We will begin with a “reverse” procession as the Dean and Chapter move through the congregation to the main door of the church. Once there, after the bell is rung ten times, the Bishop will knock three times on the door with his crozier. The Wardens will open the door, and the Bishop will enter and ask to be seated. The procession will then go to the front of the church, where all can see, and the Dean will welcome the Bishop and lead him to his chair. Once seated and welcomed by all, the Bishop will preside at his first Eucharist at the Cathedral. He will preach and celebrate the Eucharist, beginning his ministry of teaching and serving as chief priest and pastor to the diocese.
Following our worship, we will have a time of hospitality in the Chapter House. This will be your opportunity to greet Bishop Kendrick and his family and welcome them to Christ Church.
I cannot express how thankful I am for the servant work and leadership offered by the Cathedral Family over the past years and months, as we have prepared to be the center of hospitality for this Consecration weekend. Surely the Lord is in this place and in the hearts and minds of His people here. I look forward with great joy to worshiping with you this Sunday.
What follows is the inside cover of our Sunday bulletin. I think that you will find it a humbling and moving account of the history of Christ Church and her bishops, up to and including this Sunday.
ABOUT THIS CELEBRATION
Bishops have come to this site for almost 185 years. Today, the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast of The Episcopal Church, the Right Reverend James Russell Kendrick, comes to be seated in his chair, the cathedra, in Christ Church Cathedral. He is welcomed by fellow Episcopalians from throughout our Diocese and beyond, and by our friends in Mobile.
On February 19, 2005, the 34th annual convention of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, with the agreement of the Bishop, the Rector and Vestry of Christ Church, and the Standing Committee of the Diocese, established this parish as the Cathedral Church of the Diocese. On April 23, 2005 The Right Reverend Philip Menzie Duncan II was the first bishop to be seated here.
When Bishop Kendrick is led to his chair, he will walk in the heritage of venerable episcopal predecessors. On January 25, 1830, the Right Reverend Thomas C. Brownell, Bishop of Connecticut, presided in the first edifice on this site over a convention of two priests and nine laymen from Mobile, Tuscaloosa, and Greensboro, which organized the Diocese of Alabama. Provisional episcopal oversight was given before and after this by Bishop James H. Otey of Tennessee, Bishop Jackson Kemper of Missouri, and Bishop Leonidas Polk of Louisiana.
The first Bishop of Alabama, the Right Reverend Nicholas Hamner Cobbs arrived in Mobile in late November of 1844. On the first two Sundays in December, he officiated here, the Greek revival church and Doric portico not yet five years old.
Here, the funeral rites for the Right Reverend Richard Hooker Wilmer, II Bishop of Alabama, were held on June 15, 1900. Remembered in Mobile for his successful resistance during the Civil War to the inclusion of military governance in the prayers of the church, he is buried in Magnolia Cemetery.
The centennial celebration of the Diocese of Alabama met here January 24 through January 26, 1930. The Right Reverend William George McDowell presided, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Reverend James DeWolf Perry of Rhode Island, was present.
The funeral of the first bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, The Right Reverend George Mosely Murray, took place at the Christ Church Cathedral on July 22, 2006.
Christ Church continues to be a vibrant congregation in Mobile, and its clergy and members continue their ministry of hospitality in welcoming the Bishop of the Diocese to his chair of oversight. As he proclaims the Word of God and celebrates the sacraments of the Gospel as chief priest and pastor, he encourages all baptized persons in their gifts and ministries, and guards the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church.