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Epiphany 5: Ordination

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It happened, it was glorious, it fed eyes and ears and touch and smell (yes, incense) and taste. And I can’t believe I’m fretting that I got so many things wrong. Maybe not all my fault, and fortunately things that happened after hands were laid, but still, I wish I’d done better.

We did rehearse; Mel was very generous with that. But we rehearsed me standing at the Bishop’s right. He put me at the left. And reading a section of Prayer D. I should have realized, he’d said something about that in an email. Think I got through that ok.

I usually (I think, don’t count on me for much brain power these days) see us taking offering plates across the altar–no, go around. Then I absolutely blanked on what to say. (My friends in the choir later made some “deer in headlights” remarks that don’t do justice to what that felt like). Someone cued me in, and I got it. Various other stuff like that. I am glad after all that my Liturgics professor was not there.

Then, recessing, or Going Forth, the final hymn finished, the bishop prodded me: do the Dismissal! while we’re walking! I had been planning to sing it, with a pitch from the organ. I don’t do pitches out of the air well. Nor sing while walking (unless it’s a hymn). Gulp, breath, did what I could with a pitch out of the air.

But you know, it really was wonderful. So many friends from so many places–my family, my parish, my friends from Nashotah, friends from ShelterHouse overflow, friends from work, friends from just being friends for ever, friends from the community, knitting friends. The church looked nearly full to me, when I could see it. The music was perfect, every piece what I had envisioned (enauraled?).

The collar feels right (though you won’t see me wear it often). The ordination was wonderful, but it’s just a beginning. And should end as we began the service, with an introit the Rector didn’t quite expect:

non nobis, Domine, sed nomine tuo da gloriam.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Anne Tanner | February 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Ah, Judith, you felt so much more than your congregation knew. The “deer in the headlights” feeling when what you had rehearsed suddenly changed was perfectly natural. We in the choir have to tease you–that’s part of the chorister’s duties. To us, you seemed in control, in the moment, poised, intent, and just where you needed to be. It was a thrilling service for us and we were so pleased to be able to carry it off.

    And now, the Exsultet, right?

    Anne

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