Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Bishop's Visit

What a time the Bishop's visit turned out to be -- much more than I had anticipated, and so joyous I had to cool off for a day or two before posting. (Well, there was also the issue of So Many Photos to wade through...)

I was prepared and honored to serve as Bishop's Chaplain (assisting him as needed with his Crozier, Miter, Cope and so on), I knew the Girls' Choir would be singing, and of course there would be the Confirmations and Receptions (into the church), but somehow all my anticipation fell short of the reality.

In a way I was disappointed at the small turnout for the Meet With the Bishop session after Matins, starting at 9 AM, but it meant there was more time for my questions. I asked a little question about thuribles with bells (prompted by a Greek Orthodox friend) and got back quite an education discourse about Orthodoxy, and the closeness between Anglicanism and Orthodoxy. I was only sad there wasn't more time for him to expound further.

At 9:45 it was time to head up to the Sacristy and vest, and it was there I ran into George (or was it Matt?), who asked how I'd managed to dodge the Mens' Choir. Mens' Choir? That explained his being vested, but I hadn't heard a thing about it. "Probably my voice," I told him -- and in truth I've been having trouble singing lately; trying to reach for the high notes causes me to choke somewhat. On the other hand, I already had an appointed task.

Then, when we were crowded into the Narthex ready to process --Crucifer, Lucifers, Girls' Choir, Mens' Choir, Fr. Daniel, myself and Bishop Provence -- I got my next surprise. Instead of us all singing a hymn, we processed with the choirs singing Veni, Creator Spiritus. (If I remember correctly, Ruby led it off; she has a wonderful voice.)

Then it was The Order of Confirmation, and wonderful to see so many confirmands, including a mother and daughter. Then Bishop Provence received new members into the church; he had a small book with the order of service for this, though I don't know what book it is.

Then, before entering into The Order for Holy Communion, we sang the first of only three hymns appointed for the service -- the Hymn Board looked almost bare.

Ranjit was Epistler for the day (usually my job for the fifth Sunday of the month as well as the first), which was superb. I love listening to his reading.

Bishop Provence preached a great sermon about preparing ourselves NOW, for we do not know when the Lord will return. (I was amused by his lead-off using vacuum tubes, probably as the only parishioner as familiar as he with them -- I learned to design vacuum-tube circuits well before transistor circuits, and still have my old Sylvania vacuum tube handbook in the library downstairs.)

For all our preparations, we still ended up punting from time to time. At one point Fr. Daniel, on the Epistle side with the Choirs and Joe (who was serving as Acolyte), noticed that the Sanctus Bells were over there and I was on the Gospel side. (Joe hasn't been trained with the bells yet.) So he had Joe bring them to me through the Sacristy, which fortunately opens on both side of the Sanctuary. Small things...

In any event a beautiful service, and a good thing we put the folding chairs out. They weren't all filled but we had an over-normal capacity crowd.

We had a little photo session afterwards, my first "group photo" session, and I see I have some things yet to learn about flashes and reflections. Oh well...

Afterwards, a nice reception in the Parish Hall. (Bishop Provence and our youngest, Mary Eve McGrath, appear here -- this is just one of so many photos of the like, it was hard to choose.)

It all ended way too soon, but Bishop Provence needed to return to prepare for the annual Synod which starts Thursday in Napa Valley. Next year it's our turn to be host!


  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger Kathleen said…

    This was in my recollection among the most memorable Bishop's visits to date. I can recall two other significant visitations in recent years: Deacon Ed Miller's ordination on the 4th of July (he being a VietNam era veteran and chaplain to the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Seattle), and Father Daniel McGrath's installation coinciding with the consecration of our church buildings.

    It is difficult to say which of these three occasions was the grander. Suffice it to say that the energy and enthusiasm expressed on this particular Sunday were contagious. It was hard to "come down to earth" after all the festivities. The confirmands were angelic, the families and friends were happy, those being received were elated and those in attendance couldn't help being proud of our growing parish family.

  • At 8:54 PM, Blogger The Miller Menagerie said…

    I, too, was very pleasantly surprised to hear Veni Creator Spiritus as our Introit. It is my second favorite thing in the hymnal to sing (Picardy is #1. As a teenager, those of us in the altar party would say this before each service. I loved hearing it in the Prelude a few weeks ago, and I loved hearing it again last Sunday.

    I thoroughly appreciated the Bishop's sermon for so many different reasons. One of the best parts, for me, was his use of Psalms 118: 24 because Prue has been singing daily a Veggie Tales song of that verse. But, the sermon was good for the unchurched, great for lighting a fire in the confirmands, and it included great reminders for the Church. Just wonderful all around!

    We have been so blessed by St. Bartholomew's and we look forward to our future of serving the Lord with our new family!

    P.S. The Lord has been blessing the Menagerie left and right, and I just want to ask everyone to offer up thanks for all of the wonderful blessings that we've received! I'm sure it is because of everyone's prayers on our behalf!

  • At 12:06 AM, Blogger An Anglican Geek said…

    I 'm nearly certain the book the Bishop was using for the admission of communicants was A Manual for Priests.

  • At 4:42 PM, Blogger Anglican Parish Priest said…

    It was "The Book of Offices: Services for Certain Occasions not provided in the Book of Common Prayer", compiled by the Standing Liturgical Commission and commended for use by General Convention of the [then] Protestant Episcopal Church, 3rd edition, 1960.

    It is a neat little green book that contains other stuff that I use, such as the Palm Sunday Blessing of Palms and Procession, a Rogationtide Service and Procession, and other good things.

    I highly recommend it to any priest, deacon, lay reader, or seminarian, provided they can locate a copy in a used book store. (Mine came from a retired Episcopal priest).

  • At 6:04 PM, Blogger Continuing Home said…

    "I highly recommend it to any priest, deacon, lay reader, or seminarian, provided they can locate a copy in a used book store. (Mine came from a retired Episcopal priest)."

    Well then, as a lay reader I guess I should find a copy!


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