.

Henry IV begging forgiveness of Pope Gregory VII at Canossa, the castle of the Countess Matilda, 1077
Contemporary illustration of Henry IV (left) and Anti-pope Clement III (centre)
Henry IV requests mediation from Matilda of Tuscany and abbot Hugh of Cluny.
The Cathedral of Worms was 10 years old when the Concordat was issued there in 1122.
The Avignon Papacy occurring several centuries after the Concordat, and indicated that there was continued interference in the papacy by kings.

It affirmed the right of the church to invest bishops with sacred authority, symbolized by a ring and staff.


Act of bending a knee to the ground, as distinguished from kneeling which more strictly involves both knees.

Genuflection on one knee, during a Catholic Mass
Traditionally marriage proposals use genuflection
Manuel II of Portugal during Missa de Campanha, c. 1910
Woodcut depicting marriage proposal - genuflection (kneel/squat combination)
American football player Tim Tebow "tebowing" as genuflection (kneel/squat combination).
1909 drawing of Hermod genuflecting before Hela, from Norse myth

From the custom of genuflecting to kings and other nobles arose the custom by which lay people or clergy of lesser rank genuflect to a prelate and kiss his episcopal ring, as a sign of acceptance of the bishop's apostolic authority as representing Christ in the local church, and originally their social position as lords.

Papal Mass

Solemn Pontifical High Mass celebrated by the Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI photographed during a Papal Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica in 2013
The Elevation during the papal form of solemn pontifical high Mass celebrated by Pope John XXIII in St. Peter's Basilica in the early 1960s. Note the mitre and the papal tiaras placed on the high altar. The Greek clergy are standing - as is customary - while the others kneel.
Modern papal Mass in São Paulo, Brazil

episcopal ring