TapFor all the Saints

…who from their labours rest,

What a great start to an ordination service. After many years of study, finally the candidates have passed out to the satisfaction of their tutors and their bishops and they come together for that final blessing. The confirmation of their calling.

who thee by faith before the world confessed,

Many years ago they felt moved to talk to their vicar and subsequently put themselves forward for training. Braving selection boards and an interview with the, perhaps formidable figure, of their potential sending bishop. Now finally they can proclaim to the world that this is their life.

thy name, O Jesu, be for ever blest:

And this is what their life is all about; a deacon’s first duty is to proclaim the gospel for, traditionally, they are presented with only a New Testament (though today I noticed they were given a full Bible).

Alleluia, Alleluia! William Walsham How, 1864

We are thinking particularly, today, of the new Revds Tanya Lord and Dr. Caroline Yandell. It was a great service this morning in Bristol Cathedral. Starting with a sensitive welcome from Bishop Lee before breaking into the hymn above. Through the necessary formality of the ordination culminating in a standing ovation, followed by the controlled chaos of the peace. Then the Sanctus—a setting I haven’t heard before by Herbert Howells, sung gently by the girls choir which brought back the air of holiness to the whole proceeding. And at the end, an exit to a wonderfull sunny day for greetings, congratulations and photographs.

A grand day out.

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