Here in Virginia, many of us from St. Paul's have rented a bus to go to Trinity Church, Fredericksburg for the ordination of Ann Willms, our associate rector. We will pray and sing and bear witness with her as she is ordained into the priesthood. Others will get there in their own cars, and we will fill up the church.
For those who are being ordained, and for those who have walked the path with them, it will be a day of many mixed emotions. Relief at reaching a milestone that never seemed to arrive; awe in the moment when the bishop and priests lay hands upon the new priest; and a mix of celebration, humor, reverence, humility, and a million other feelings rolled into one.
During the ceremony, Ann will take her place in front of Bishop David Jones, who will ask her a series of questions, including, "Will you undertake to be a faithful pastor to all whom you are called to serve, laboring together with them and your fellow ministers to build up the family of God?"
She has already proven her "yes" among us.
The color of the day is red -- the color of the Holy Spirit. At the moment Ann is made a priest, we will be singing Veni Creator Spiritus -- "Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, and lighten with celestial fire."
In the moment will be made a new priest. But it will more than that: It is about the whole Church, everywhere, and the servant ministry we share together. I hope you can come celebrate, and be with Ann on Sunday morning at 10 am at St. Paul's as Ann celebrates her first Eucharist as a priest.
Please pray today for Ann, and also friends Rod Davis and Deborah Hawkins, to be ordained this day priests, God willing.
Come Holy Spirit, our souls inspire: "Thy blessed unction from above is comfort, life, and fire of love."