by Vivian Imbruglia September 30, 2023 3 min read
Nothing could have prepared me for the emotions I would feel on Ordination day. As we lined up and I could hear the choir singing, “Here I am Lord,” I felt my eyes water up and a lump in my throat. I was overwhelmed already during the procession, but I had to pull it together knowing I was going to read the First reading. Then the words from that first reading, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.“ They were the perfect words. Again, my voice cracked with emotion, but with a deep breath I pulled it together, because there was so much still to come.
One of the greatest gifts we received was from our friend Ryan who photographed the day. Even now as I think back it all is such a blur. But we have all these photos which pull me back, even photos of moments we didn't see. As I write this and think about these memories I have to pause to thank him, because I'll forever be grateful to Ryan.
I have to also mention, the ordination took place in a church that was an hour away, yet our parish came out in huge support. We didn’t expect that many to come, but they did, dozens. To see them all as they arrived, and to feel their love and support, it was and is amazing.
When asked what was my favorite part of the day, I would have to say there were several, but I would have to start with the Litany of the Saints. During the Litany I remember seeing my husband laying prostrate on the ground with the other men. Although I knew it was coming, still the humbleness of that act touched me. Then hearing or I should say experiencing the choir singing the Litany, was just beautiful. St. Michael Pray for us, Saint Anthony Pray for us, on and on! I closed my eyes and with each saint mentioned I visualized that Saint and asked for their blessing upon my husband. It was so moving.
And then came the time when he would be vested. I held his Stole and Dalmatic while our pastor Fr. Henry, and dear friend Deacon John, would dress him for the first time in these Holy garments. The smile on both of their faces were of joy, and the tears which then flowed from my husband also were of joy. I remember someone took a picture of the three of them, and when I finally saw the picture, there I was looking on. My expression was simply utter joy.
Once vested the new deacons would take their place on the altar. One new deacon would be the Deacon of the Word, and another would be Deacon of the Altar. My husband was picked to be Deacon of the Altar, so his first time serving as a deacon would be with the Bishop. Watching him elevate the chalice for the first time was beyond description.
From my seat it did not feel like a long mass, yet it was three hours. If felt almost sudden when it was over. Just like that he was a Deacon. We jumped in our car and headed home to freshen up, and then went back to our Parish for his Mass of Thanksgiving. He celebrated his first mass as a deacon with five priests, three deacons, an emcee, and I don't know how may altar servers. I can only describe it as powerful. With three of our grandkids in the front row he began his homily. It went well, but even though I had heard part of it before, even I surprised by what happened. Tom could not hold his emotions in and tears ran down his face. He would later tell me he looked out and saw his grandkids just staring at him, mouths wide open, plainly following every word, and he was overcome by it all. It was beautiful.
We finished the day with a wonderful reception. The hall was full with friends and church family offering us their support and love. A line would form for those in attendance to receive a blessing from Deacon Tom, first in line our Pastor and Tom's spiritual director, a tremendous priest who serves at the Seminary. At the end it was my turn. How do you describe that? We both went home exhausted but strangely invigorated, looking forward to serving our community with humility and love. AMDG
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Let us delight and inspire you with the stories of Saints written into traditional iconography.