Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Ordination of Fr. Mark Christian
to the Sacred Order of Priests...

...took place at Saint Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, Texas on Sunday, February 22, 2009. According to the Lenten Triodion, this was the Sunday of the Last Judgment, or Meatfare Sunday, the third of our Pre-Lenten Sundays.

The day began with the enrollment of eleven catechumens at the cathedral. At the beginning of the Hierarchical Liturgy, Fr. Mark served as third deacon and took his turn leading several litanies.

His Eminence, the Most Reverend DMITRI, Archbishop of Dallas and the South preached on the Gospel Reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew. In his sermon, His Eminence reminded the congregation that our judgment in the last day will be concerned with the mercy and care we show for those whom the world considers worthless and marginal. By loving our neighbors, we demonstrate our love for Christ. And if we refuse to merciful and charitable, the day of judgment will not go well for us.

At the singing of the Cherubic Hymn at the Great Entrance, the deacon being ordained to the priesthood leads the procession with his head covered by the aer, the veil which typically covers the Holy Gifts.

As he approaches the altar guided by the other deacons, he makes a series of full prostrations. At the Royal Doors, he is met by the priests who lead him in procession around the altar, kissing each of its four corners.

This reflects the processions which take place in the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, and Marriage. In each of these sacramental actions, the person is being transfigured in relation to Christ and His Church.

After kneeling before the Bishop, the ordinand kneels before the Holy Altar with his head upon his crossed hands. The Bishop lays hands upon his head and says a series of prayers.

The new priest is then vested according to his new order, with epitrachalion (stole), zone (belt), and phelonion (chasuble).

A pectoral cross and service book are also presented to the new priest.

At the end of the Liturgy, Fr. Mark reads the Prayer before the Ambo:

And afterwards, greets and offers a blessing to the faithful.

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!

Many thanks to Daniel Rudder, of www.crosscrafter.com, for the magnificent photography!