Sunday, 5 July 2009

Ordinations of Deacons and Priests

Today was far from a normal Sunday.

I got up at 6.45, had breakfast and did all my early morning chores - watering plants and feeding birds etc.

I left home at 8.30 and got to my lift site by 8.45. The other two had forgotten their tickets, so did not arrive for a wee while. Luckily plenty of time had been written into the timetable. 5 of us piled into the car - I, being the smallest, sat in the middle of the back. Not too bad!!

We were dropped off at Newcastle Cathedral and 'socialised' for a while, as we were early. Before 9.40, we made our way into the Cathedral and found our seats - we had tickets, with block, row and seat numbers. I was very fortunate in that I was in Row 4 behind the Ordinands, but was seat 5 so well in. I could see well when we were sitting, but nothing when standing.

Promptly at 10.00, the Processional Anthem started - "I was glad when they said unto me,....." to music by Parry. The Bishop and lots of Cathedral dignitaries, priests associated with the Ordinands and the Ordinands themselves processed and ended in their seats. As is usual today, all happened in front of the reredos, so we were in touch with what was going on.

After the Ordinands were introduced, we had an Old Testament reading, a hymn and the Gospel, read in the midst of much acclamation etc. The Sermon was by The Reverend Dr Simon Jones, Chaplain of Merton College, Oxford. He had lead the Ordinands in their retreat, prior to today. It was an excellent sermon that connected us to the Ordinands, and was very listen-to-able.

After a hymn we moved into the Liturgy of Ordination. A period given to preparing the ordinands for what was to follow, then we had a form of Intercessions, like in the Holy Communion Service but biased towards the ordinations. Then the Ordinations themselves took place. The Bishop laid his hands on each of the 3 Deacons to ordain them, then we came to the Priests. I was very moved by this. All the robed clergy moved around the Bishop. Each Ordinand came up in turn and knelt before the Bishop. All the clergy who were near enough, put a hand on the head of the ordinand and all the rest put a hand on the man/woman in front, so there was a channel of support from all the robed priests. Then the Bishop himself laid on his hands and said "Send down the Holy Spirit on your servnt N for the office and work of a Priest in your Church.". They were all given a Bible as a sign of authority to speak God's word to his people.

Then we all welcomed them.

The Peace was more special than usual in a Eucharist. Our Deacon made a point of coming along the rows that she could get to for the Peace. The taking of Communion was well organised. The stewards knew where their people were to go and made sure that it moved smoothly. I was lucky in that I received the bread from the Bishop. There were places at the back of the Cathedral and even at the High Altar (for those who were sitting nearer to it including the choir. ) During that time the Choir sang an Anthem - "Set me as a seal upon thine heart...." and we sang a hymn.

After the Blessing by the Bishop, we sang "Angel voices ever singing.. " with the organ reaching full volune and us all singing as loudly as we could, while they processed out and so it was all over.