Friday, June 22, 2007

Alban


Today is the 12th anniversary of my ordination to the transitional diaconate. It is always an odd sort of date. I never felt called to be a Deacon so making the vows of a Deacon all the while knowing that in some part of me they were not true felt like a lie. It was not the first time in my life or the last for this dilemma.
Alban was killed for putting on someone else's cloak and being mistaken for the other person. I wonder about that in the context of being ordained. He lied (by deed) to protect his mentor. The church and I lied because that is how it is done.
Many of us have worked to get the liturgies for ordinations changed so Deacons have one ordination and Priests another. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church has not passed that yet - but we keep working.

It is funny that what I felt to be my ordination to the priesthood happened that weekend. Many of my friends from seminary and most all my family gathered in Laramie for the ordination. Three of us were being ordained on June 22. The then bishop always did transitional deacon ordinations at the Cathedral. Family and friends gathered for dinner, cooked and served by classmates. Surrounded by all those who had traveled so far - from Boston MA to Portland OR, I suddenly felt "ordained." No bishop made it happen and I was still 6 months from ordination (by the church) as a priest. It was real and irreversible from then on. The community confirmed my call by their presence and in the sharing of a meal.


Here is a bit on Alban by James Kiefer
Alban 22 June 304

There were probably Christians in the British Isles already in the first century. However, Alban is the first recorded Christian martyr. The traditional date of his death is 304, during the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian; but many scholars now date it as around 209, during the persecution under the Emperor Septimius Severus. Alban was a pagan, and a soldier in the Roman Army. He gave shelter to a Christian priest who was fleeing from arrest, and in the next few days the two talked at length, and Alban became a Christian. When officers came in search of the priest, Alban met them, dressed in the priest's cloak, and they mistook him for the priest and arrested him. He refused to renounce his new faith, and was beheaded. He thus became the first Christian martyr in Britain. The second was the executioner who was to kill him, but who heard his testimony and was so impressed that he became a Christian on the spot, and refused to kill Alban. The third was the priest, who when he learned that Alban had been arrested in his place, hurried to the court in the hope of saving Alban by turning himself in. The place of their deaths is near the site of St. Alban's Cathedral today.

Prayer

Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Alban triumphed over suffering and was faithful even unto death: Grant to us, who now remember him with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world, that we may receive with him the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

written by James Kiefer

Icon by Aidan Hart Icons

3 comments:

eileen said...

(((Ann))))

Institutions and institutional rules make no sense. Feh.

But, in a way, I guess it didn't matter. God called, you answered, and you felt the verification of your call that weekend, despite it not being quite "the real thing".

Mary Clara said...

Happy anniversary, Ann!

Ann said...

More on Alban at Padre Mickey's - many more details. Another depiction at Acts of Hope