Homilist Frank Griswold, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, spoke about communion; Archbishop Andrew Hutchison was presented with a ceremonial button blanket cope.
“I, Andrew, chosen to be primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, commit myself to this new trust and responsibility, and promise, with God’s help, to be a faithful shepherd and pastor among you.”
With those words uttered June 4 at the entrance of historic Christ’s Church Cathedral here, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison of Montreal officially became the 12th primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
As bagpipes played, a beaming Archbishop Hutchison walked toward the altar of the 19th-century, Gothic Revival-style cathedral in a procession that included members of the Council of General Synod, ecumenical and inter-faith guests, retired bishops, the house of bishops, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA), the dean of Niagara and officers of General Synod. They were led by altar servers carrying a banner representing the host diocese of Niagara, and a kite embossed with the figure of a dove representing the Holy Spirit.
The two-and-a-half hour service was marked by music from the cathedral choir who were joined by General Synod musicians and the brass quintet from the Hannaford Street Silver Band of Toronto and prayers in French, Inuktitut, Cree and English.
It also featured the presentation of gifts as symbols of unity. Imam Abdul Raouf Sanni gave Archbishop Hutchison a Muslim prayer mat; Rabbi Bernard Baskin gifted him with a Jewish prayer shawl. A necklace of spices representing the life of the Anglican Communion was presented by Archdeacon Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatagaloa-Mata-lavea, Anglican Consultative Council Observer to the United Nations, Francisco de Arazoza, of the Episcopal Church of Cuba, and Bishop Duleep de Chikera of the diocese of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Rev. Arthur Anderson, an elder of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, and Nina Burnham, member of the Indigenous Covenant Implemen-tation Commission, presented him with the Anglican Indigenous Covenant. Willard Martin, hereditary chief of the Killerwhale clan, led a ceremony of transfer of Nisga’a hereditary chieftain name and status to the primate. The chieftain name, Kalwilimlhkwhl Laxha (Servant of Heavan), was originally bestowed upon Archbishop Ted Scott in 1971, and is meant to be successively transferred to newly elected primates.
Archbishop Hutchison was also draped with a ceremonial button blanket originally presented to Archbishop Michael Peers. He will receive a new blanket especially made for him in a later ceremony.
Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold of ECUSA, who gave the homily, alluded to the conflict in his church over the ordination of a gay bishop and the Canadian church over same-sex blessings. He urged Anglicans to “pause and remind ourselves what the whole enterprise of being church is all about.” Communion, he said, implies difference. “There would be no communion between the Father and the Son if there were no distinction between them,” he said. “There would be no risen body of Christ if we were all a hand or a foot.”
Being in communion, he added, “requires differentiation in order that love can go forth from itself and find another love. Communion requires that there be singularities that set us apart.”