Remembrance and Celebration this Weekend
Back in the fourth century the Roman Empire granted official status to the church, and this included some benefits that are important to us. The Bishop and clergy could vest themselves with signs of Roman aristocracy, the Bishops were provided a horse for travel and guard when necessary, and basilicas were given as gathering places for worship.
You see the dresses every week, and you really should see the bishops all dressed up when they get together. I would pay to see any bishop travel the state by horseback anymore, though a great many did throughout history. But the one that interests us this week is the last. Basilicas.
A Roman basilica was built on a simply model of large rectangular room with an alcove in one end, that was usually semicircular in shape. That alcove was typically opposite the large entrance doors and was the place where the authority in charge of the gathering, judge or governor, sat with the other members of court.
Along the alcove wall was a bench inset with a single chair marked by arms usually in the middle. This seat was called the cathedra, from which we get our word cathedral.
On Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. Bishop Jennifer Reddall will be seated as bishop at Trinity Cathedral, 100 West Roosevelt Lane, Phoenix, Arizona. The Rev. Timothy Watt will represent us, and you are welcome to join him. This is one of those grand occasions of liturgical showiness that will surely be spectacular.
Back at Christ Church of the Ascension, we will have our usual Sunday night Eucharist, but it will include prayers and remembrances for two dear members who were not remembered in service this year: Mrs. Judy Echols and the Rev. Tom Davidson.
Judy and Tom were both dear ministers of the Gospel of Christ in very different ways.
Judy and Charlie were key members of our parish community who kept us tied the medical ministry to Honduras for years. They both have had, and Charlie continues to have, strong ministries in various churches here and in Arizona. She was remembered in Virginia with family, but many of us wished to have a chance to say goodbye and thank God for her.
The Rev. Tom Davidson was both a deacon and priest at All Saints and Christ Church. His pastoral care and leadership of ministries provided heart for many of us over the years. A true gentleman and loving churchman, Tom was remembered privately by his family as he requested. I told him many times though that we would remember him ourselves, and so we will. He and his wife Jazz will be part of our prayers and remembrances as well.
If you have never been to a Requiem service, it is not quite a funeral, but is rather a Eucharist with specific prayers and liturgical portions added. Even if you never knew those we are specifically remembering, you may notify the Rev. Daniel on Sunday evening and add names to be remembered along with the specific saints of the service. Join us in the chapel at 6 p.m. on Sunday to give thanks, remember, and pray.