The Super Bowl of Church Services

On Saturday, I drove down to Long Island for the consecration of the new bishop of that diocese. This alone was fantastic. For so many years in Alaska and South Africa, I’ve heard about events – weddings, primarily – that have gone on and I haven’t been able to attend because I’ve been so far away. Now, when something big happens, I can actually be a part of it.

The new bishop is Larry Provenzano, formerly of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. I worked with his children at summer camp and he was frequently a chaplain there. I like the idea of Bishop Larry. I think he looks good in purple.

The consecration of a bishop is kind of like the Super Bowl of church services for Episcopalians, I decided. There were about 2500 people in the concert hall – that’s a lot for us Episcopalians – and there was a clear buzz of excitement. There were at least 20 bishops on hand, including the Presiding Bishop herself. What most impressed me was the diversity of the congregation – African-American, Asian, Latino, white, and probably others I missed. That’s not always true of the Episcopal churches I’m familiar with.

The service was about two and a half hours long. That’s nothing for my South African trained self. The initial procession took about 20 minutes and four hymns.IMG_1518The presentation before the other bishops.

IMG_1530The magic moment. That’s a lot of bishops!

IMG_1537The new bishop gets a long ovation from his new diocese.

IMG_1545Larry has for a long time been a fire chaplain.

IMG_1548With some other former camp chaplains on hand for the occasion.

IMG_1550There need to be more steel bands at Episcopal events, especially ones with priests playing in them. Note the white-haired woman in the last row. She was my favourite.

I like it when I get excited when I go to church. Wouldn’t it be great if it happened more often?

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3 thoughts on “The Super Bowl of Church Services

  1. abby

    mmm… the steel pan band makes my heart smile and remember grenada. did i ever mention that i’m an experienced steel pan player? in my prime, i used to play a mean high second (but might be pretty rusty these days). may you continue to stumble across joyful noises…

  2. jessezink

    Now that you mention it, the resemblance is there but that’s the bishop of Western Massachusetts (my bishop), Gordon Scruton. If it had been Rowan, you can bet the post would have been about him and not Larry.

    -Jesse

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