Sep 12, 2014

Consecration Eve Tips

Here in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts everyone's all atwitter about the impending consecration of our Bishop-elect Alan Gates. Elected in April, Fr. Gates will succeed our beloved retiring bishop, Tom Shaw, who has served us faithfully for 20 years.

On Consecration Eve, things seem to be in order: Boston University's Agganis Arena has been transformed into a mega church; the Cathedral nautilus has been hand polished by cloistered monks; there have been Facebook arguments over the proper vestiture (cassock and surplice vs. cassock-alb); and I've released my Official Consecration Packing List.

During these waning hours before the big day, I thought I'd do my part and suggest a few ways to demonstrate that old DioMass spirit.

Here are a few suggestions:

Get a nautilus tattoo. The one in the picture is the one I personally went with but there are many options.

Dye your hair purple in solidarity with the new bishop. Also, it shows the rest of the diocese that you're a rabid Lent Madness fan.

Pick up a fake bishop costume and join in the holy scrum with the other 28 bishops who will lay hands upon Alan when he is made a bishop in God's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

Bring a flock of sheep to the service so the newly consecrated bishop will be able to actually use his shiny new crozier as something other than a symbolic prop.

Speaking of animals, I plan to smuggle in a specially-trained dove that will alight upon Alan's head at the exact moment of consecration. Fine, all I could find at the last minute was a pigeon but that's close enough.

Wear the biggest ring you can find so Alan doesn't feel so self-conscious about his newfound diocesan bling.

Since miters are supposed to be reminiscent of the flames coming down at Pentecost, why not just light your hair on fire?

Oh, and in case any liturgically-challenged clergy were still wondering (come on, this is the Diocese of Massachusetts after all) were wondering, THIS is the appropriate vestiture for a consecration:


Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us know about this, Father Tim! I've been watching it on the streaming site (thanks for the link) out of curiosity. I have to say, Episcopalians know how to do ceremony for sure. And I was glad to see someone else doing "Siyahamba"--it's a recurring song at my (UM) church, and we're terrible at the non-English lyrics. We try hard, though.

So, what are your thoughts on the nautilus that made it to the new bishop's pectoral cross and the sermon itself? Looking forward to hearing your comments on the service--again, thank you for the heads up; I love seeing how other denominations do things and finding all the things we share.

Marguerite said...

I can't help wondering where you get these pictures. Sure, the firey hair - everyone has that, but that Nautilus tattoo???