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Great Weekend.

2011 June 1
by Gordon Reid

A wedding in Milwaukee and a Solemn Mass in Chicago, concelebrated by two Bishops and two dozen priests – that’s a special weekend.

The wedding was between Joe, a young member of St Clement’s, a musician and teacher, and his fiancee Maureen, a pilot in the US Air Force. The ceremony was in St James’s, Milwaukee, and I married them according to the same rite as the one Prince William and Kate had in Westminster Abbey. The big difference was that their wedding was embedded in a Nuptial Mass, so that their first act together after they were united was to receive Communion.  (My traditionalist friends will be happy to hear that, although I used the church’s free-standing altar, I never went behind it, but celebrated facing east!)

The next day, however, I concelebrated the Mass with Bishop James Mongomery, formerly Prince-Bishop of Chicago (He and Cardinal Cody and Mayor Daley the Elder ran the city before President Obama was a twinkle in his father’s eye) facing the huge congregation in the Church of the Atonement in Chicago. This was in honour of Bishop Montgomery’s 90th Birthday, and was a wonderful occasion. Many of the concelebrating priests had been ordained by Bishop Montgomery, and the other Bishop was Frank Griswold, his successor in Chicago and then Presiding Bishop.

Now, after all these excitements (which, I forgot to mention, included FOUR formal dinners!) I’m back to the simple little Gospel services of St Clement’s – and bread and cheese.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Paul Goings permalink
    June 6, 2011

    The concelebration in Chicago certainly seemed very… progressive, to judge by the photographs on Atonement’s web site!

    • June 7, 2011

      Very progressive! All modern language liturgy, women priests, Mass facing the people, lots of hugging at the Peace etc. Your modern Anglo-Catholic church, but unlike most, packed to the doors even when there is no special event.

  2. EDM permalink
    June 8, 2011

    It is getting very difficult to define “Anglo-Catholic.”

  3. Jeff Ezell permalink
    June 17, 2011

    Father, years ago I heard a delightful anecdote about Bp Montgomery from my parish priest in Fort Worth. As far as I know it was not apocryphal. It seems that the bishop’s car was hurrying down the streets of Chicago on the way to some episcopal function when a motorcycle cop failed to recognise the license plate of the speeding vehicle and stopped the car. The bishop, sitting in the back seat, lowered the window and merely told the officer, “We are Bishop of Chicago”, in response to which the motorcycle cop got in front of the car, turned on his siren and gave the bishop a high speed police escort to his destination.

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