Saint Peter’s Chair: Why a Celebration?

Did you ever celebrate a chair? Probably not, but we are not totally unfamiliar with the idea of a chair as a stand-in for its occupants, as well as for their role. I think of the bishop’s chair in a cathedral, for example (which is sometimes called a throne). It’s usually a permanent fixture in the cathedral sanctuary and only the local bishop occupies it. While the Eucharist and other services are celebrated in the church every day, the chair remains empty unless the local bishop is present to preside over the liturgy, then he occupies the chair.