Ordination of a New Bishop
Ordination of a New Bishop

This week a group of us from Holy Trinity were among over 3000 participants in an extraordinary liturgy: the Episcopal Ordination of the Most Reverend Alexander Salazar.  The Greek word episkopos, which means overseer or supervisor, is the English term for bishop.

Bishop Salazar will serve the people of the San Pedro Pastoral Region of the LA Archdiocese, replacing Bishop Joseph Sartoris who has retired.

The grand liturgical procession began with a group of Ecumenical Ministers from various faiths, including 2 Buddhist monks, a beautiful expression of our support for one another in these times of uncertainty.  Next were the Deacons and their wives. This too, a wonderful expression of their married partnership in pastoral ministry.  The incense bearer, and cross and candle bearers lead 300 priests, flanked two across, and clad in matching vestments of golden linen.  Another 20 or so Bishops were followed by Cardinal Mahony.   

Every part of the liturgy was expressed to its fullest: a large choir and orchestra lead the music, the sacred scriptures were proclaimed in a multi-lingual fashion with great effort for spirited aural communication.   Incense billowed; vessels were large, lovely and created of the finest of materials.  Video cameras were rolling and the press highly visible, but for all the pomp and circumstance one aspect presented itself clearly above all the rest: the humility of this servant of God.

The prostrate figure of Bishop Salazar lying flat on the marble Cathedral floor in front of the massive altar with the assembly singing together the Litany of the Saints was deeply moving.  There he lay, head down and vulnerable, calling for the aid of the Saints, represented in the tapestries which line the Cathedral walls, and giving himself totally in the service of God’s people; specifically for us, in the region of San Pedro. (November 14, 2004)

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