David Walkowiak became Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids in a 2.5 hour ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew this afternoon in Grand Rapids.

View photos from today's installation ceremony and learn more about the symbolism found during the ceremony.

You'll find a number of symbols of the Office of Bishop in the photos including mitre, ring, crosier and more.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids explained what these symbols mean.

The Mitre

  • The mitre is the proper liturgical headdress for all bishops of the Latin Rite, including the pope. The word comes from the Greek word mitra, meaning “turban.” It consists of two stiffened flaps of material joined by a headband with two fringed strips hanging from the back base of the mitre. The mitre as we know it today developed from the conical head-covering worn by the pope that appeared in the tenth century. At first, it was used only by the pope.


  • The crosier is a pastoral staff that is conferred on bishops (and abbots) at their installation. In the West, the top of the staff is curved to remind the bishop of the shepherd's crook and of his pastoral care of the people entrusted to him. It is a sign of the bishop’s need to keep watch over his whole flock, sustaining the weak and faltering, confirming the wavering faith, and leading back the erring ones into the true fold.

The Bishop’s Ring

  • The bishop’s ring is a symbol of the bishop’s fidelity to and nuptial bond with the church, his spouse. It signifies the bishop’s symbolic marriage to the church or Christ. The bishop’s ring is usually made of gold with an amethyst. The bishop’s ring was first mentioned as an official part of the bishop’s insignia in the early seventh century.

The Zucchetto

  • The zucchetto is a skullcap worn, particularly by prelates, since the 13th century. The pope wears a white zucchetto; cardinals a red zucchetto; and bishops a purple zucchetto. Everyone else wears black.

The Bishop’s Chair

  • In ancient times, a chair was a sign of authority to teach. The bishop’s chair is called a cathedra from the Latin word for chair and it is the presence of the bishop’s cathedra in a church that makes it a cathedral. The bishop’s chair then is a symbol of the bishop’s teaching office and pastoral power in his diocese. It is also a sign of the unity of believers in the faith that the bishop proclaims as shepherd of the Lord’s flock. The bishop’s chair is at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Grand Rapids.

All photos via dioceseofgrandrapids.org live stream of installation ceremony.

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