Our Diocese of San Jose is getting its first auxiliary bishop in this, our 30th anniversary as a diocese. It will be my first ordination of a bishop I will prepare…or witness! The planning process with a small team of people–of clergy, seminarians, and lay persons–has been an interesting one. Having never done this before, I immediately went to the rite and read not only the rite itself but also the praenotanda (both the general introduction to ordinations and the one for the ordination of a bishop), and started planning from there. I also re-read parts of the Ceremonial of Bishops as well as Sharon McMillan’s excellent resource, Episcopal Ordination and Ecclesial Consensus. But along the way, I learned of various “customs” that supposedly happen at every bishop ordination. So it was a good exercise in learning to “start from the beginning” and follow the rite, while appropriately and intelligently incorporating any adaptations and traditions in order to attend to the needs and characteristics of the assembly that will gather, but also knowing when to give in and when to stand one’s ground.
I’d be happy to share our scripts with anyone who’s in the same boat as I was. Just let me know.
If you’re interested, here are our worship aids. The first is for the Vespers last night at which the Bishop-Elect made his profession of faith and took the oath of fidelity (someone please let me know if there’s a liturgical rite for this in any of the books somewhere; I didn’t find one). I love the text we used for the Ephesians canticle (assigned for the Common of Apostles), which I found at the Archdiocese of Glasgow liturgical music website. The other link is to the worship aid for the Ordination Mass this Wednesday. The Mass will be livestreamed also. Please be gentle, and please pray for our diocese and our bishops.