It has become a kind of tradition though it is not an official one. The day before a bishop is ordained, those bishops who arrive the evening before join the bishop-elect for evening prayer.
The distance we need to travel does not always allow us to go and come back on the same day. That is why it is not uncommon to have a small (or big!) group of bishops the day before the ordination.
Bishops Wüstenberg, Wood and myself were the first ones to arrive in Polokwane. We spend a few hours with bishop-elect Jeremiah Masela sharing on his feelings as the time of the celebration was getting closer.
By 5 pm we were on our way to the Cathedral. Other bishops had arrived: Teddy Kumalo, Stan Dziuba, Valentine Seane and Zolile the newly ordained bishop of Kokstad.
All the diocesan priests were present. We prayed together Vespers (evening prayer) and entrusted the bishop-elect to the One who called him. At the end Bishop Kumalo blessed the ring, miter, pectoral cross and pastoral staff of the new bishop of the diocese.