Tuesday, May 18, 2010



Before going on a blogging sabbatical, I wanted to post about the ordination ceremony of the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, Morris Thompson, at Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans, but I was in a period of frenetic blogging, so much so, that I never wrote the post while the ceremony was fresh in my mind. The service was simple and dignified, but beautiful. Considering that south Louisiana is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and the federal flood and Hurricane Gustav, and that oil was gushing from the exploded well in the Gulf of Mexico south of us, a modest and unassuming service was entirely appropriate. The liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer for the ordination of a bishop was the ceremony. The organists, cantor, and choirs performed beautifully, and the congregation made a joyful noise unto the Lord. A spirit of reverent prayerfulness was palpably present throughout the service, which lasted about two hours.

A bit of excitement, at least for me, came when the young people from our church passed in procession. Dianne Guthrie carried St. John's banner, and Chelsea Rivera served as crucifer representing the Southwest Deanery, immediately preceding the dignitaries in the procession into the cathedral. I offer my congratulations and prayers to Dianne and Chelsea, who will both graduate from high school this year.

The thurifer, Brad Copeland, proceeded down the aisle swinging the thurible with considerable vigor on what seemed quite a long chain, which was a little scary to me. However, Brad seemed quite confident of his skills, and all went well.

For you musicians and music lovers:

Opening Voluntary - Fantasie in A Major - Cesar Franck

Hymn - The Old Hundreth Psalm

Procession - Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation,
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus

Bishop Stacy Sauls, Bishop Morris Thompson's bishop in Lexington, KY, preached the sermon.

Post Sermon - King of Glory, King of Peace

Before the Ordination - Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest

The Examination

My brother, the people have chosen you and have affirmed their trust in you by acclaiming your election. A bishop in God’s holy Church is called to be one with the apostles in proclaiming Christ’s resurrection and interpreting the Gospel, and to testify to Christ’s sovereignty as Lord of lords and King of kings.

You are called to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church; to celebrate and to provide for the administration of the sacraments of the New Covenant; to ordain priests and deacons and to join in ordaining bishops; and to be in all things a faithful pastor and wholesome example for the entire flock of Christ.

With your fellow bishops you will share in the leadership of the Church throughout the world. Your heritage is the faith of patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and those of every generation who have looked to God in hope. Your joy will be to follow him who came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Are you persuaded that God has called you to the office of bishop?

I am so persuaded.

Offertory - Now Let Us Rise and Hymn the Grace

Communion - I Come With Joy to Meet My Lord, I Am the Bread of Life

Closing hymn - Lift High the Cross

Voluntary - Prelude & Fugue in B Major, Opus 7, No. 1 - Marcel Dupré

Note: I'm still on sabbatical, but for this post. Since I was present, I wanted to give my impression of the ceremony before too much more time passes.


  1. And now the dean of our cathedral is a candidate to replace your bishop. Prayers for all.

  2. Piskie, it's done. The ordination was on May 8. Morris Thompson is our bishop.

  3. Piskie, I see! I thought you were saying that our bishop was to be replaced by another bishop. Not yet! Your cathedral dean has applied for the position of dean in KY.

  4. I'm rather fond of simple services myself.

  5. Tim, more and more I prefer simplicity.

    Göran, the service was lovely.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful service. You gotta watch them thuribles though.

  7. Cathy, I'm glad I was not near the aisle.


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