Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(Latin, prœpositus; French, prévôt; German, Probst )

Anciently (St. Jerome, "Ep.", II, xiv: Ad Rusticum monach.) every chapter had an archpriest and an archdeacon. The former officiated in the absence of the bishop and had general supervision of the choir, while the latter was the head of the chapter and administered its temporal affairs. Later the archpriest was called decanus (dean) and the archdeacon prœpositus (provost). At present the chief dignity of a chapter is usually styled dean, though in some countries, as in England, the term provost is applied to him. The provost, by whatever name he may be known, is appointed by the Holy See in accordance with the fourth rule of the Roman Chancery. It is his duty to see that all capitular statutes are observed. To be authentic, all acts of the chapter, in addition to the seal of the chapter, require his signature. Extraordinary meetings of the chapter are convened by him, generally, however, on written request of a majority of the chapter, and with the consent of the bishop. He presides in chapter at the election of a vicar capitular , who within eight days of the death of the bishop is to be chosen as the administrator of the vacant see. He conducts the ceremonies at the installation of canons-elect, investing them with the capitular insignia, assigning them places in choir, etc. In choir, the first place after the bishop belongs to him. In the absence of the bishop, or in case the see is vacant, the provost conducts episcopal ceremonial functions, while he takes precedence of all, even of the vicar capitular. He must be present, however, personally, not being allowed a substitute. When the bishop pontificates, the provost is assistant priest. It is his office to administer Viaticum to the bishop, and to conduct the bishop's obsequies.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Song of Songs 3:1-4
1 On my bed at night I sought the man who is my ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
2 Thus I have gazed on you in the sanctuary, seeing ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-2, 11-18
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Mary Magdelene
July 22: She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter