Two chosen as Nicholas Bishop at CTK

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At the Cathedral of Christ the King in Sharpsburg,  on Sunday, Dec. 6, two young men served as the St. Nicholas Bishop, (also known as “boy bishop”) for the early and later services.

The St. Nicholas Bishop for the 8:30 a.m. service was 12-year-old Evan Cerniga, son of Ed and Yolly Cerniga.

The St. Nicholas Bishop for the 10 a.m. service was nine-year old Steven Hodges, son of Hiram and Jane Hodges.

Selecting Nicholas Bishops or Boy Bishops was once a popular tradition throughout Europe. The ceremony is a lesson in humility and recognition of the wisdom of youthful innocence.

The appointment of Boy Bishops honors the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra, patron of children, who is remembered as having a special, personal concern for the safety and well-being of children.

The Boy Bishop took the bishop’s throne and wore his regalia, presiding at all services in the cathedral.  The altar servers sat in the places of dignity usually occupied by the clergy and the reverend canons of the cathedral filled the roles of altar servers.

The Boy Bishop was empowered to declare extra holidays, and to decree the distribution of sweets to the children of the diocese.

The custom survived  until 1799.

In modern times, churches have begun to revive it, especially in English cathedrals and parishes.

As far as can be determined, Christ the King was the first Charismatic Episcopal cathedral to observe this ancient  tradition.

 Bishop David Epps preached in both services while the boy bishops assisted in the administration of Holy Communion.