John the 23rd
John Maury Allin was installed as twenty-third Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church on the morning of June 11, 1974, in the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (Washington National Cathedral) in Washington, D.C. An evening Holy Eucharist service was held on June 10, with concerts and the traditional Presiding Bishop’s dinner taking place during the recess between the two services. The evening Eucharist, more intimate in nature, featured the Rev. Dr. John B. Coburn, President of the House of Deputies, as the preacher, and several choirs, including fifty-one members of the University of the South choir.
Religion, Relationships and Reconciliation
On the day of the installation, a five hundred-member delegation from Mississippi led the procession of seven hundred into a packed Cathedral of three thousand congregants. Representatives from the major Christian communions were present, including the Bishop of London, Gerald Alexander Ellison, representing the Archbishop of Canterbury. Allin preached his inaugural sermon, calling it more a “greeting,” about religion, relationships and reconciliation. He ended the sermon with a bible verse, St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, 5:18: “All things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” After the service a reception was held on the east lawn of the Cathedral.