Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Consecration:The Rt. Rev. Mariann Budde~ Bishop of the Diocese of Washington D.C.

A Joyous Event!

On Saturday, November 12, 2011, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Mariann Budde 
was Consecrated the Ninth Bishop of Washington D.C. 
in the National Cathedral  

Beloved rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, Dr. Mariann Budde was elected to become the next diocesan bishop of the District of Columbia, our nation's capital, on June 18, 2011.

Her November 12 Consecration was attended by members of her parish who presented her with her vestments during the traditional liturgical Presentation of Gifts. Dr. Budde knocked on the Cathedral doors as is the liturgical custom, symbolizing permission to enter and accept her new office. The doors were opened and a joyful congregation welcomed her to the enactment of her new calling to be a bishop.

She is photographed during the service kneeling then standing before the altar, presenting herself without ecclesiastical vestments but wearing a simple white alb in silent prayer, then responding to questions which are traditionally asked of an ordinand ensuring that she or he is a women or man of faith who is willing to undertake the office of deacon, priest or bishop and fulfill its obligations with integrity.  It seems a lonely, even a stark moment, but it exists within the surroundings of the entire Communion of Souls, referred to in The Apostles’ Creed as the Communion of Saints, souls seen and unseen, on Earth and in Heaven. The image of this physically small and in that moment vulnerable woman captures the mystery of what it means to be simultaneously alone before God and deeply immersed in the the human family, indeed the family of Creation, the family of Heaven.

A photograph taken later and posted in The Washington Post Photo Gallery shows Mariann fully vested but again alone, walking from the main entrance toward her place near the altar. Her willingness to take her position as a leader and minister among the people is crucial in these liturgical moments, the purpose for the ritual expression of movement and also what she is wearing ~ on the one hand, the plain white garment of a humble person of any class, on the other hand, the most festive, colorful garments imaginable, also representing free spirited persons of all classes, for the poorest among us will wear his or her brightest and best clothing in celebration of important occasions shared by a community. Here, the newly consecrated bishop receives her crosier, a bishop's symbol of pastoral authority.  She ponders its significance and feels its weight.  She accepts.

In the image of Mariann striding toward and all the way forward and among the people she is fully vested in her ecclesiastical Cope (cape~originally for inclement weather perhaps) and Mitre (tall mitred hat so she can be easily seen, originally also a chef's hat) and carrying her Crosier, the artist's rendering of a shepherd's solid walking stick hooked at the top to get the attention of those without direction ~ all symbols of her role as bishop. When I saw the striking image I thought of the Striding Madonna statue on the lawn of Salisbury Cathedral in England, in which Our Lady is shown in working clothes, striding toward the city to roll up her sleeves and do her job of service to the hungry, the lonely, the homeless, the battered, the disenfranchised among us. Mariann Budde strides toward her obligations of service with similar faith and confidence in the Grace of God to help her fulfill her job.

Preaching the Social Gospel of Christ
in the National Cathedral . . . 
and blessing the people~ 

She comes well-trained for the work ahead, a gifted and competent bilinguist and community activist as well as an effective parish priest, one who has worked among the poor and learned from them, a champion of Native American rights and all Civil Rights during her two decades as a priest in the Diocese of Minnesota, my own canonical diocese. (Since I am not a parish priest but the pastoral deacon and sacramental priest of Wisdom House, a religious center founded and incorporated in the State of Minnesota and now registered in the State of Oregon, it and I remain officially linked there.)

In honor of her human rights outreach, Mariann's Rite of Consecration began with drumming as the Southwest Eagle Dancers led the first of four processions. Next came music in Spanish, Alabaré, meaning "I praise," and then an anthem, The True Shepherd, by Gary Davidson, specially commissioned for the service. Then the processional hymn began, one sung at all ordinations in the Anglican Communion, called St. Patrick's Breastplate. The next to the last verse affirms~

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me, 
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.   

The readings were from The Book of Ezekiel in Hebrew Scripture,
Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, both read in Spanish and English,
and the Gospel reading was read in English and Igbo, a language
spoken in Nigeria, in honor of the international diversity of the
Diocese of Washington D.C. David Whyte's poem, "Coleman's Bed,"
was read by Mariann's husband Paul. A stanza quoted later in the
sermon reads~

" . . . Feel the way the cliff at your back
Gives shelter to your outward view
And then bring in from those horizons
All discordant elements that seek a home."

