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|2417: Our Saviour,
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Worshipper: William Dewy.
Saviour, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Episcopal Church, Diocese
The brick building is built around a garden courtyard with exterior
stairs to a lower level and a chapel of Our Lady. A bell tower
in the courtyard bears a sign stating regular times for the
Angelus. The structures look quite comfortable, as if they evolved
over a period of time, but the whole is in harmony with itself.
The parish community appears active through various guilds named
after particular saints and others. There are guilds of St Luke
for the ailing; St Vincent de Paul for persons outside the parish;
St Joseph the Carpenter for physical plant maintenance; St Fiacre
for the gardens; and St Cyril of Jerusalem to minister to newcomers
seeking a sacramental life. The Henry VIII Dinner Guild puts
on monthly church lunches and special receptions. Worship is
of great importance to the community. There is some devotion
to the Blessed Virgin Mary evidenced by a Hail Mary prayed just
before the dismissal.
The Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta appears to be
an upscale residential and commercial area with some trendy
shops and restaurants. It looks like a lovely place to spend
some time and a lot of money.
The Revd John Bolton, priest-in-charge, was celebrant and preacher.
The Revd Daniel Dice, curate, served as deacon for the celebration.
Daniel Pyle, Mus.D., was organist and choir director.
The date & time:
July 8, 2012, 11.00am.
What was the name of the service?
Solemn Eucharist with Healing Liturgy.
How full was the building?
Some 50 people were in the nave.
Did anyone welcome you
Several people in the church courtyard garden said "Good
morning." People smiled and nodded hello in the church.
Was your pew comfortable?
The standard wooden pew with fold-down kneeler was comfortable.
How would you describe the pre-service
What were the exact opening words of the
"We have thought on thy steadfast love, O God, in the midst
of thy temple." During the entrance procession, the very
competent thurifer handled his 360 degree swings naturally and
What books did the congregation use during the
The Hymnal 1982 and a separate handout of Franz Peter
Schubertís Deutsche Messe arranged by Richard Proulx
and revised by Daniel Pyle. Prayer Book portions of the service
were in the service leaflet.
What musical instruments were played?
The 23-rank pipe organ, built by Rieger of Vienna for the University
of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and rebuilt by Redman of Fort Worth,
Did anything distract you?
I was a little distracted by the tat on display. Several choir
members were wearing academic hoods, and the women singers were
wearing black yarmulke type head coverings. The celebrant was
in a fiddleback chasuble and both deacon and subdeacon appeared
to be wearing tunicles. I didnít notice any maniples, but birettas
were conspicuously absent.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip,
happy clappy, or what?
It was wonderfully formal. I could not call it stiff, but it
was perfectly lovely. The liturgical choreography was delightful
without being fussy. Every person and object censed got proper
attention and the correct number of swings. The healing liturgy
(litany, collect, confession and absolution, laying on of hands)
took place immediately after the sermon for eight or nine individuals
who presented themselves at the altar rail.
Exactly how long was the
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
7 Father Bolton had an easy style of preaching and a
friendly sense of humor.
In a nutshell, what was the sermon
The sermon text was Markís story of Jesus teaching in the synagogue
in his hometown. The Word of Life doesnít cease to be valid
simply because it comes from a familiar source. The hearers
of Jesus' words in the synagogue knew Jesusí parents and siblings.
What could this local know?
Which part of the service
was like being in heaven?
The elevation. The tableau of the celebrant, deacon and subdeacon
standing at the altar, covering and uncovering, censing, etc.
was beautiful. Heavenly, too, was the music throughout the celebration.
The congregation, assisted by the choir and the organist, sang
nine hymns, the mass setting, and the minor propers. The people
participated fully because the written music was available for
them either in the hymnal or in the service bulletin.
And which part was like
being in... er... the other place?
The organist had the unfortunate habit of playing the introduction
of hymns appreciably faster than what he played while the people
were singing. Also, in his sermon, Father Bolton shared with
us his opinion that it is a truth plainly taught in scripture
that Mary had other children. While I wasnít shocked that a
person may hold this opinion, I was disappointed to hear it
stated in a sermon.
What happened when you
hung around after the service looking lost?
I stayed around for at least 15 minutes talking with a member
of the choir, another parishioner, the clergy, and the thurifer.
Each invited me to coffee in Pettway Hall. However ...
How would you describe the after-service
I had another appointment and so could not stay for the coffee
How would you feel about
making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
10 I felt that I had come home. When I converted to Anglicanism
in college, my parish was one of rich ceremony. I felt like
the Church of Our Saviour was the part of the church into I
was baptized and confirmed.
Did the service make you
feel glad to be a Christian?
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The elevation of the Sacrament.
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