As the countdown continues to the installation of Bishop Nelson Perez as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, details of the liturgy and vespers are falling into place. Less than two weeks remain before the historic events: vespers on Sept. 4 and the installation on Sept. 5.
Although vespers and the installation liturgy are invitation-only events that require tickets for admission, both will be streamed live from the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland.
A special website was created for content relating to the installation. Visit bishopperezinstallation.org for information from the announcement of his appointment as bishop up to installation day. The live feed of vespers and the installation will be available on that website, as well as on the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland’s Facebook page and YouTube.
EWTN plans to carry the installation liturgy live on its network. Also, Catholic TV from Boston and Telecare TV from New York plan to carry the live feed of the installation. Some parishes are planning watch parties.
This week, members of the planning committee spent time working on seating arrangements in the cathedral for bishops and other clergy who will be attending and/or participating in the vespers and the installation liturgy. Details for the choirs and musicians who will participate in the two events also are being finalized.
Father Mike Woost, master of ceremonies for the installation events, and Jeanne Marie Miles, director of the Diocesan Office for Worship, checked the RSVPs from invited bishops, archbishops and other clergy to ensure adequate seating would be available.
“We expect about 20 bishops for vespers on Sept. 4 and about 50 for the installation on Sept. 5,” Miles said.
Toledo Bishop Daniel Thomas, Apostolic Administrator of the diocese, will preside at vespers. Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr will be presider as the installation liturgy begins. Once Bishop Perez is installed, he will be the presider and preacher at the Mass.
Father Woost and Miles, with help from some cathedral and diocesan staff members, arranged rows of chairs on the sides of the main altar and in the sanctuary. Those with roles in the vespers and installation, including Bishops Perez and Thomas, Archbishop Schnurr and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio, will have assigned seats. Many of the other bishops will fill in seats around the sanctuary according to their place in the entrance procession, Miles said.
Greg Heislman, cathedral music director, said two choirs — the Diocesan Gospel Choir and the Philippine-American Ministry Choir — will sing at vespers on Sept. 4. He estimates there will be about 70 singers and musicians between the two choirs.
The following day at the installation liturgy, Heislman said there will be three choirs: the Diocesan Music Directors’ Choir, the Diocesan Children’s Choir and Sacred Heart Chapel Spanish Choir. He expects about 70 singers to participate, as well as a variety of musicians.
Co-directing the Gospel Choir are Tremell Yarbrough, David Williams of Holy Spirit Parish in Garfield Heights, and Danny McElroy of St. Agnes/Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Cleveland. Josie Buniel directs the Philippine-American Choir.
Heislman said music directors of all 185 parishes throughout the diocese were invited to participate in the Diocesan Music Directors’ Choir; about 70 are expected to sing at the installation. Meg Matuska of Communion of Saints Parish in Cleveland Heights is coordinating and directing the Diocesan Children’s Choir and Sonia Charles is director of the Sacred Heart Chapel (Lorain) Choir.
The Children’s Choir will include young people from four parishes: Communion of Saints; Resurrection of Our Lord in Solon and St. Paschal Baylon in Highland Heights, Julie Parrotta, director; and St. Matthew Parish, Akron, Bridget Jankowski, director.
“There will be rehearsals next week for the choir singing at the installation liturgy,” Heislman said. The other groups singing at vespers will have a sound-check/rehearsal prior to the event, he added.
Father Woost said run-through of the vespers and installation liturgy are planned for next week, also.
“Anyone who will be involved with the liturgy, including deacons, servers, etc. will attend to get a good sense of what will happen that day,” he added.