Holy Eucharist for the Burial of the Dead for Bishop James Montgomery

November 04, 2019

Bishop James Winchester Montgomery, who died on October 23, 2019 at age 98, was a true son of Chicago.

Listen to the full service below

Listen to the sermon below

Greeting from the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee, Bishop of Chicago

Bishop James Winchester Montgomery, who died on October 23, 2019 at age 98, was a true son of Chicago. He was born here on May 29, 1921 to James Edward Montgomery and Evelyn Winchester Montgomery, the daughter of the Rt. Rev. James Winchester, bishop of Arkansas from 1911–1931. He grew up in Rogers Park, served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II, studied at General Theological Seminary and was ordained by Bishop Wallace E. Conkling, seventh bishop of Chicago, in 1949.

After two years as curate at St. Luke’s in Evanston, Jim served eleven years as rector of St. John the Evangelist in Flossmoor. In 1962, he was elected bishop suffragan, and in 1965, bishop coadjutor. He became the ninth bishop of Chicago on October 2, 1971.

Jim’s service to the wider church was exemplary. He was a deputy to two General Conventions, a trustee of the General Theological Seminary, Nashotah House, Seabury-Western Seminary—all of which awarded him honorary doctorates—as well as the Church Pension Fund, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital and many other community institutions and organizations.

It is a great honor to occupy the same seat as such a gracious man, and I will miss him and his kindness to me a great deal. His example of faithful prayerfulness is a model for all of us who are called to serve God’s people.

It gives me joy that Jim lived to see the Diocese of Chicago thriving and unified through the love of Christ that sustained him throughout his entire life. Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.


Greeting from the Very Rev. Dominic Barrington, Dean of the Cathedral

It is both an honor and a pleasure to welcome you to St. James Cathedral as we give thanks for the life of Bishop James Montgomery. As a baptized Christian, priest, and bishop, James Montgomery rejoiced in the Easter Faith which the Church of God is called to proclaim. While we inevitably gather with sadness at the death of someone who has held a special place in our affections for many years, we gather also to confidently to rejoice in the gift of eternal life promised to us in the Good News of Jesus whom we know as the Christ.

I bid you welcome to as we celebrate a remarkable life of mission and ministry lived in the transforming power of God’s grace and love—a life which now endures in the faithful and loving arms of Almighty God.