In her sermon, the Rev. Linda Kaufman asked
Mariann to stand for her Commission, a special
focus of ministry traditionally identified by the
preacher. She said, “Mariann, you must find places
where you can lean back. . . . Trust the cliff because
its strength goes back. Its strength is the awesome
power of God. I know in the strength of the cliff
and the silence you find there you will find the
strength of [God’s arms] wrapping around you.”

As is the custom, our Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was the chief ordaining bishop. She was joined by other bishops in laying their hands on Mariann's head or shoulders in relay, to confer, in addition to her prior ordinations to the Sacred Orders of Deacons and Priests, ordination to the Sacred Order of Bishops upon her in the Apostolic Succession, going back to Christ's touching the Apostle Peter with the commission, "Feed my lambs." Peter was perhaps confused and hesitant, even frightened of the responsibility, but he felt the hand of Rev Yeshua (Jesus the Rabbi ~"Rev Yeshua"~ whom we call the Christ, the anointed one, who more than anyone wanted not to do what he was called to do), and ultimately the Apostle along with the others grew into "the stature of the fullness of Christ" to be able to say, Yes, and get to work.

As humankind is a small part of Nature, the sacred houses that lift our spirits to receive
inspiration toward service to others come to us in these large open places of beauty.
Here Bishop Budde walks through the National Cathedral in the first public service
after repairs since it suffered earthquake damage in August of 2011.

View moving images of Bishop Mariann Budde on the Internet. Copyright laws prevent me from pasting many splendid images here. There are so many I wanted to show you, but it's better if you explore the Google Image Gallery on your own. See if you can find images of the Striding Madonna at Salisbury Cathedral, as well.You, as I, may never be able to forget it. I have the advantage of seeing her in person with my Cathedral Tour companions when we were on our way to Stonehenge on May Day, 1985. We stopped at Salisbury Cathedral for a good long time. I love the stonework, the history, but the Striding Madonna is my standard bearer and scout, no longer physically, but in memory she sustains my spirit so that I can continue to do my job in its current forms. I was walking outside in the precincts of the Cathedral along the grassway parallel to her. I stopped, and in my mind and heart, my walk became of one striding forth cadence with hers. Mary was asked the most frightening thing of all~ Are you willing to take on the consequences of God's dream for your life come true? After a brief conversation with the angel who asked, she consented. May we all find her courage in our own lives and ministries, lay or ordained. May our lives come trueView moving images of Bishop Mariann Budde on the Internet. There were so many I wanted to show you here, but it's better if you explore the Image Gallery on your own. See if you can find other images of the Striding Madonna at Salisbury Cathedral, as well. You, as I, may never be able to forget it. I have the advantage of seeing her in person when my Cathedral Tour companions were on our way to Stonehenge on May Day, 1985. We stopped at Salisbury Cathedral for a good long time. I love the stonework, the history, but the Striding Madonna is my standard bearer and scout, no longer physically, but she sustains my spirit in memory so that I can continue to do my job in its current forms. I was walking outside in the precincts of the Cathedral along the grassway parallel to her. I stopped, and in my mind and heart, my walk became of one striding forth cadence with hers. Mary was asked the most frightening thing of all~ Are you willing to take on the consequences of God's dream for your life come true? After a brief conversation with the angel who asked, she consented. May we all find her courage in our own lives and ministries, lay or ordained. May our lives come true.

I had the prophet Jeremiah in mind when I wrote "Talitha Cumi" while praying for guidance before the Philadelphia Ordinations so long ago now. Jeremiah, like Jonah (and Jesus!), is famous for being frightened by God's call, and hoped to get out of having to do the job by saying, "Don't send me, God. I'm only a kid! I don't know what to say . . ."

"Godmothers of a New Creation" was written after some time had passed and we were seeing the high quality and integrity of the first and second generations of women who followed us into the priesthood. I revised the poem in honor of Mariann Budde's Consecration. God Bless you and your family and those whom you serve in your new ministry, Mariann!

            Talitha Cumi

      Young woman, I say to you, Arise . . .

                           Luke 8: 54

Do not send me, O God,

for I am only a woman

and do not know what to say.

Do not say

“I am only a woman.”

Rise up a new creation

and take the name

I Am.

Am I a stone that my body

should be turned to bread?

Am I a little one whom others

should not offend?

Am I not dumb and immovable

and worse than dead?

You are being and motion,

fire in the mountain.

storm in the sea-deep,

vermilion sky-gilding sun.

Rise up a New Creation

          and take the name

I Am.

