Thinking Anglicans

Los Angeles consecration of bishops service

As there are a number of people, even bishops, who have expressed criticism of this event, it may be helpful to link to the Order of Service that was followed.

It is in a PDF file, available here.

Direct links to the video recordings are also available from this page.

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Geoff
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I’m not known for my enthusiasm for liturgical innovation, but the leaflet looked to me like a standard 1979 prayer book Ordination Mass. The multilingual readings are not uncommon in middle-of-the-road parishes on Whitsunday, and acknowledgment of the original inhabitants of the region does not strike me as inappropriate. And at least the dancing was confined to the pre-liturgy! Overall, it seems less “cutting edge” than ++Kate’s own installation.

My one complaint is the apparent absence of any Lutheran bishops among the co-consecrators.

John(1)
Guest
John(1)

Were there no co-consecrating bishops from ELCA?

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Thank you for this Simon. I hope some of our critical bishops here in the C of E, might express rather more criticism of the mangling of the liturgy, or indeed its complete abandonment in too many of our parish churches.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Wow. Looks like it was an amazing and wonderful service. Spectacular and in many tongues. Never having lived in Los Angeles myself, I was curious about the city’s demographics. Here’s what Wikipedia says: As of the 2005–2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 48.7% of Los Angeles’s population; of which 29.3% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 9.9% of Los Angeles’s population; of which 9.7% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.5% of the city’s population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 10.6% of the city’s… Read more »

Nigel Taber-Hamilton
Guest

This is a standard BCP’79 liturgy with modifications as allowed by the rubrics. Personally I find such liturgies to be over-long, but in my experience “you have to be there” to understand that they work, practically and theologically. I’m guessing Tom Wright’s criticism is based solely on the proof-reader(s) failure to notice that the introduction to the Epistle described Hebrews as “Paul’s letter”. This is a rather glaring error! We’ve known for centuries that Paul is not the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, I prefer “A General Letter to Hebrew Christians” as the introduction, while acknowledging that these… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

This is not entirely helpful as most of what upset people was not included in the written order of service. Rather it was incorporated into the welcome and preservice action. For example the bishop in cope participating in American Indian rituals which invoked the spirits of animals and in which he was ‘smudged’ according to pagan practice. Standfirm has the full video and it shocked and appalled me

David | Dah•veed |
Guest
David | Dah•veed |

The News service of the Diocese of Los Angeles states that two bishops from the ELCA were present; “Other guests included President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson and Bishops Dean Nelson of the Southwest California Synod and Bishop Murray D. Finck of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Ecumenical guests included representatives from the United Church of Christ and the Methodist and Presbyterian churches.” http://episcopalnews.ladiocese.net/dfc/newsdetail_2/235 Since the concordat of full communion between the ELCA and TEC, Called to Common Mission, states; “They promise to include regularly one or more bishops of the other church to participate in the… Read more »

John D
Guest
John D

I watched the entire liturgy several days ago; considerably more “orthodox” than Sunday mass at St. James, Piccadilly.

Richard Zevnik
Guest
Richard Zevnik

There was in fact attendance of and participation by the regional ELCA bishop. My wife and I met him at the dinner for the attending consecrating bishops and others the evening before. I would be happy to answer any other questions about the service.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Thank you for posting this. In the never ending campaign of disinformation by American and British schismatics, many Anglicans and Episcopalians believed that the bishops had been ordained in some sort of pagan New Age ritual. The rabid right, including N.T. Wright, continue to suggest that the service was something less than orthodox and Christian. Many in the blogosphere seem to object to the American church’s efforts to include non-whites and non-Europeans in the service. On the contrary, the Diocese of Los Angeles takes the Gospel and the Book of Common Prayer to places where it has never been heard.… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

The Los Angeles Ordination Mass was probably no more exotic than similar Celebrations in many African Churches – where ‘Missa Luba’ stirred us all by its daring use of local dance and music.

Surely the local context needs to be celebrated in any act of worship of the God of the Whole Earth. There was nothing in the L.A. Mass that would have in any way offended the local ethnic tribes of the North American Continent. We need to remember that Jesus was not an English-man.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Standfirm has the full video and it shocked and appalled me” – Ed Tomlinson –

Why am I not surprised? It seemingly does’t take too much to shock Ed. However, when he gets into the esoteric liturgies of his new Ordinariate, it will be interesting to see what he thinks of the Pope’s interference with what he can do there.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Wouldn’t it be fair to say, Ed, that BECAUSE it “shocked and appalled” you, then by your definition, that’s what MADE it “pagan practice”?

