29 June 2008

Hierarchical Liturgy

"See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid." Ignatius, Smyrn├Žans ch. 8

The past few days we've had our annual Parish Life Conference, when all the priests and many people from our diocese gather to meet together. One of the highlights is always the hierarchical divine liturgy, the last morning of the conference. Witnessing or serving in one of these is seeing Ignatius' letters come to life in color and 3D. All those who serve, begin by asking the Bishop's blessing; no one does any significant action without receiving his blessing.
This photo is nice because it also shows all three orders of clergy: His Grace Bishop MARK in the foreground, Deacon David Khorey to his right, and your humble scribe beneath the icon of Christ.
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