Am I a devil,

a danger,

a soul-dagger drudge,

a babe,

a hag,

a desert,

           a plague?

You are

a woman

a human

a person

a prophet

a sister

a creature

an icon-breaker/remaker

a judgment

a vision

a life.

Rise up a New Creation

and take the name

I Am.
             Alla Renée Bozarth


Womanpriest: A Personal Odyssey, first edition Paulist Press 1978;

revised edition Luramedia 1988, distributed by Wisdom House,
43222 SE Tapp Rd, Sandy, OR 97055, 

Godmothers of a New Creation

Through the darkness of history

we see your eyes glisten in Easter light—

Now you are coming, our daughters,

descendants, sisters in Christ,

and you are worthy of the price.

No longer the female patriarchs of our fears or past years

{or now in the furnace rooms of our institutions},

you are women come of age, seekers of life at the edge,

explorers of inner galaxies, giving hope and acknowledging  holiness in life, knowing it must include death for resurrection.

With recognition in your eyes and hands, you become true channels of the healing power of Mother/Father God.

You are daughters of Wisdom Women of Holy Scripture and the Ancestors,

Spirit in your veins, Grace flowing like rivers

through your hearing hearts and responsive words,

prophetic fire still shining in your faces.

You are old, young, mothers,

daughters, grandmothers, sisters.

Though wounded, God-blessed,

and by your courage and your Yes made whole.

You bear the fullness of faith more deeply

into the world, promise of the Easter Christ

alive in our midst and throughout  the radiant body of Cosmos.

Through harrows into heavens,

we stand grateful and small in the Gate of Mystery.

We receive help from Great Mystery and pass it on to you,

receiving from you as well, passing the Gifts of God to others together.


With outstretched hands, the bread of Life, the cup of Healing,

overflowing for all the hungry, broken and poor on the Earth,

with our hearts tuned to the pulse of the risen Christ in the world.

Moment by moment we accept

our calling as midwife and friend,

teacher and mother, healer and healed,

sister to sister and sister to brother.

And so we who came before

now bless you who have come

and are coming after.

We bow before you and with you,

Godmothers of a New Creation

Alla Renée Bozarth

Originally in At the Foot of the Mountain:  Nature and the Art of Soul Healing 
 and  Stars in Your Bones:

Emerging Signposts on Our Spiritual Journeys,

but revised in honor of  the Consecration of Mariann Budde 

The Annunciation

The artist had broken canon law forbidding

anything holy to extend beyond the borders.

When the angel’s

wing stretched


Past the borders

of the picture,

beyond the icon’s

Frame, into the world

freely, and

the woman listening

Smiled, she smiled

openly, shamelessly,


And women seeing

her smile

smile back

And suddenly discover

they are incapable

of submitting

Any longer

to soul-killing


And feel something

within them


Wanting to laugh

out loud

in the dead-still church,

Wanting to dance,

lift their skirts

and see what

Is being born

from within them

in that moment,

What holy wonder

is coming forth

from inside

Their tired old



Then it will be

the second coming

of Creation

And Christ will live again

in every woman’s


Alla Renée Bozarth

Accidental Wisdom

iUniverse 2003.

Bakerwoman God

Bakerwoman God, I am your living bread.

Strong, brown Bakerwoman God,

I am your low, soft, and being-shaped loaf.

I am your rising bread,

well-kneaded by some divine

and knotty pair of knuckles,

by your warm earth hands.

I am bread well-kneaded.

Put me in fire, Bakerwoman God,

put me in your own bright fire.

I am warm, warm as you from fire.

I am white and gold, soft and hard,

brown and round.

I am so warm from fire.

Break me, Bakerwoman God.

I am broken under your caring Word.

Drop me in your special juice in pieces.

Drop me in your blood.

Drunken me in the great red flood.

Self-giving chalice swallow me.

My skin shines in the divine wine.

My face is cup-covered and I drown.

I fall up, in a red pool in a gold world

where your warm sunskin hand

is there to catch and hold me.

Bakerwoman God, remake me.

Alla Renée Bozarth

Womanpriest: A Personal Odyssey, Paulist Press 1978,

rev. ed. Luramedia 1988, distributed by Wisdom House;

Gynergy, Wisdom House 1990;

Water Women, audiocassette, Wisdom House 1990;

Moving to the Edge of the World iUniverse 2000;

This is My Body~ Praying for Earth, Prayers from the Heart,

iUniverse 2004.

