This week Fr Martin Magill attended a service in St Anne’s Cathedral for the ordination of four new deacons. Fr Magill was reminded of his own ordination 27 years ago, as well as those who are currently in preparation to be ordained deacons.
Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing: The Ordination of Deacons – St Anne’s Cathedral
Having previously met Philip Benson, one of the candidates, to be ordained a deacon, I chose to attend St Anne’s Cathedral for the special ceremony for the ordination of deacons. There were three other candidates to be ordained: Julie Bell, Cameron Jones and Isobel Hawthorne-Steele.
After the opening hymn, to which the clergy and the candidates processed in, Bishop Alan Abernethy opened the ceremony with prayer and scripture. The candidates were then presented. Bishop Alan asked each candidate by name: “…do you believe in your heart that God has called you to the office and work of a deacon in His Church?” This brought me back to my own ceremony where I was ordained deacon.
We then had appropriate Bible readings followed by a sermon given by Canon Terry Scott, incumbent of the parish of Magherafelt.
He reminded the congregation of the seriousness of the decision the candidates were making. After the Nicene Creed, the ordination rite followed. I found this very poignant, reminding me of my own decision to be ordained a deacon 27 years ago (photo of part of the rite included – click on the image to read the words more clearly).
In his sermon, Canon Scott invited the candidates to go back from time to time to the order of service and remind themselves of their promises. The rite also included the singing of the hymn “veni creator spiritus” or “Come Holy Spirit”. The laying on of hands followed and the rite concluded with the “sign of peace”. We then moved to the celebration of the Eucharist. Once again, I continued the practice of going up for a blessing.
As I reflected afterwards on the ceremony, it was good to be reminded of the ceremony when I was ordained deacon. I was also aware that on the previous day, I had met 11 men who were on the first day of their preparation for ordination as permanent deacons for my own diocese of Down and Connor. All being well, four years later they will be ordained as deacons to serve parishes in Down and Connor.