Reflections on Diocesan Ordination Service

Reflections on Diocesan Ordination Service

Sacred day,

Set apart,

Gathering colleagues,

Family, friends

Glorious singing,

Colourful procession,

Cathedral abuzz

God is present,

Calling, blessing, sending

Holy hands,

Spirit empowering,

Priests and deacons made

Celebrating together,


A favourite day of the year


The service was moving and meaning full for me, my community and my family.  We were all particularly pleased with the inclusive way it was done in that the community of faith who came to celebrate were able to give voice to the occasion in song and that a child was able to hand the scriptures to me was symbolic and powerful.  Being able to go to my community and have my stole re-positioned was also symbolic of the journey they have shared with me.

I can see real thought and effort was put into including family, community and the whole congregation paid off.  I also found the time of offering blessing to those who came a blessing for me as well, a double blessing.

Thank you to Digby, the Cathedral team and Administrators who made this possible.  I particularly appreciated Dorothy the verger who ushered and guided the children to where they needed to be as this helped our child bible bearer to feel relaxed and able to do it despite being only 5 years old.

Bless you
Reverend David Atkinson

On Saturday I found my heart was “strangely warmed” as I witnessed eleven ordinands offering their lives to Jesus Christ in a new way.  I was uplifted by the clarity of their spoken vows and the joy in their faces.  I was moved by the music of Duruflé and the waiata from the parish/whanau as they honoured and vested the newly ordained.  And I was struck by the overwhelming sense of both individual commitment and collective journey as the family of the Diocese gathered and celebrated together.

Dean Digby’s sermon was powerful (so powerful that I shared some of it in mine the next day – attributed of course – thanks Digby!)  How right it is at an ordination, when we affirm the giving of lives in service to God and God’s world, that we address the very present issues in the world around us, no matter how tough.  We are all vulnerable as we step out as labourers to grow God’s kingdom – but step out we must.

My prayer for all the ordained on Saturday is that they will daily say to God, as we sang on Saturday:

“Here I am Lord….

I will go, Lord, if you lead me,

I will hold your people in my heart.”

Reverend Judith Wigglesworth

The ordination service is something I look forward to every year.  This year’s ordination service did not disappoint.  To be a part of the celebration of God’s call and our new colleagues’ response to that call is really special.  I loved the colour and pageantry, the excitement and anticipation of those being ordained.  I was moved by the worship, the choral singing and the words of the liturgy.

I loved hearing the candidates’ responses to the questions put to them and being a part of the laying on of hands for those being ordained as priests.  It was a really joyous time gathering with friends, family, and fellow clergy.  I was very aware of those who were not there – those living and those who are with the Lord.  It was a time that I found myself particularly missing them.  A highlight for me this year was the welcome waiata from each church/family group following each candidate’s ordination.

Thank you everyone for a day to remember.

Archdeacon Julie Rokotakala

For the newly ordained clergy this service was a celebration of a long chapter of discernment and the beginning of the next leg of ministry as deacons and priests.  Watching the deacons make their vows was special and it is always unifying, humbling and inspiring to stand behind Bishop Justin and lay hands on the new priests and welcome them.  Many of whom are friends and to be there standing with them as brothers and sisters is a privilege and an honour.

For all of the clergy there, the ordination service is also a fixed marker in our year to re-commit ourselves to this calling and lifelong adventure of following Jesus.  The service coming just before Advent helps me as a priest to draw breath and push off from this gathering to go and be the salt and light I am called to be in my ministry context.

As I celebrated with others, I also celebrated God’s faithfulness in my own life and priestly vocation.

Reverend Pete Watson

There is something really encouraging as a priest about attending an ordination service.  Saturday’s event at the Cathedral can in many ways be summed up for me by question at the heart of Dean Digby‘s sermon – why am I here?  (At least, that is what I got out of the sermon – others may remember it differently!)

So much of ordained life is done in isolation or under circumstances and pressures that are hard to explain, the question of why am I here? pops up more often that I sometimes like to admit.  And often the answer is less than ideal when it is a particularly hard moment at that.  But change the context you ask that same question – like at Saturday’s ordination – and it can give hope to even the most cynical among us.

Because on Saturday I got to join in with my colleagues as we processed into a packed cathedral and witnessed the joyful faces of those eleven who were deaconed and priested.  I swapped short conversational snippets with people I knew and those I didn’t and in doing so felt that sense of being part of the wider Body of Christ.  I was humbled by the way 11 faith communities were ready to embrace their newly ordained through waiata and stoles.

Sure sitting in a cathedral for over two hours and loving it can be a hard thing to sell to people when they ask what you got up to in the weekend; but I did – because it once again reminded me why I am here.

Thanks be to God.

Reverend Annette Cater

I always think this is the best time of the year, but this year was different.  Everywhere I went in the following days, everyone has said how wonderful the service was, and it was the little touches that spoke to people the most – the children, the ordinand going to their parish family for the putting on of the stole, and the waiata.  All these things made the day that extra bit special.

Special thanks to the Cathedral for doing such a great job in hosting the family.

Archdeacon Wendy Scott

More photos are available on the Cathedral’s Facebook page: