On Sunday, November 14th, His Grace, Bishop BASIL visited St Joseph Church, Houston.
Sayidna’s mitre is missing and, in hopes of jogging the memories of the gathered faithful, he says: “It’s like a Byzantine Crown, making me look about yay high.”
The bishop points toward the north door of the altar and asks the congregation if they have seen anyone leave that door with his mitre?
The clergy in the altar go into hiding.
He said, “Please! As there is no outside door into the altar, whoever has the mitre must come out of that door. Be vigilant!”
As I tried to calm things down, asking folks to please look everywhere, a communal gasp was heard from the nave; fingers were pointed toward the north side of the altar.
That being settled, as I stared at the floor and Fr James stared at the ceiling, the service began.
Later in the service, it seemed we carried everything but the Bishop’s mitre out for the Entrance.
As the newly installed members of the Parish Council reverenced the Gospel Book, Fr James could be seen staring at the bishop’s mitre.
The ever vigilant Deacon Meletios whispered to me, “I think Fr James is up to something.”
So as not to scandalize the faithful, it was necessary to close the doors — to settle this matter once and for all.
The choir, oblivious to the mitre heist, continued to sing beautifully.
Looks like things worked out.
Not wanting to accuse anyone, I again pleaded for the return of the mitre. (Does Fr James look like he’s up to something in this pic?)
He’s quick; the slight of hand: amazing.
I just hope these guys — especially the one in the middle, and the accused — are good sports!
From the your left: Deacon Meletios Marx, me, Bishop BASIL, Fr James Early, and the newly ordained Deacon Michael Fulton (Holy Cross seminarian).
For more pics of the bishop’s visit, go here.
Images courtesy of Hatem “Steve” Khalaf – here.