The word “priest” strikes medieval fear in my heart. Can the rack or the plague be far off? I was happier to refer to “the vicar” which sounds no more dangerous than teacups.
This morning we attended the ordination service that made our vicar into a priest. It was, in fact, a rich, warm worship service with magnificent chanted prayers, wonderfully apropos scripture readings, and an incredible sermon from our vicar’s mentor in seminary in New York City. There were numerous visiting clergy, all in tomato red chasubles over their white robes–red, the color that symbolizes the Holy Spirit–whose presence was invoked to help the newly priested vicar fulfill his calling. The altar was covered with red, and red flowers flanked the cross. Visually it was gorgeous–the little church dresses up beautifully. There was a visiting choir and cantor.
I hope someone made a recording of that sermon–it was warm, funny, touching, intensely personal as from mentor to mentee, and very inspirational.
And so now we have a priest. His name is Father Brown, of all things.