The chancel of St. Athanasius Parish looks pretty bare in this photo, taken on Saturday afternoon as the green altar vestments which are normal for this weekend are being taken down, to be replaced by red altar vestments, appropriate for ordinations. In many eras of the Church (including many parts of the world today!), an ordination to an office of the Church is an invitation to martyrdom. In recognition of this fact, and in honor of those officers of Christ’s Church who have shed their blood in fulfilment of their ordained ministry, the vestments for the altar and for participants in an ordination is red.
The Right Reverend Robert Parlotz, St. Athanasius Parish’s bishop, kneels to demonstrate to Jerry how to lay himself prostrate during the ordination service. Jerry, vested in the alb he will wear during the ordination, pays attention, since he will need to get down and back up without tripping!
Bishop Parlotz, Fr. Bill Mouser, and Ordinand Jerry Young discuss details of the ordination service as they prepare on Saturday afternoon. Unlike regular Sunday services, ordination services occur infrequently, so no one who participates has a routine memory of how things are supposed to proceed.
Meanwhile, in the parish hall, preparations are underway for a recpetion following the ordination that evening.
Promptly at 7:00 PM Saturday evening, the service commences as Fr. Bill lights the altar candles before the procession begins. Note the altar is now vested in red hangings, and Fr. Bill like all others who participate in the service is vested in red.
The procession begins with Fr. Bill serving as crucifer. Following him is ordinand Jerry. Following Jerry is the Venerable Nolan Garrett, Archdeacon. Last in the procession, seen here only in the snippet of his golden cope in the lower right of the photo, is Bishop Parlotz.
Bishop Parlotz concludes the procession. All are now assembled and the service known as The Ordering of Deacons will commence.
The service opens with a benediction. To read or to download a PDF transcript of the ordination service, click here. On a bend to the Bishop’s left are various articles he will use during the service, including a deacon’s stole, ordination certificates, a small New Testament, and annointing oil. To the left of the Bishop’s chair is the Bishop’s staff, a crozier, one of his badges of office as a shepherd in Christ’s Church.
Stuart Mayfield, a licensed lector in St. Athanasius Parish, reads one of the passages from Scripture appointed for this service. Along with everyone else, the Bishop sits to hear the lesson while it is read.
After the lesson from Scripture and the ordination homily thereafter, Bishop Parlotz hears Archdeacon Garrett present the candidate for ordination.
After the Bishop asks if anyone objects to the candidate’s ordination, and upon hearing no objections, the Bishop leads the congregation in a series of prayers, the Litany and Sufferages for Ordinations. All kneel during these prayers, except the candidate, who prostrates himself before the altar, to signify his complete dependence on God’s gracious answers to the prayers of the people for his future ministry.
Near the end of The Litany and Sufferages for Ordinations, the Bishop stands over the ordinand and pronounces a series of blessings on the candidate.
After the prayers, the Bishop examines the candidate for ordination, to ensure that he understands the duties of the office he is about to assume, its qualifications, and his own willingness to undertake the ministry which the Bishop shall soon confer upon him.
Prior to investing him with the office of Deacon, the Bishop announts the candidates hands. Standing behind Jerry is the Rev. Jerry Lemon, Deacon at First Baptist Church, and (behind him) the Rev. Bruce Zimmerman, Pastor of Waxahachie Bible Church. These friends of candidate Jerry are invited to participate in his ordination by the Bishop to show solidarity in Christian ministry with men who are officers in other local congregations of Christians.
Bishop Parlotz invests Jerry with authority to conduct the ministry of a deacon in Christ’s One, Holy, and Apostolic Church, by the laying on of hands and prayer. Revs. Zimmerman and Lemon join in the laying on of hands.
In this photo, Bishop Parlotz has just completed vesting Jerry with his badge of office, a deacon’s stole. This is the red-colored sash running from his left shoulder across his chest and back to his right side. Note that Jerry is not wearing this vestment in previous photos of him in this gallery.
Bishop Parlotz holds a copy of the New Testament, originally presented to Jerry upon his profession of faith in Christ, fifty years previously. Here, Bishop Parlotz presents a copy of the New Testament to Jerry as a token of his authority to read and to preach the Gospel in the Anglican prish where Jerry will serve the Church as a deacon.
Bishop Parlotz presents the new Deacon to St. Athanasius Parish to receive their congratulatory applaus.
The Bishop’s first act after presenting the new deacon, Fr. Jerry Young, to the congregation is to sign a certificate of ordination and a license to preach in the parish.
Fr. Jerry’s first official act as a Deacon is to read the Gospel Lesson in the midst of the congregation.
Fr. Jerry, Fr. Bill, Archdeacon Garrett, and Bishop Parlotz take their places in the chancel of the Chapel to begin the celebration of the Holy Eucharist which concludes the evening’s service.
The worshipers at the altar lead the congregation in a confession of sin before Eucharist begins.
“Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to him …” After the Bishop has pronounced the Absolution, Fr. Jerry performs his second official act as a deacon, by reading The Comfortable Words from the Eucharistic liturgy, passages of Scripture which assure Christians of their forgiveness of sins through the work of Christ on the Cross and His promises of forgiveness in Scripture.
After the Communion is finished, Fr. Bill takes his position as a crucifer before the recessional, as the congregation sings the concluding hymn.
In the last hymnody of the service, the congregation chants the ancient hymn of Simeon from Luke 2:29-32, known by its first words in Latin Nunc Dimittis: “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people; To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.” In the foreground is Barbara, Fr. Bill’s wife. Behind her to the left is Donna, Fr. Jerry’s wife. Standing to her left is their son Ethan.
In the foreground are Donna, Fr. Jerry’s wife, and their son Ethan. Seen between Ethan and Donna are Donna’s parents, Emile and Neva Masson. All are preparing to depart for the parish hall reception to honor Fr. Jerry.
Lisa Rosewell, St. Athanasius Parish’s organist and Prima Donna Dessert Confecter, carves up her latest confection, a scrumptuous and gigantic chocolate cake.
Fr. Bill rests his back while visiting with Donna’s parents, Emile and Neva.
The parish photographer, Ian, captures this photo of his lovely wife Audra, who carries within her St. Athanasius Parish’s newest member, Baby Joseph, due to be born in about one month.
A table at the reception contained memorabilia from Jerry’s previous ministry over the years. Newest additions are these documents, signed by Bishop Parlotz during the ordination service a short while previously.
On the lower left of the memorabilia table is a certificate of ordination to the office of deacon presented to Jerry about 40 years ago when he was a young Baptist. The small book to the right of the wooden box at the far right-top of the photo is the New Testament presented to Jerry as a new convert to the Christian faith, and re-presented to him as a newly ordained Deacon in the Anglican Church.
Donna explains some of the stories attaching to some of the exhibits on the memorabilia table.
Fr. Jerry gives an overview of his ministry in the Church, referencing the various exhibits on the memorabilia table.
Near the end of the evening, Fr. Bill confers with Fr. Nolan Garrett, Archdeacon of the UAC and vicar of Emmanual Anglican Church in Waco, Texas.
Congratulations to Fr. Jerry Young, newly ordained to the Diaconate in St. Athanasius Parish, Waxahachie, Texas on October 23, 2010!