On Friday 8 November, four young men were ordained deacons by Archbishop Mons Paul Cremona O.P., during a mass in Birzebbugia.
In a jam-packed church dedicated to St Peter in Chains, hundreds of faithful gathered for this special moment, where by the laying of hands of the Archbishop, Br Christian A. Borg OFM Conv; Luke Cutajar from St Paul’s Parish, Rabat, Br Joseph Formosa OFM Conv, Brian Gialanzè from St Peter in Chains parish, were ordained deacons.
Here I am
Following the proclamation of the Gospel, the candidates to be ordained deacons are called one by one, and each replies “Here I am”. A ritual conversation then takes place between the Rector and the Archbishop. “Most Reverend Father, holy mother Church asks you to ordain these men, our brothers, for service as deacons.”
After asking whether they are worthy, the Rector replies, “After inquiry among the people of Christ and upon recommendation of those concerned with their training, I testify that they have been found worthy.” After an affirmation by the Archbishop, the congregation burst into a long applause of praise and thanksgiving.
Promises in front of the Archbishop
Following the homily, each one of the deacons-to-be kneels at the Archbishop’s feet, promising to pray for the church, to keep the vows in the case of the religious or the promise of celibacy in the case of the diocesan deacons and to live a life worthy of a minister of God.
Perhaps the most moving point of the ceremony is the moment when the four young men prostrate themselves before the altar while the Litany of Saints is sung.
The laying of hands
The actual ordination happens at the moment when the Archbishop lays his hands on the head of each of the deacons, a gesture dating back to apostolic times and which signifies the bestowing of the Holy Spirit on the now newly ordained deacons.
Duties of the Deacons
The deacon is now committed to offer his life to serve others with love and dedication wherever needed.
During mass, he also assists the bishop and the priest during the celebration of the sacred mysteries, especially the Eucharist. His duties include also the administering of the sacrament of Baptism, assisting the celebration of marriage and blessing the marital bond. During mass, he also to proclaims and preaches the Gospel, and leads prayers during the funeral rite.
While praying for the newly ordained deacons, let us never cease asking God to send more workers for his vineyard.