AskDefine | Define enthronement

Dictionary Definition

enthronement n : the ceremony of installing a new monarch [syn: coronation, enthronization, enthronisation, investiture]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. The act of enthroning or the state of being enthroned

Extensive Definition

An enthronement is a ceremony of inauguration centering around sitting for the first time on a throne. The throne has been for some time seen as a symbol of authority, both secular and religious. Likewise, enthronements occur in both church and state settings.

Religious ceremonies

Enthronements are most popular in religious settings, as an armchair is seen as the symbol of the authority to teach. Thus in Christianity, bishops of almost all denominations have a ceremony of enthronement after they assume office. The Roman Catholic Church has of late referred to Latin rite enthronements as episcopal "installations", but the substance of the ceremony remains the same. However, Eastern Catholic Churches, Orthodox Churches, and the Anglican Church retain the term and often have elaborate ceremonies marking the inauguration of the episcopate.

The papacy

The pope is no exception to the rule concerning episcopal enthronements, and was traditionally both enthroned and crowned with the papal tiara in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. However, during the Avignon papacy the papacy could not make use of its cathedra due to the Pope being in France and the cathedral being in Rome. Thus, the coronations continued while the enthronements had to wait until the return to Rome. On the return to Rome, the Lateran Palace was badly in need of repair, so the Pope made the Vatican his residence and transferred coronations to Saint Peter's Basilica. However, the Pope continued to have the Lateran Basilica as the cathedral of Rome, so enthronements continued there, with brief interruptions (see prisoner in the Vatican).
Although the coronation ceremony was replaced with the inauguration of Popes John Paul I and John Paul II in 1978, the enthronements continued, with the enthronement of Pope Benedict XVI occurring on May 7, 2005.

State ceremonies

Previously, most monarchial investiture ceremonies were not enthronements but coronations, where the ruler was crowned, since in most cases the monarch already sat on the throne at his or her accession. Now that coronations have fallen out of favor in most countries, enthronement is used instead since the throne of the monarch remains. While no Norwegian monarch has been crowned in nearly a century, the modern ceremony used to inaugurate their reign is often referred to as an enthronement, as is the formal inauguration ceremony of monarchs of Japan, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands.
enthronement in Polish: Intronizacja
enthronement in Chinese: 即位
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