Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Newest Verger

Those of you who have been around for a while have followed the journey of my wife BP to the Episcopal church from her Roman Catholic roots.  She has truly come home...and in the process discovered a real knack for  altar service. 

As I've reported here before, after a brief stint as acolyte, she next joined the elite corps of Cathedral thurifers, and then  was invited to become a sub-verger (verger in training).  The culmination was tonight at Evensong, when she was formally commissioned as a Verger of St Paul's Cathedral, San Diego!  Many of the other vergers were there (a "convergence" of vergers?) as she was vested in the Cathedral's purple cassock.  I took a picture of her virge against one of the windows. 

Congratulations, beloved! I am so proud of you and so happy you have found your home!

15 comments:

JCF said...

[Must.Not.Make."IT.Is.On.The.Verge."Joke. ;-p]

Kudos, Congrats & Mazel Tov! God bless!

...now remind us (well, Cradle Piskie *Me*): what's a verger again? O_o

IT said...

JCF: she walks softly, carries a big stick.....

The vergers wrangle....er, stage manage? the services, and the many altar servers etc,to make sure things happen appropriately and disasters are averted, so the clergy can focus on the Eucharist and not worry if the microphone will work or who is going to carry the chalice. Vergers (generally 3 at the main service) guide the set up and clean up and generally handle the logisitcs. It's a Cathedral with a large corps of acolytes and clergy to organize, so it's a big job.

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

Remember--speak softly, and carry a big stick!!!

JCF said...

Do only cathedrals have them?

[Truly, I've heard the term, but don't think I've seen one at the umpteen (times eleven) TEC parishes I've attended/been a member of]

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I think of them as the formal escorts...they are the ones that take people to/from the lectionary...there are always producers and directors...they are the directors? I think so, anyway, GREAT, thanks for being of service BP!

Erp said...

But does she have to give up her thurifer?

BTW does that mean she gets to order visiting bishops around?

IT said...

JCF, I know the office exists in parishes as well, though I believe there's generally just one and s/he may function largely off-stage. But I've seen them in numbers at the other Cathedrals we've visited (we like to bag a Cathedral when we travel. ;-) There's a lot of pomp in a Cathedral service; ours generally fields about 8-10 clergy and at least that many lay servers. Add in the choir and the procession is rather large!

Leonardo, yes, the escort business is definitely part of it. I suppose not all parishes do that so formally.

Erp, she will still swing smoke, which she dearly loves. Our Cathedral does smoke every Sunday (except during Lent) and at evensong, so there is is always a substantial need for thurifers, lest they (a-hem) burn out!

Ann said...

Congratulations. I love vergers. When I presided at the Eucharist at the National Cathedral - the vergers made it so I did not have to worry about anything but celebrating. I would have been a wreck otherwise. They dressed me, escorted me, pointed the book for me. No worries.

IT said...

Ann, yes that's it! BP does all of that. She has a great eye for detail and is very organized, this is a great place for her. (There are pctures on my FB page :-)

dr.primrose said...

My small-medium size parish has a verger, who is vested and carries the big stick on Sunday services. It's not just cathedrals.

Congrats to BP!

IT said...

Thanks, Primrose! I know we haven't always seen one when we've visited about and around, and JCF hasn't either it seems, so I guess vergers vary by parish?

dr.primrose said...

On a different note - Priest who denied communion to lesbian suspended.

"A priest who denied communion to a lesbian at her mother's funeral has been placed on leave, according to the Roman Catholic archdiocese.

"A letter from an archdiocese official said that the Rev. Marcel Guarnizo was placed on leave for engaging in intimidating behavior, according to NBCWashington.com. The archdiocese had previously apologized for Guarnizo’s behavior."

Counterlight said...

Congratulations! Maybe we can bring back the office of Beadle so she can really use that verge stick!

it's margaret said...

oh BP how wonderful!!!!!

IT --you do us all proud with your enthusiasm for your wife's passion for serving --what a blessing you are to us all!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely online reception! Thank you all--you online people have truly enriched my experience and have added inspiration... and you're family, too! I am so blessed; thank you bunches!

-BP