To listen to the musical composition of  "Bakerwoman God" by retired Northern Illinois University professor of music, Tim Blickhan,  performed by the Augustana College Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble, Michael  Zemek, director, on All Saints Day 2013, go here: www.mediafire.com/listen/3nrh3kt1a03u6q7/2012+Bakerwoman+God.mp3 

Mary Magdalene, in the Roman Canon called "apostola apostolorum"~
Apostle of the Apostles

Solitary Witness—  In Memory of Her

    Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, 

    what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.   Matthew 26:13    

Mary, in Hebrew, Miriam, of the fishing town of Migdal or Magdala,

prospered in Galilee, yet she suffered—

perhaps those many devils known by everyone besieged

in the talons of depression— anger, futility, sadness, fatigue, physical distress,

flatness of spirit and no sense of access to the core self or soul. 


Then she met Someone, a rabbi, scholar and carpenter

who had friends in the fishing  profession. He recognized

and acknowledged who she really was—

You are a great heart, a generous and loving soul,

a born leader, brilliant and brave, and you have the gift

of a wise and independent spirit needed for the work that we do.

Then he invited her to join them.

She may have been that generous woman who anointed his feet

with precious ointment, and perhaps from envy was rebuked

for wastefulness by other disciples. Jesus said,

“Who else among you has shown such courage and love?”

and promised that she would be remembered for it,

calling her prophet indeed by defending her with the recognition

that she was preparing his body for burial.

Though she bore the envy of men who craved first position,

she embraced the honor of being chosen the one closest to his heart,

first among equals, apostle to the apostles, heartbroken and solitary witness

to Christ’s resurrection, entrusted companion.

This liberated woman was known by God to be the one strong enough

to leave the Beloved, in order to fulfill his desire that she tell this

astonishing truth to the others, whether they believed it or not,

and to call them out of hiding and move them to attend.

Later she was driven away by lesser powers across the Mediterranean Sea, 

shipwrecked by storm and her own destiny, and came to the French port

of Marseilles, then some time after that went to Italy.

The Gospel reached across the sea through her well-seasoned voice.

Making her way to Rome to confront the tyrant there, she preached

to Tiberius Caesar, telling him about Yeshua’s birth, life, unjust death

and resurrection, holding an egg in her hand to illustrate the miracles

of birth and rebirth.

The emperor interrupted her, scoffing dismissively, saying

“A person could no more rise up from the dead back into life

than that egg in your hand could turn red,” whereupon, it did,

followed by his astonished and egg-shaped face.

Led by her strong-hearted compassion and divine inspiration,

for many years of her ministry Mary served and healed those

who were sick in body or soul in southern France, taught

and preached to all who would receive her without prejudice.

At last, her perceptive work among others done,

she came to fulfill a deeper calling of solitude

to the creative contemplative life.

Mary Magdalene retired to the home prepared for her by angels,

and lived her last thirty years alone and unknown in forests of Provence.

Where else for such a woman to prepare for heaven

than in the company of angels and harmonious

natural neighbors, and in the South of France?

To this day French bakers honor her holy presence in their own homeland

by creating the sweet delicate pastry named Madeleine, made with butter,

sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and wheat, the taste of honey, the color of gold—

and, in memory of her deliverance to them by storm, they are

borne from the bakers’ fire in the shape of a seashell.

 Alla Renée Bozarth

Purgatory Papers, copyright 2011.

Before Jesus 
Mary, Protopriest
of the New Covenant

Before Jesus
was his mother.

Before supper
in the upper room,
breakfast in the barn.

Before the Passover Feast,
a feeding trough.
And here, the altar
of Earth, fair linens
of hay and seed.

Before his cry,
her cry.
Before his sweat
of blood,
her bleeding
and tears.
Before his offering,

Before the breaking
of bread and death,
the breaking of her
body in birth.

Before the offering
of the cup,
the offering of her
Before his blood,
her blood.

And by her body and blood
alone, his body and blood
and whole human being.

The wise ones knelt
to hear the woman’s word
in wonder.

Holding up her sacred child,
her spark of God in the form of a babe,
she said:
“Receive and let
your hearts be healed
and your lives be filled
with love, for
This is my body,
This is my blood.”

Alla Renée Bozarth

Accidental Wisdom iUniverse 2003
This is My Body~ Praying for Earth, Prayers from the Heart
iUniverse 2004.


All images are from the Internet.
Sculpture of Mary Magdalene is by an unknown artist.

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