"We, the Right Reverend D. Ralph Spence, B.A., L.Th., D.D., Bishop of Niagara, did admit our beloved in Christ, Aaron Thomas Orear, in whose Integrity, Learning, Doctrine and Diligence We do fully confide, into the Holy Order of Deacon."
Or so says the Letters of Orders, currently perched atop a pile of mess on my desk. I really do need to buy some document frames.
The short story is that I was ordained yesterday at Christ's Church Cathedral, Hamilton. As the bishop predicted before the liturgy, it was all lovely. A whole load of friends and family were there, most of whom I didn't get to talk to for long enough...every time I turned around there was someone else. My apologies to anyone to whom I didn't speak. It wasn't a slight at all, just a scheduling conflict!
Thank you to Chris and Brian, my presenters in the ordination liturgy. It was an honour to have you both behind me (literally and figuratively). A huge thank you to Amy who, as always, was quietly supportive and wonderful. She did a lot to prepare for the day, from arranging food and drink for the party after, to altering my stole from priest's to deacon's. I doubt I'd have managed to get to ordination without her, and even if I had I'd have been a mess.
Looking at my Letters of Orders, not to mention a couple cards made out to The Rev. Aaron Orear, I think back to the nagging suspicion that God wasn't finished with me. Praying at All Saints' Cathedral, in Milwaukee, asking for some sense of clarity and certainty...only to discover that there's no such thing, but that it's OK. All the people who asked, "Are you the new seminarian?" and then those who poked and prodded me to think about vocation (or, as Fr. T put it, "Keep open to the Spirit.") In that long view, this feels a bit unreal.
I woke up today not really feeling any holier. I suppose that's a good thing.