Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Interesting

Somehow I must have missed the installation of the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Rev. Michael Curry, on All Saints' Day.  In any case, I must not have been the only one.  His installation included the requisite nod to diversity (The Native American Drumming Prelude by the Cedarville Band of Piscataway Indians of Maryland) but conspicuously absent was any presence by their ecumenical partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Perhaps they were lumped in with the Moravians who participated. Hmmmm.  Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man played in what was, if anything, an uncommon liturgy for a decidedly uncommon occasion.  A Rabbi prayed a prayer from Proverbs and an Imam prayed.  Another nod to diversity.

They prayed for an end to the patriarchal arrogance of the past and for the entire human family -- not only those of the household of the faith.  (O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne.)  Surely we would all do well for an end to arrogance and hatred!

God was addressed as Transforming God, not a name or even an attribute usually associated with prayer in Scripture.  The Great Thanksgiving began in Spanish and the Sanctus was a Spanish language hymn paraphrase.  Everyone got to be a soloist in the sung Our Father in the familiar Malotte setting.  They sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic, a choir sang Deep River and, of course, a Marty Haugen distribution song was sung.  At the end, the familiar words of the James Weldon Johnson hymn Lift Every Voice and Sing sent the folks on their way.

There was a welcoming party of clergy, an asperging party of clergy, and a seating party of clergy.  There was a deacon of the table, chaplains to the Presiding Bishop, intercessors, oblation bearers, and ministers of communion.  There was surely a great show -- nobody knows how to throw a party like the Anglicans -- but it was a curious installation into a curious communion at a curious time, both in global terms and in local American terms.  It reminds us of a church with a great past and a very uncertain future.  But I guess that is exactly what the Episcopal Church in the US is -- a communion with a great past but a very uncertain future.

For my part I think that if he has better taste in vestments than Bishop Jefforts Schori did, it will be an improvement.

BTW if you have a spare 3 hours and 46 minutes you can watch it all here. . .  The Episcopalians can always be counted upon to put together a good show, even if some strangeness and hollow words raise a question or two about what is actually happening. . .






7 comments:

Carl Vehse said...

"For my part I think that if he has better taste in vestments than Bishop Jefforts Schori did, it will be an improvement."

Yes, dapperness always lightens heresy and blasphemy.

Kirk Skeptic said...

Pr P, do you reeally think that watching that installation that you would get any time off of Purgatory? Does your masochism know any limits?

tubbs said...

ROFLM*O
Kirk, that is how some of us Papes of a more traditional view see attendance at a Novus Ordo liturgy. Attendance is so excruciating for me that I’m sure I’ve liberated Fr. Martin, Leo X, and even ole’ Zwingli from the pre-Pearly Gates microwave.

Carl Vehse said...

Forget the 3-hour-46-minute episcopal show. At the start of the Youtube video you can be entertained by the 2m58s Squattypotty-Mystic-Unicorn-with-rainbow-poop-commercial.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that "they prayed for an end to the patriarchal arrogance of the past and for the entire human family." Seems pretty arrogant to me to reject the clear teaching of God's word in favor of the vanity of men's minds.

Kirk Skeptic said...

@tubbs: come to my LCMess congregation during the summer for our Marty Haugen liturgy, and you'll be begging for the Novus Ordo.

Janis Williams said...

Guys, how can you get time off for yourself or others in purgatory by going there yourselves? I'd rather watch Joel Osteen for 24 hours; at least you can laugh...