Monday, 6 July 2009

A service in the Cathedral

The experience was awesome. There were two points where I felt most touched by God.
The first was the procession from the back of the cathedral through the congregation to stand in front of the Bishop ("out of the people") I looked around me, and a number of my fellow candidates looked as I felt - just on the edge of being able to hold themselves together. We all managed it, but the point at which we then had to face the congregation and ask for their agreement to be ordained was amazing; I felt a real understanding of being representative; called, trained and then commissioned by all.
(The 'job description' is then read - if you don't know it, do read the ordination service, you might end up wondering as I did how anyone could do this job without God's help!)
The second moment was when the Bishop laid hands on my head, just as happens at confirmation, and called on the Holy Spirit. The difference here is that other priests also came and laid hands on me as I was priested - as a symbol of joining in collegiate ministry. It is what I call the 'flock-of-seagulls moment, and it is very powerful to be under all those hands, to feel the Holy Spirit and humans all praying, supporting and empowering for ministry. That moment was one I will remember forever, just as I still remember my confirmation.
However, this time it was a culmination of a long period of discernment, formation and training. It was also the next stage of my calling, and a marker point for the start of a life-time of ministry.
That was Saturday and since then I've done two Eucharists and visited a dying person to talk about death and funeral arrangements. And of course, some meetings...
And... if I had chosen not to follow that calling from God I might still be updating spreadsheets and writing reports instead.
No contest.


  1. Wonderful Helen, well done. Great photo!

  2. Some of us are still doing reports and spreadsheets *as well*!

  3. Thank you Sally. I'm looking forward to seeing your equivalent of this blog in due course.

    G, your ability to multi-task impresses me. Where are your ordination photos?