Ordinations and anniversaries

“How shall I repay the Lord for all the goodness he has done for me?
 I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the Name of the Lord.”
– Ps 116:12-13

To mark the transition between the commemorations of the Kingdom and Advent, I attended two ordinations over the past fortnight. These were priestly ordinations in the Roman Catholic tradition; hence the silent laying of hands ceremony, which I think was a mistake Cranmer and others dropped. (These days, commentary and the use of the vernacular would help people understand the significance of the rite. Sometimes, we need to use less words.) This means that all the priests present would lay on hands; in the Dominican ordination I attended, there were ten ordinands with about 120 or so priests present. Hence both the laying on of hands, which involved two bishops and all the priests of the Philippine Province who could attend, and the kiss of peace, went on for quite some time. I really enjoyed the silence.

Two things stood out for me:

  1. the Dominican ordination used the best-smelling incense I had ever smelled in a liturgical service. I asked my new priest-classmate where they got it.
  2. the Claretians, on the other hand, were able to have a lay choir that sang Bukas Palad’s setting of Psalm 116, a moving and lovely melody that reminded one and all of the connection between Eucharist/thanksgiving and sacrifice.

And I also happened to attend two homecomings; one was of the seminary wherein I am teaching, and the other was of the university where I am studying. It was my tenth high school reunion. Today, though, the revisioning process for St. Andrew’s will begin in earnest and I have some things to say. As for the homecoming in Ateneo—I have a lot more to say at some point in the future, because at the moment I am not too happy for undisclosable reasons.


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