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Rich liturgy
Music, dance, theater and song enliven the investiture


12/1/2006

Cynthia Black
Water bearers move toward the baptismal font in preparation for blessing the water and asperging members of the congregation.   (Cynthia Black)
The liturgical path of the new presiding bishop to the cathedral's pulpit began before the cathedral’s doors were opened to her. The carillon rang with nine works, followed by seven organ and instrumental preludes, an Hispanic band and singer and a gospel choir from the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Philadelphia.

From the east, the drummers and the Omega Liturgical Dance Company of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York led a procession to the west doors outside of which Katharine Jefferts Schori waited.

The service progressed to the Liturgy of the Word, after which Jefferts Schori led the assembly in renewing their baptismal covenant. The prayers of the people were led, successively, in Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Yoruba and English.

Water bearers poured water into the baptismal font. While the assembly sang "We Are Marching in the Light of God" in Zulu, English and Spanish, Jefferts Schori, with 17 bishops and 10 deacons, moved among the congregation, sprinkling or asperging the assembly as a reminder of their baptism.

Jefferts Schori presided at the Eucharist. Thirty bread-bearers and 50 chalice bearers distributed the elements of Communion to the assembly at nine stations in the cathedral nave and three in the balconies. Former Presiding Bishop Edmond L. Browning, 78, led the post-Communion prayer, and Jefferts Schori gave a final blessing. She greeted people at the baptismal font for more than two hours after the service until the last well-wisher had departed.