Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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Thomas' Blog

Thomas McKenzie's Blog.

Veni Creator Spiritus

Last night we had an amazing worship service at our church.

My bishop, T.J. Johnston, came for his annual visitation. He comes mid-week because he is a full-time church planter as well as being a bishop. We had about 20 adult confirmations for him to do, which was really cool. We also had an ordination.

Kenny Benge works with me as an "assisting pastor." His main job is with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He is a good man, a teacher, a pastor, a wise leader. I am blessed to be in relationship with him. Last night, he was made priest in the Anglican Communion.

So I want to set the scene. Our worship space was over-flowing with around 250 people, many of them visitors. Besides the bishop and myself, we also had five visiting priests. Two from the Anglican Mission (Knoxville and Chattanooga); as well as three from Middle TN, each lead pastor of a body, each from a different Anglican order.

The music was fantastic. Jenna, our worship music pastor, did a great job with an splendid team. We had a couple of award-winning visiting musicians who helped really make the night special.

The bishop gave a great sermon, the prayers were Spirit-led, the reception was a great party. The whole thing was . . . well, how many superlatives can I use in one post?

My favorite part? That's hard, because there was so much. But the part I would have to choose was Veni Creator Spiritus.

The bishop is in a chair in front of the altar. He has just examined Kenny in front of the whole congregation. Then, Kenny comes before him and kneels. The congregation stands, and all the priests in our robes gather around Kenny. Before we lay hands on him, the musicians begin the Taize chant/song "Veni Creator Spiritus (litanie)." Its this pulsing, deeply stilling invocation of the Holy Spirit, with a chant underneath a solo (yay Kendra!). It went on for a few minutes, then faded out, at which time we lay hands on Kenny and the bishop said prayer of ordination. Totally rocked.

Oh, if you want to hear it or buy it, go to the iTunes store and get on the Taize, Sing to God album. Track 2 is the version we used.

It was a great evening. God was worshiped, people were blessed. I was blessed. Wow.