Friday, May 06, 2005


Our Bishop conducts the rite of confirmation, reception and reaffirmation for a group of parishes rather than during her episcopal visit to an individual parish. This is divided up by deanerys (regional subdivisions of diocesan parishes), and last night, our parish hosted one of this year's confirmation services.

I must admit when I first heard about this tradition, I wasn't too excited about it. In Austin, where I was confirmed, the Bishop (actually the assistant Bishop) came to the parish and adults and children were confirmed, received, or re-affirmed among our fellow parishoners. It was a moving experience for me, one that I will always hold special.

When we moved here, and Partner was received into the Episcopal Church, I went through the Journey In Faith program at our parish along with him, and was reaffirmed as a way of supporting him and our participation together in the Church. Our Bishop was not available at the service, so we were prayed for by the retired Bishop. It felt a bit like going to someone else's church, but it was still a holy and reverent moment.

Last night, we (the choir) sang at the service, and perhaps the experience has changed my mind about these group or deanery confirmations. There were a lot of confirmations (etc): around 60 or so. Being in the choir, we were able to see the expressions on the participants faces, and their sponsors.

The congregation singing was exceptional, Wesleyan in enthusiasm. Several lingered for the reception following the service.

And more importantly, I think it reminded us all that we are not just a collection of parishes, but part of a larger communion within the catholic Church of all believers. In a time when we hear alot about Episcopalians beating up on each other, it was nice to see us come together, worship together, and share this personal experience corporately.


Anonymous said...

I really love reading your blog, it calms me down and helps me refocus. We just finished our final evensong of the season last week, the next won't start again until September.

Ellie Mayhem

Don said...

Ellie -- thanks for your kind comments.

Our choir ends each year on Trinity Sunday (our patronal day). However, since we are singing in England this summer, we start back up for rehearsals in mid-June.