How is it even possible?
This weekend, by happy coincidence, I’m at the seminary in Huntington, New York, leading a retreat for deacons and their wives from Brooklyn and Rockville Centre. I am remembering this day all who walked with me on this journey, all who walked with me down that aisle at the basilica, and all who continue to walk with me and who, so often, hold me up and guide my steps.
Thanks be to God, for everything and everyone.
“Your servant, Lord, your servant am I…”
Prayer of the Ordained
You who ordered the universe
Have also ordained the universe.
You have ordained that the stars follow their course,
That the seasons follow Your plan
That the oceans and tides obey Your rhythms.
And now you have ordained us in Your service, as Deacons.
Make of us instruments of Your holy will —
Rinse away the useless clay, and leave behind new creations,
polished at Your wheel, shaped by Your fingers, dried in the warmth of your gaze.
In the boundless mercy and love with which you have formed us,
Guide us with Your Spirit, so that we might complete the work You have begun.
Let us always remember that we have been ordained to serve,
And not to be served,
To build up, not to tear down,
To preach, to teach, and to believe.
Help us to proclaim the gospel with the fervor of Your greatest deacons:
As fearlessly as Stephen,
As compassionately as Lawrence
And as joyfully as Francis of Assisi.
Make our lives models of Christ the servant,
That we may love others as He did,
And always see Him in those we meet,
Even in the distressing disguise of the poor, the sick, the lonely or the lost.
Let our words be Your Word,
Our actions, Your actions.
Make our hands Your hands,
Outstretched, to carry and comfort, to baptize and bless.
Grant us the grace to be worthy of the work we are beginning,
So that we may one day worship You in Your sanctuary,
Serving in eternal joy at Your table.
We ask this through the First Servant and First Deacon,
our brother, Christ Our Lord.
by Deacon Greg Kandra (2007)