Updated: Feb 20
"We have come together in the presence of God to welcome __ to this parish, to institute him to the ministry he will share, to pray for __ and for those who minister with him, and to dedicate ourselves afresh to the service of God in this community/these communities and to the call which God makes of each one of us."
This traditional opening prayer of the Induction Service is a reminder that the Vicar's Induction Service is not just about the Vicar, but the parish as well. The Service has many layers of meanings which reminds everyone of the special calling of the parish and all who serve through her, including the Vicar of course.
The dedication at the baptism font reminds us of the importance of conversion and catechism work (instructions in the faith). The chancel and pulpit symbolises the centrality of the preaching of the Word and a people gathered around it. The Lord's Table points to the finish salvific work of Christ on the cross and a way for our regular remembrance of Him.
That it is the Bishop who installs the Vicar ("induce" is not quite the right word!); seen visually when the Vicar is led to this "Vicar's Stall"; is a reminder that the Vicar is appointed by the Bishop to share in the care of this flock. The Bishop says this, "Receive this cure of souls which is both yours and mine", as he "in-stalls" the Vicar. This is perhaps the most sacred and poignant moment of the Service. The term "cure" means more than care. At its centre is the ministry of reconciliation between individuals and God and between people and communities through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This ministry is central to the life and calling of the Church.
Let's continue to pray for the Vicar and ourselves, that we may continue to be faithful in our calling, and along with our bishop, serve to help the church to glorify His Name in every way.