I went to Deacon Ordination this morning, to see four men ordained as Permanent Deacons for our diocese. The Ordination rite is so profound and filled with meaning for me. John was ordained in 2003 and I love every minute of the liturgy each time I witness it.
I was particularly struck by the first reading today, the calling of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:1 – 10. We love the story of Samuel so much that we named our son Samuel after this Old Testament saint. Hearing the words
- When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
This reading always inspires me, making me want to respond as readily as Samuel did. I wonder if, when I encounter God, I am so willing to listen as a servant to my own calling. I want to be open to God’s word for my life.
My very favorite part of the liturgy is the Litany of the Saints. After the candidates are called forward by the Bishop and pledge their obedience to him and his successors, the candidates lie prostrate on the floor. To me, this is a posture of complete submission and humility. It is such a powerful symbol of the role that they are taking on – servant.
The Litany is sung and it is so beautiful. I love the idea of calling on all the holy people who have gone before us to help us all to live out our calling to the best of our ability. The singers at Mass today sang this litany so beautifully. I looked for a similar version online and found this:
It’s not exactly the way I heard it this morning, but I hope it is close enough to give a sense of the loveliness of invoking the names of the saints and asking them to pray for us as we try to become more holy.
The Rite of Ordination is very sacred and beautiful. The idea that men would take on a role first described in the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-6) two thousand years ago. To be part of such an ancient tradition is very humbling. As the wife of a deacon, I constantly feel called to become the best person I can be, to work on always being a better servant to those around me. I so often fail to be the person I most want to become. Today’s ordination reminded me of that call once again and I feel renewed and ready to try again. Like Samuel, I feel ready to listen for God and to answer, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”