Christianity has been inculturated WHEREVER it has gone. Little stone churches w/ red doors are an inculturation to northern Europe. “Inspired” singing and dancing in the aisles is an inculturation in much of Africa (and the African diaspora). Are only Indigenous Californians NOT allowed to inculturate Christianity?

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

Smudged according to “pagan practice”. What a choice of words, but if you’re going to be a naysayer, why not make it up as you go along? First, the attitude which calls native traditions “pagan” has led to much suffering throughout the world at the hands of so-called Christians. In Canada the churches and the government have made apologies for this attitude to those harmed by such a lack of understanding or compassion. These rituals have more in common with respect and politeness. The way “white people” do things like open Parliament or greet the Queen are similar and are… Read more »

(The Rev) Rick Whittaker
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(The Rev) Rick Whittaker

RE: Attributing the Letter to the Hebrews to Paul: Oddly enough, this is exactly how it comes from TEC’s own Rite Stuff. It is something upon which one would otherwise assume one could rely. There are other bugs in that package as well and I have learned from experience to proof-read the resulting texts closely.

evensongjunkie
Guest
evensongjunkie

For once I have to agree with Fr. Ed. When a service becomes so self-aggrandizing, as this one appears to me, it becomes not focused on God, but upon ourselves. This is not at all what worship is about. Of course impediments to to consecrating worthy people should be overcome. Nobody (except you Ed) are arguing this. But giving token performances from native Americans does not make a service of true diversity. By encouraging all peoples to participate and be elevated in elegant liturgy towards Christ is a reflection of what the church should be, from all peoples. Not a… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“For example the bishop in cope participating in American Indian rituals which invoked the spirits of animals and in which he was ‘smudged’ according to pagan practice. Standfirm has the full video and it shocked and appalled me…”

“I’m shocked…shocked to find gambling going on….”

Sorry–couldn’t resist. Is it your position, then, Ed, that God is not present in all his creation, even in animals? That other religions, other cultures, do not and cannot call upon God in their own ways? If so, what a sad, constricted view of the divine you must have.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“…in which he was ‘smudged’ according to pagan practice.”

The irony of reading an Englishman’s queasiness about adapting pagan practices to Christian liturgy so soon after the feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury is delicious.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Jesus did not know a note of Byrd, Stanford, or Vaughan Williams.

This being so, why is that music more Christian than the music that the Los Angeles consecration featured?

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

As a Vatican II Catholic, I found the Ordination and Consecration Mass in Los Angeles quite beautiful and in all areas, completely “orthodox” in that all of the essential elements of the Mass and the Consecration ceremony itself were not only present but presented in a most beautiful way. There are so many approaches to Eucharistic celebrations and I am amazed that some Anglicans feel that this beautiful Consecration and Mass are not up their “standards”. I am suspicious of the negative comments. I watched the entire Mass and Consecration (Laying on of hands) and marveled at its’ beauty and… Read more »

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

Ed’s comment is the closest to what the critics around here felt. It was the “pre-service” that raised tempers. Around here smudging ceremonies are used by the local tribes, there are four, to chase away evil spirits and ask for the Earth’s and other spirits’ blessings. Lion dances are also traditionally used to chase away evil spirits and bring good fortune. Gee, for a church with so much pomp, circumstance, and liturgy, they sure needed a lot of help. If they had sung only Christian songs/translations in Native languages-like the Mongolians’ and had dances without prayers to/invoking pagan spirits, the… Read more »

Lee
Guest

Our First Nation peoples would be offended to read that someone thought that smudging was some ‘pagan ritual.’ How does smudging differ from flinging a thurible?

Malcolm+
Guest

Tom Wright and Ed Tomlinson, it seems, are just a pair of colonialist prigs who hate the people of the First Nations of North America. Ed’s particularly ignorant comment about “pagan” smudging demonstrates his own utter cluelessness about both smudging and paganism. Tom, as usual, simply cast ignorant aspersions without feeling any need to be specific – giving him room, no doubt, to always pretend he meant some other partt of the service when his bigotry on any given point is exposed to the light of day. It is the Tom and Ed attitude of smug, English superiority that led… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Do look in on the preliminary programme – before the actual Service, and move to the final item of music sung and played on the guitar by the Revd. Canon Deborah Dunn, Rector of St. Peter’s Church in Santa Maria. She presents her version of “All My Trials, Lord, Will Soon Be Over”. What a wonderfully, deeply spiritual, rendering of this classic Negro Song!

