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St. Paul's Episcopal: A day of remembrance

By Staff
COMMUNION – The Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray Jr., left, and the Rt. Rev. A.C. Marble Jr. conduct communion during the centennial celebration of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Meridian. The day included a special Holy Eucharist service based largely on the 1892 Prayer Book, followed by a reception. Gray is a retired Mississippi Episcopal bishop who serves as St. Paul's interim rector and Marble is the current bishop. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Ida Brown / religion editor
Oct. 21, 2002
As he has on many days of worship, Edgar H. Morrison assumed his place among his fellow ushers Sunday morning at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
With program in hand, Morrison smiled warmly to members and guests as they entered the church's sanctuary, directing them to available seats. And while the routine may have been familiar, the day was anything but ordinary to Morrison.
It was a day of remembrance.
The church's pews and aisles overflowed as members and guests participated in a special Holy Eucharist service commemorating the centennial celebration.
A time of remembrance
Former rectors, curates and seminarians, as well as numerous descendants of some of the original parish founders were among those in attendance.
The liturgy for the morning's service was the Rite One Eucharist from the Book of Common Prayer, but, according to the program, options were used to make the service similar to the Eucharist in the 1892 Prayer Book, the book in use when St. Paul's was established.
Leading the service were Mississippi's Episcopal bishop, the Rt. Rev. A.C. Marble Jr., D.D., celebrant; the Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray Jr., D.D., a retired bishop who delivered the sermon; and the Rev. Edward F. O'Connor Jr., St. Paul's curate who served as master of ceremonies.
In his sermon, Gray, who also served as St. Paul's rector from 1965-74, reflected on the past, remembering St. Paul's first leaders.
Gray also remembered many of the church's former members.
Gray said remembering the past is essential to creative functioning and fulfillment in the present.
After the sermon, a dedication service was held for a new church banner donated by the Neville family, longtime St. Paul's members from Meridian, followed by communion.
Members reflect
On the day of remembrance, many members recalled a church focused on the love of God and community service beliefs which continue today.
Poo and Gloria Chancellor, who have been members for 15 years, shared Morrison's sentiments.