What a glorious celebration we shared last Thursday evening! From the opening notes of music in the service to the final bite of food at the reception, the Spirit was evident everywhere. The Celebration of New Ministry was beautiful, made so because every person involved in the process that led up to that evening and in the liturgy itself brought their faith, their dedication, their commitment and their hearts to that sacramental moment.
The Book of Common Prayer defines sacraments as “outward and visible signs of inward spiritual grace.” This means that sacraments and sacramental rites make visible something that is already happening—like poetry expressing feelings fully realized to the beloved, or laughter embodying delight. Sacraments recognize abounding Grace and make Grace manifest.
At the same time, in all sacramental rites we invoke the Holy Spirit and ask blessing on the commitments happening in the moment. Sacraments formalize these commitments, stated clearly in the worship and supported by those present. Sacraments recognize the entwined relationships between individuals, communities and God. This recognition provides validation of the past, clarity in the present and hope for the future.
The Institution Service last Thursday offered all this and more. The powerful history of Holy Apostles was lifted up, the present commitment of everyone involved was confirmed, and the joyful energy of the evening provided momentum for all of us to move ahead into God’s future. I am very grateful. My heart is full.
Onward, together, in Christ!