I’m sure that even Bishop Tom Wright – not to mention Evensonjunkie – maybe even Ed Tomlinson –
would appreciate this moving tribute.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

As others have said it is hard to know what offends Blessed Tom.
If it is, as Ed suggests, the smudging of a bishop in cope and miter then this prelate finds himself in interesting company
http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1161.cfm

Reading this, it is heartwarming to know that those about to leave for Rome have their own versions of David Virtue, Matt Kennedy and Sarah whatchamacallit to support their thinking.

john
Guest
john

Very nice, Martin.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Given their background in the CoE, what probably shocked Tom and Ed most of all was the site of a church that was not 3/4 empty.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Chris H said: “Around here smudging ceremonies are used by the local tribes, there are four, to chase away evil spirits and ask for the Earth’s and other spirits’ blessings. Lion dances are also traditionally used to chase away evil spirits and bring good fortune.”

Chasing away evil spirits? Where? When?

If the Gospels are any evidence, I think Jesus would want to join in the fun.

He might even take it one step further, and not just drive the evil spirits away, but talk to them while doing it.

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

Ed, If you look closely at the Canadian church, you would find that smudging ceremonies and similar rituals are very common in the most “orthodox” dioceses (like Yukon, Caledonia, Keewatin, Athabasca, the Arctic). Here in the “apostate” diocese of Montreal, our liturgy is pretty much by the book, masses with smells and bells, sung mattins, etc. Even our cathedral (whose posting for a new dean includes prominent mention of the rainbow flag in the church), has more services using the Book of Common Prayer than the Book of Alternative Services. Inclusive liturgy means fighting over how much French to use.… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

It would appear that Anglicanism is no stranger to the Lion Dance:

http://ststephen.org.hk/fete2009.html

http://www.wushu.org.nz/gallery/Wushu_Friendship_Exchange_2008_-_Local_Performers/

Gosh, they even did if for the Queen, and she’s the Surpreme Governor of the C of E !

http://wapedia.mobi/en/Coronation_of_Queen_Elizabeth_II?p=1

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

the theological level on this thread is tragic. Jeremy your suggestion that Christ would drive evil spirits away using pagan invocations rather than under his own authority is just wrong.

I am sure most thinking Anglican commentators are good souls and impressive theists but this thread makes me seriously question if they are credal Christians in ANY sense of that word. There are a few exceptions. One thing is clear – we need to walk apart- we really do not share a faith at all

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

In the Central part of the Americas we have a majority of native first people who occupy the land (and culture)…although heavily Roman Catholic after the Spaniards the shaman are still very active (probably even more than we know and you can hear their distant drumming out in the camp at night)…personally I feel very comfortable and spiritually blessed when I attend a ceremony of cleansing (lots of Catholic symbolism included)…once the smoke from the fire enveloped me and a swarm of bees landed on my outstretched arms…dozens and they stayed for a minute then flew away…Mother Earth and Nature… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

When John Paul II visited northern Canadian natives, I am sure he was “smudged”. Actually, driving away evil spirits seems very Gospel.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“…but this thread makes me seriously question if they are credal Christians in ANY sense of that word.”

Et tu, Ed?

evensongjunkie
Guest
evensongjunkie

“One thing is clear – we need to walk apart- we really do not share a faith at all”

Then why do you keep coming back here? Oh, and don’t thank Erika and myself at defending you, you’re welcome just the same.

And how dare you question our commitment to the creeds…you do need to walk away, and just plain grow up.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Ed, I have often remarked to myself that it’s a good thing that you announce every five or ten minutes that you are a Christian, because otherwise no one would ever suspect it.

Every word you post here is carefully chosen to yield the maximum offense. Everything you say and do here serves only to confirm every ugly stereotype about Anglo-Catholics, things that I believed to be malicious falsehoods until you began gracing this site with your presence.

Honestly, you are not a good witness for what you claim to believe.

Malcolm+
Guest

You’re right, Ed. We don’t share a common faith.

My faith is about Jesus. Yours is about imposing English cultural norms on the First Peoples of North America.

My faith is about the Gospel and Love. Yours is about colonialism and hate.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“this thread makes me seriously question if they are credal Christians in ANY sense of that word”

I have searched high and low in the Nicene Creed for anything that would forbid anything that was done in the LA consecration ceremony. I can’t find it.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“the theological level on this thread is tragic”

Said Ed from On High.

Now I have as much trouble living true Christ-like humility as the next sinner, but COME ON, Ed: don’t you EVER feel awkward “taking the highest seat at table”?

“One thing is clear – we need to walk apart- we really do not share a faith at all”

It physically hurts to say this—but Please Stay. I’m sure you must have SOMETHING unique to contribute to the Body of Christ!

