Friday, May 20, 2011

Ordination: Not of this World

I have been waiting, preparing, myself for years now.  Studying.  Practicing.  Praying.  Failing.  Winning.

I come now to the precipice of Ordination (only a day away).  What a mysterious word, "ordination."  It holds people in awe.  It captures minds, but is somewhat unimaginable.  What can be put together from previous experiences to imagine, "ordination?"  It is experienced, at most, three times a year, here in New Orleans.  That allows for only a limited amount of people to witness such a mysterious event.

It is unique.  Men prostrate themselves.  The bishop lays hands on each head as if he is washing the men's hair.  Long prayers are said.  Levi is mentioned, and all think ... denim ... and not the priestly tribe.  Things like "pray for us" are sung over and over and over again like a broken record playing simultaneously with a working record.  A man dresses another man in front of a whole bunch of people.  Then, there's a line of men greeting, hugging, the men who have just gone through the awkward obstacle course of movements.

Ordinations seem so foreign to worldly sentiments and sense because they, indeed, transcend sentiment and sense.  The supernatural is active.  The prostration shows these men are dying to themselves and to the world, during which time the heavens are stormed with prayers for these men, beseeching those nearest the heavenly throne, to intercede on these men's behalf.  At the laying on of heands, the man's soul is marked as a priest of Jesus Christ, for me a servant, diakona, as Jesus Christ (think washing of the feet).  His being takes on a new dimension.  He is clothed with new garments showing that He is being clothed with Christ, as Christ.  He is now in a singular group who welcome him into this gift of a community.

Am I prepared?  Because of my finiteness and my inheritance of the tendency towards sin, never totally. Am I ready?  Yes.

Please pray for all the men throughout the world who will be ordained deacons and priests in the coming months.

1 comment:

William Newton said...

Congratulations in advance! A wonderful piece by a wonderful new deacon of the Church.