Peter David Eaton consecrated bishop coadjutor of Southeast Florida

By Altoria White
Posted May 14, 2015
The Rt. Rev. Peter David Eaton was ordained and consecrated bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of Southeast Florida on May 9. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori served as chief consecrator. Photo: Barbara Lawless/Diocese of Southeast Florida

The Rt. Rev. Peter David Eaton was ordained and consecrated bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of Southeast Florida on May 9. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori served as chief consecrator. Photo: Barbara Lawless/Diocese of Southeast Florida

[Diocese of Southeast Florida] Peter David Eaton was ordained and consecrated bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Southeast Florida on May 9 in a service held at Trinity Cathedral in Miami, Florida.

Eaton will be the fourth bishop of the Southeast Florida, succeeding the Rt. Rev. Leopold Frade, who will retire in January 2016 after 16 years of service to the diocese.

Over 1,200 people witnessed the service in person at the cathedral and via live stream video from a nearby hotel. Bishops from all over the country and the world attended the service. A historic occasion, this was the first time four bishops from churches in full communion with The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion participated in a service and together were co-consecrators of an Episcopal bishop. The Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht in Europe, the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar in India, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Moravian Church in North America were all participants.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori led the service as chief consecrator and the Rt. Rev. Stephen Conway, the bishop of Ely, and one of Eaton’s classmates at Cambridge University, preached. The ecumenical representation from Christian churches from around the world made this consecration a significant event within The Episcopal Church. Frade recognized the significance of their presence as they greeted the crowd. A representative of the Armenian patriarch of Jerusalem and the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople processed along with other leaders of the church. “We have come here from the holy city of Jerusalem to participate in this holy day and our happiness increases greatly to see the day when Peter has been made a bishop,” said the representative of theArmenian patriarch.

Other interfaith and ecumenical representatives were the Roman Catholic bishop of Palm Beach, the archbishop of Miami, and the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem.

At the end of the service, guests cheered the consecration choir for their joyful, melodic voices, which brought most to their feet. The group included choristers from parishes around the Diocese of Southeast Florida. The music for the day, which included traditional songs in Spanish, French and English, also included special arrangements by several organists and the choir’s conductor, Matthew Steynor.

The Rt. Rev. Peter David Eaton will be enthroned on Jan. 30 at Trinity Cathedral in Miami.

— Altoria White is director of communications for the Diocese of Southeast Florida. 


Comments (5)

  1. Bob McCloskey says:

    As a retired priest of the diocese, a liturgist and a former cathedral organist-choirmaster, this was absolutely the most incredible and moving liturgy in which I have ever participated. Clearly the hand of the new bishop was the dominant factor in this which bodes well for the diocese. His close relationships with Orthodox hierarchs was self-evident with two archbishops [one the Metropolitan of Atlanta in whose jurisdiction Miami occurs] occupying a special place in the procession and center seats behind the altar facing the congregation. His theological training and early ordained ministry in the C of E was noted with two or perhaps three English bishops participating. This liturgy should be a model for other dioceses!

  2. James Clayton says:

    Correction: The Greek Orthodox cleric was from “the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta”, and not from “the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem” as printed in the article.

    1. Bob McCloskey says:

      I do not have the liturgy booklet in front of me but I am certain that the two vested Orthodox bishops in the procession and seated at the altar were indeed, Alexios, Archbishop Metropolitan of Atlanta, and a bishop representing Theopholis III, Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and all Palestine – who read a greeting from the Patriarch in Aramaic which was translated by Bishop Leo Frade. Archbishop Alexios delivered his own greeting in English. None of this is earth-shattering but again to clarify. Other Orthodox representatives processed and a gift of Orthodox vestments was presented to Bishop Eaton at the reception following.

  3. Harry W Shipps says:

    Did the Orthodox bishops participate in the Laying on of Hands?

    +Harry W Shipps

    1. Bob McCloskey says:

      No Bishop Harry. Nor did they receive Communion. Nevertheless the liturgy bent over backwards to be ecumenical and inclusive. You probably noted that churches in full communion with us had bishops as co-consecrators: Moravian, Mar Thoma Syrian and ELCA along with the Bishops of Colorado and Southeast Florida.

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