But if, regretably, you can’t transcend your felt “need to walk apart”—I’m quite certain that NO ONE will stop you.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

There is nothing in this thread that deserves Ed Tomlinson’s remarks above. But it is a good example of the way people like him operate and find the reassurances they need – the only things he cites to justify his views are deeply flawed or a twisted interpretation of another’s post (Jeremy). As we have seen smudging and its variants are welcomed all ov er the world by Popes and “orthodox” adherents and there are many examples of indigenous expressions of Christianity that mirror precisely that which we can hear in California. Celtic prayers and those from Assisi have identical… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Ed has lost the argument on the facts–smudging, the local varieties of Anglican liturgical practice, Gospel references to Jesus driving out evil spirits.

So he’s resorting to criticizing me for things I did not say (“using pagan invocations rather than under his own authority”) and to personal remarks about all commenters.

By their fruits ye shall know them.

Achilles
Guest
Achilles

I am sorry to say it but it appears that most people who post here need to grow up – or at least be thinking rather than jerking knees; It seems to me that this blog should more accurately be renamed to “overly sensitive and easily wound up Anglicans”, or “emotionally at the edge and unthinking Anglicans”. I presume that the ‘Thinking’ in the title is supposed to imply a reasonable level of careful reflection based on rational processes? Also an allusion to a higher form of consideration that brings ratiocination in close companionship to a compassion that derives far… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“One thing is clear – we need to walk apart- we really do not share a faith at all.” Ed, as some of us have already indicated: You are free to move – or to stay. However, if you choose to stay you’d better settle down to the fact that the Church of England already recognizes the call of women into its ministerial work-force. Nothing you can do or say – on this web-site or anywhere else – can change that. It seems to me that you have a persecution complex and that life would be much more bearable for… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

“I’m sorry, I just can’t stand it when liberalism “grandstands” and this seemed like it to me.” Don’t”liberals” know better than to do things that will get the right wing riled up? Can’t they hide their paganism? You don’t want to get the conservatives mad at you-what if they leave and start their own churches? What if they attack you everywhere on any pretext? What if they distort things to justify their agenda? What’s that? Oh, yes, they have already done these things. They haven’t even tried to hide their hate and contempt, but we should pander to them anyway.… Read more »

evensongjunkie
Guest
evensongjunkie

Adam, there is a fine line between doing the right thing and then being obnoxious about it. It’s also tantamount to the old saying, if you’re going somewhere to look for a fight, then you’re probably going to get in one. Yes, I’m one of those “liberals” that was raised in the pre-1979 (TEC) BCP church. I believe that worship is about God and not a psychotherapy session. I’m gay, and quietly _effectively_ out in my congregation (I really don’t talk about it, as polite people used to not do so, just live my life and don’t make excuses or… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
Guest

Perhaps someone would be kind enough to expain to me why expecting authorised Christ centred biblical worship from within the Christian tradition at a Bishops Consecration service makes me colonialist?

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Perhaps someone would be kind enough to expain to me why expecting authorised Christ centred biblical worship from within the Christian tradition at a Bishops Consecration service makes me colonialist?” I think you’ve missed the point of the post and comments, Father. The parts of the program that you seem to be objecting to (a) weren’t part of the liturgy, and (b) seem to have been used at other Anglican and RC venues without objection. Plus, of course, the unexamined assumption that the Amerindian content of the program was “pagan.” Oh, then there was the business of telling us that… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

For the record, just because someone doesn’t find the liturgy, even with the pre-liturgical filler, damnable heresy doesn’t mean that they *do* find it an example of good liturgy. I’m not a fan of convention center liturgy, or even big, massed liturgy in general (I think most televised Vatican liturgies I’ve seen are tacky). And I’m more of a Stale Expressions of Church sort of guy, anyway. But the service wasn’t meant to appeal to me, necessarily – I’m not from LA, I’m not part of that local community, and I’m positive that there are lots of places in Anglicandom… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Perhaps, Ed, because your very question presupposes that what you saw was not “Christ-centered.” You apparently have a far narrower view of Christ than many of us.

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

Dear Evensongjunkie. I am a “moderate” Anglo-Catholic who loves traditional music and liturgy and knows it inside out. I know the Prayer Book by heart. As a Canadian, I grew up with all of that and it’s still my spirituality. (Iwas born in 1950) I don’t go for the BCP Eucharist, but Evensong is just fine. A Solemn Eucharist with music by Byrd and Palestrina and some Vaughan Williams would be my first choice. I actually don’t care very much non-traditional stuff and it makes me uncomfortable. But I can’t deny its place or those who feel the need for… Read more »