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During Petertide, the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the Right Reverend John Davies ordained six new priests and seven new deacons in services at Brecon Cathedral. On Saturday 25 June, John Anthony, Elizabeth Bramley, Judy Day, Lloyd Evans, Dorothy Lewis and Linda Watson were ordained priests.
The processional hymn set the tone for the day as we all sang “Living God, your word has called us, summoned us to live by grace.” Then the Bishop explained what was to happen as the six were ordained priest.
“We will pray for them and lay hands upon them, invoking the Holy Spirit that they may work faithfully among God’s people. We will clothe them with the vesture of their order and present them with the outward sign of the ministry which will be entrusted to them. We will welcome the new priests to serve with their bishop and fellow priests in proclaiming the gospel, celebrating the sacraments, serving God’s people and building the Kingdom of God.”
The preacher at the service was the Archdeacon of Gower, the Venerable Robert Williams.
“We are met to worship and adore God who is the ‘true shepherd of this flock’, as the Prophet Ezekiel said. This is the God that so loved the world that He gave Himself to us in the person of His only son Jesus Christ”.
St Mark’s Gospel reminded us that we are to journey confidently, unhindered by burdens not required, trusting in God to bless that which we undertake. Archdeacon Robert asked us to remember also that this is a celebration of the gospel, not just of these candidates.
“We are met here by our Lord in word and sacrament. In this Eucharist, Christ always invites us all to come and be transformed. How can we express in a few minutes the many lessons that Ordained ministry will have to teach us? How can I do justice to the heights and depths of being a deacon and a priest, in the church of God, of the sacrifice and the delight of this vocation which is sometimes an unimaginable privilege, and sometimes an almost unendurable burden?”
Those to be ordained knelt in turn before the Bishop, who laid his hands on the head of each candidate. “Send your Holy Spirit upon your servant, for the office and work of a priest in your Church”. The newly ordained priests were vested with a chasuble (the vestment worn by priests presiding at the Eucharist) by the Dean of Brecon Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr Paul Shackerley. They were then anointed on the hands by the Bishop, with the Oil of Chrism, and presented with a bible, chalice and paten.
The Cathedral was full of friends, family and parishioners supporting those who were being ordained, reflecting the family nature of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon.
The hymn ‘Christ triumphant’ reminded us all of both our calling and commitment.
“Christ triumphant ever reigning, Saviour, Master, King!Lord of heaven, our lives sustaining, hear us as we sing:Yours the glory and the crown, the high renown, the eternal name.”
Report by Angela Hewitt and Mike Williams and photographs by Angela Hewitt
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