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Renewing Commitment to God

Mar 29, 2024

The Tuesday of Holy Week, clergy and lay members of The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta came together for the annual renewal of vows service where people of the diocese gather to reaffirm their commitment to God.

Bishop Glenda Curry of The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama preached and Bishop Rob Wright presided over the March 26 Eucharist.

The ceremony on the Tuesday of Holy Week drew both clergy and lay members. The vaulted sanctuary of The Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta echoed with prayers, hymns, and affirmations of faith and Bishop Curry delivered a message of renewal and commitment.

“As we journey through the sacred mysteries of this week, may our vows be not merely words but the very essence of our lives, lived in service and love,” Curry said.

“What I hope for myself and all of us when we renew our vows, whether ordained or lay, I believe the Holy Spirit pulls us even deeper into the mystery of following Christ and gives us the courage to do what he asks of us. With our staggering job description, extraordinary claims, the pay in dollars will never be enough. The return in dividends is priceless. The truth is in the adventure which is following Christ.

“By making love tangible and visible and real, whether anyone notices or not, whether it makes you feel good about yourself or not. Just waiting to see what each situation holds, doing your best to make it real, even if it costs you something. We’re blessed with a defined way to lose our life one day at a time. Not everybody is. It’s a gift. I pray you’ll be blessed again with what someone told me is called the romance of the ministry, that is, falling in love over and over with the strange, wonderful and challenging people that God will send your way, each one a mystery, ready to show me another way I can learn to love like Jesus,” Curry said.

Wright called Curry’s sermon a “real treat.”

“It was a joy to be with laity and clergy on the Tuesday of Holy Week reaffirming our commitment to God and neighbor. I give thanks for my sister Bishop Glenda Curry and her sermon to the faithful of The Diocese of Atlanta. A real gift,” Wright said.

Following the service, clergy and lay members gathered for lunch served by the Bishop and his staff – a time of shared laughter and heartfelt conversations.

The Renewal of Vows service has roots dating back to 200 AD and was widely reintroduced as part of the liturgical reforms of the 1960s and 1970s. At one time the custom was to hold the service on Maundy Thursday, but for practical reasons in more recent times, the service now usually occurs earlier in Holy Week.

Oils used in baptisms are blessed by the Bishop during the service and distributed to clergy.

Watch Bishop Curry’s Message…

Don Plummer is the beat reporter for The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. If you have story ideas, please reach out to Don.

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