TWELVE YEAR OLD BOY TO BE BOY BISHOP AT SALISBURY CATHEDRAL ON SATURDAY 6 DECEMBERIssued Tuesday 2nd December 2008
Twelve year old Robert Folkes, Bishop’s Chorister (head chorister) of Salisbury Cathedral Choir assumes the role of Boy Bishop during Evensong in the Cathedral on Saturday 6 December at 5.30pm.
In the ceremony this year, the Bishop of Ramsbury will give his staff and ring to Robert – who is dressed in replica Bishop’s regalia – and install him on his throne. The service is a celebration of an ancient tradition and also an acknowledgement of the important part the boy choristers play in the Cathedral’s musical life. As Boy Bishop, Robert will lead the prayers, bless the congregation and receive the collection. The highlight of the service is undoubtedly the sermon which is both written and delivered by the Boy Bishop.
David Halls, Director of Music, says “This is always a special occasion as it throws into the limelight the superb job the choristers do for Salisbury Cathedral day by day.”
Background information on the ceremony
This Boy Bishop ceremony is a reconstruction of a medieval ceremony. Around the time of the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the Church hierarchy was reversed: the chorister ascended the Bishop’s throne and the Bishop took a lower place. This happened during the singing of the Magnificat with its revolutionary proclamation ‘God has put down the mighty from their throne and has exalted the humble and meek’. The ceremony is a lesson in humility and recognition of the wisdom of youthful innocence. In medieval times the Boy Bishop would have taken office from the Feast of St Nicholas (6 December) to the Feast of the Holy Innocents (28 December).
On Wednesday 3 December Robert was interviewed on the Chris Evans show on Radio 2 about his role as Boy Bishop.
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