Saturday, September 22, 2012
We made good time on the road, and arrived at the Cathedral with a half hour to spare. Peg went up to the main floor, while I went into the lower chapel to get robed. Some of my brother Candidates where there already, along with the clergy persons who would be helping them vest in their stoles and dalmatics. A deacon, who is a member of my Secular Franciscan fraternity, was to be helping me vest when the time came.
We were all called to go up into the Cathedral's Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, to spend some quiet time in prayer, in preparation for the ceremony. I found myself saying the Jesus Prayer, to try to keep my mind focused; and myself open to God's grace.
The ceremony began with a procession from the back of the Cathedral to it's sanctuary, I saw some familiar faces. The liturgical music was beautiful, the liturgy itself was moving, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley's sermon was inspiring. Then came the moment when each of us knelt before Cardinal Sean, and he laid his hands on each of our heads. He is famous for taking his time with this part of the ordination rite, and he was true to form. Yet, for me, despite the time he took, I had a feeling of timelessness. The Cardinal and I were in a special moment, when the Holy Spirit was now active and powerful.
Then it was over, but the remaining liturgy still had it's own power, it's own meaning. Peg brought up my vestments, Deacon Joe helped me put them on. And there I was, no longer just Jonathan Jones, but now Deacon Jonathan Jones, standing with my fellow Deacons. Other Deacons of the Archdiocese of Boston came up, gave us the sign of peace, and welcomed us into the Fraternity of Deacons.
Later, at Communion time, I was the minister of the Cup, that held the Blood of Christ, giving it to all who came up to receive. I held in my hands the Presence of Christ, another very powerful moment.
After the liturgy, there was time for pictures, for greeting friends and relatives. Then came the time for celebration, for blessings, for toasts, and maybe eating a little too much. And finally coming home, both Peg and I tired but happy with the day's events.
So now I am Deacon Jonathan, Deacon Jones (God, that sounds like the name of a football player, or rap star)! I am forever changed, yet unchanged. I will have to wake up on Monday, and go to work. I will still have my health and other issues that will keep me up at night. Yet, I am also someone called by Jesus and His Church, to proclaim the Good News by word and deed. To serve the People of God, with whatever talents or skills I have; enhanced by the grace that comes through the Holy Spirit. It is the beginning of new chapter in my and Peg's life. St. Francis and St. Clare pray for us!
UPDATE: The Archdiocese of Boston's media center, CatholicTV, has released a video of the ordination ceremony.