‘Boy Bishop’ Metzger presides at Christ the King Church
At the Cathedral of Christ the King in Sharpsburg on Sunday, Dec. 6, Thomas Metzger, age 12, presided over much of the Sunday service as “Boy Bishop,” in an ancient European ceremony which offers a lesson in humility and recognition of the wisdom of youthful innocence. Thomas also preached a brief sermon he had written himself. Members of the congregation congratulated Boy Bishop Thomas with a standing ovation.
Last year’s Boy Bishop, Jon Paul Landon, served as Bishop’s Chaplain for the Boy Bishop,
Selecting Nicholas Bishops or Boy Bishops was once a popular tradition throughout Europe, from the tip of Italy to the Hebrides in Scotland and from Ireland to Hungary. It is a way of symbolically representing the teaching of Christ and fits perfectly with the Advent themes of turning the tables and oversetting expectations.
The appointment of Boy Bishops honors the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra, patron of children, who is traditionally remembered as having a special, personal concern for the safety and well-being of children.
Though Queen Elizabeth I ended the custom in England, it survived on the Continent until 1799.
In modern times, churches have begun to revive the custom, especially in English cathedrals and parishes. As far as is known, Christ the King Church was the first CEC parish to observe this ancient tradition.
Thomas, son of Richard and Sallie Metzger of Peachtree City, is a home-schooled student who enjoys sports, especially baseball. He is an active acolyte and also assists at the Sunday morning coffee fellowship at Christ the King.