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Here’s How to Get Involved in the Consecration of the 11th Bishop of Vermont (Updated* Aug. 17)

Music has been chosen, the service booklet has been drafted, vestments are being crafted, volunteers are being recruited, and many other details are in the works to prepare for the Consecration of the 11th Bishop of Vermont on Saturday, September 28, 2019. Here are some ways to get involved:

Volunteers

As was recently announced in a letter to parish leaders, we are seeking the following volunteers. If you are interested, please apply by Sunday, August 18:

One person to carry your parish banner in procession. Must register with Mr. Roger Nicholls: rogernicholls14@gmail.com. Banners may be up to 4’x3’ and must be affixed to a staff for carrying.

Experienced thurifers, crucifers and torch bearers are needed for the processions. Licensed Lay Eucharistic Ministers are needed to serve as chalice bearers. Those who are qualified and interested should apply to Mr. Roger Nicholls at rogernicholls14@gmail.com with a brief statement about their experience and the name of their parish.

About 40 ushers are needed, so it would be helpful to have at least one volunteer from each parish. Please apply to the Rev. J. Robert Spainhour at holytrinityrector@myfairpoint.net or 843-343-6871.

Choir

A Diocesan choir is being formed and is open to singers in all congregations of the Diocese. The choir will be responsible for leading the congregational singing, as well as for singing an anthem. If you’d like to participate in the choir, here are four essentials:

All singers must attend at least one regional rehearsal. There will be at least eight of these rehearsals, taking place in various parts of Vermont 10:00-12:00 on the three Saturday mornings preceding the September 28 Consecration:

  • St. Stephen’s, Middlebury – September 21 (Fred DeHaven, retired Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Church, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, freddehaven@sbcglobal.net)
  • Christ Church, Montpelier – September 7 (Fred DeHaven, retired Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Church, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, freddehaven@sbcglobal.net)
  • Holy Trinity, Swanton – September 21 (Kay Benedict, Music Director, kayben1@yahoo.com)
  • Zion, Manchester Center – September 14 (John Riddle, Music Minister, St. Peter’s, Bennington, jriddle@stpetersvt.org)

All singers must have a legal copy of the anthem (i.e. not photocopied), Ben Allaway’s Freedom, Come (Santa Barbara Music Publishing, catalogue no. SBMP 67; about $2.50), which is available from most music suppliers; Cliff Hill Music (800 819-8772) has it in stock and offers a 20% discount for church choirs. While individuals may order this music, we recommend that music directors in congregations order it. There will be no extra copies available at the Consecration, and so all singers must have a copy.

All singers must be capable of climbing stairs. The balcony at Ira Allen Chapel is the only place the choir will be able to sit, and there is no elevator to it, so individual mobility will be necessary.

All singers must be in the balcony to rehearse the morning of the Consecration, (Saturday, September 28) at 8:30. In addition to the full choir, there will be lots of other musicians (gospel choirs, a brass quintet, a baroque ensemble), all of whom need to practice — so we will have limited time to pull ourselves together into a choir.

If you would like to sing in the choir for this historic event in the life of The Episcopal Church in Vermont, please respond by e-mail no later than September 4 to the director of the regional rehearsal you plan to attend (listed above), and tell that person what voice part you sing.

Gifts for Our New Bishop

Part of the consecration liturgy involves vesting a new bishop with the symbols of episcopal ministry. Gifts of the bishop’s ring (with the seal of the Diocese of Vermont), pectoral cross, crozier, mitre and other vestments will be given to the Rev. Shannon MacVean-Brown when she becomes our next bishop on September 28. Plans are underway to source these from Vermont artists including a woodworker, metalworker, vestment designer, and jeweler.

Vermont clergy are invited to give the crozier and the lay people of Vermont are invited to give the pectoral cross. If you have questions about these or other gifts, please contact Dr. Ann Guillot at Ann.Guillot@uvmhealth.org. To go directly to the online giving portal: donate now.

Tickets and Live Broadcast

The Ira Allen Chapel and overflow spaces seat a total of well over 1,000 people so there will be ample seating for those who want to attend the consecration.

There will also be a professional online broadcast so we encourage every parish to consider organizing a local “watch party” for those who are not able to travel to Burlington.

Here is a summary of the process for invitations and tickets:

STAGE 1 (completed)

Invitations were sent to the House of Bishops, Vermont Episcopal clergy, the Bishop-elect’s family and friends, ecumenical leaders in Vermont and local dignitaries. Vermont clergy should reply to pvandegraaf@diovermont.org.

STAGE 2 (underway now—see above)

Call for volunteers for ushers, acolytes, choir members, and banner bearers. Invitations to leaders of the diocese to join the procession (e.g. Diocesan Trustees, Diocesan Ministry Support Team, etc.) Seats will be reserved for all members of this “Stage 2” group.

STAGE 3 (late August)

When we have filled the volunteer positions, we will announce the process for tickets for general seating for other Vermont laypeople and the public. There will be a clear announcement ahead of time and the tickets will be reserved on a first come, first served basis using the online site Eventbrite. These tickets will only be necessary for people who are not in Stages 1 and 2 above. There is no charge for the tickets.

Questions may be directed to TC@diovermont.org.

*Update / Correction: The original version of this article, published on August 15, stated that the choir rehearsal at St. Michael’s Brattleboro would take place on September 14, which is incorrect. The St. Michael’s rehearsal will actually be held on September 21. Please update your calendar!

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