Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Busy Weekend with Bishop Thomas, part 2

The bishop's next stop was at my parish, Holy Cross, in order to ordain a deacon and a subdeacon for St. Patrick's, the new Western Rite Orthodox mission in Warrenton, VA. (I previously wrote about the chrismation of the members of St. Patrick's here. This story about the chrismation later appeared on Bishop Thomas's own web page, with better photos than mine.)

I arrived 15 minutes before 6 PM, when the Liturgy was scheduled to begin, only to find a service already in progress. I stepped into the church just in time to see the bishop ordain Subdeacon Dayton and wondered if I had already missed half the service. I later learned that an unannounced Vespers service had begun at 5, followed by the subdiaconal ordination. (During my short time in the Antiochian Archdiocese, I have formed the impression that any event involving a bishop will come together at the last minute – or come apart, as suggested by one priest whom I will not name.) The actual Liturgy, during which Subdeacon Patrick was ordained to the diaconate, did start at 6.

I will let my blurry photos tell the story with just a bit of explanation. In the first picture, we see Bishop Thomas preaching, while the future deacon stands before the icon of Christ with a white towel over his head.

Since Vespers had already been sung, it was now Monday, liturgically. (The Orthodox liturgical day begins with Vespers, the evening office, following the ancient Jewish reckoning of time.) The Gospel, according to the weekday lectionary, was from John 8. The bishop reiterated Jesus' teaching that the devil is the father of lies, and those who tell lies are children of the devil. Some people will try to justify their lies by claiming they are just little lies, but that just makes them little children of the devil, rather than big children of the devil!

Subdeacon Patrick stood there like that in front of Christ from the beginning of the service through the Anaphora, except for a brief time during which he moved to the other side of the iconostasis and stood before the Theotokos. The ordination took place after the Anaphora and before the administration of Communion. Here the bishop lays his hand on the head of the ordinand.

After the service, the bishop brought out the newly ordained deacon and subdeacon and presented them to the assembly. Some of the women from St. Patrick's (gathered in a circle on the right side of the photo) then sang a beautiful setting of "St. Patrick's Breastplate," composed by the deacon's wife.

Then the bishop promptly put his new ordinands to work, Deacon Patrick holding the cross for veneration and Subdeacon Dayton holding the basket of antidoron.

Update: More photos available from Reader Michael Bishop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is such a Blessing to see the Western Rite starting to blossum!
Is Saint Patrick's going to have a web-site. Hope so, so we can see the growth of this new mission Church.

Matthew the Curmudgeon