Skip to comments.An Ordination Sermon by Canon John Heidt
Posted on 08/21/2005 2:45:23 PM PDT by sionnsar
Yesterday, I was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. It was a blessed day, and I hope to post pictures in the near future (once I get all my sources together). Thanks to all of you for your prayers.
But for now, you can read the ordination sermon, preached by Canon John Heidt, Canon Theologian of the Diocese of Fort Worth.
[All, I've been following (and occasionally posting from) this blog from when Fr. Nelson was still a seminarian at Nashotah House. Another blogger has quoted from the sermon, which is a relatively small PDF. --sionnsar]
The Rev. Lee Nelson was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church yesterday at the parish of St. Laurence in Southlake, Texas. I am sure that all readers of this blog will join me in praying for his new ministry.
Canon John Heidt, the canon theologian of the diocese of Fort Worth, delivered a moving and thought-provoking sermon at the ordination service. Here is an excerpt:
There are only three things your priest can do that no-one else can do. He can take those little pieces of tasteless bread and small sips of wine and turn them into the body and blood of your God; in Gods name he can shower divine blessings upon you, and he can forgive you your sins.
At first this sounds great, but when you come to think of it, what are these things but lunacy at best and sacrilege at worst? With the ancient Jews we want to cry out, "This is blasphemy; who but God can forgive sins?" And we ask ourselves, how dare my priest think that only he can bless us when our own children say such a divine blessing before our family meals? And who but a superstitious charlatan or deranged magician can possibly think that he can turn bread and wine into Gods body and blood?
We ask our priest: "Who do you think you are, anyway, a little God, another Jesus Christ?" And, as hard as it may be to believe and more difficult to understand, the answer must always be a resounding yes. Your priest is another Christ, what we call an alter Christus. He is the local embodiment of the presence of God among you - an icon, a window into the court of heaven, a walking sacrament of Jesus Christ.
Today we are making Lee Nelson one of these walking sacraments. And I can tell you right now that he is not going to do a very good job of it. I know this, because none of us do a very good job of it. The outward sign is smeared by our sins; the vision is clouded, the window misted over. You are right to demand much of your priest but do not expect much in return. He has nothing to give you but God; nothing to do for you, but give you back to Him. His task is to place you upon the hard surface of Gods sacrificial altar, and then lead you in lifting up your hearts for God to see.. For the world this will seem like not very much, but for us it is the gate of heaven and the way into the salvation of our souls.
The entire sermon may be found on Fr. Nelson's blog here.
In all seriousness, nothing is more important than tending to our nation's souls. And, it would seem from the news, there are many that need tending.
Good luck and God bless.
BTW, he gets married in a couple of weeks. Talk about changes... (My father-in-law's advice to me was for us to wait until I'd put in a year in the workaday world before marrying -- as usual, his advice was good.)
I hope you will click through and deliver this to Fr. Nelson directly! He's going to have some hard battles ahead and could use all the encouragement we can give right up front.
First congratulations on your ordination, that is something to be proud of.
Dumb question-I noticed you stated "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" and appear to be Anglican-who are not in communion with Rome.
Am I missing something?
I have the same question!
Um, yes and no. That was Fr. Lee Nelson who was ordained, not me (I'm still laity). He is in the Episcopal Church, one of the orthodox dioceses therein.
The Roman Catholic Church by no means has it's hands clean when it comes to murder and theft. I say this not to condemn the RCC but just to point out that no one and no institution is pure. If you wish to compare the RCC to the Anglican Communnion in this regard, it will reflect credit to neither.
Catholic in this context means "all encompassing"; the Anglican Church considers itself, and other Christian denominations, as all part of the Christian church. The Roman Catholic Church does not have a sole claim to the word "catholic".
Also; the AC doesn't reject St. Peter as an Apostle; they reject any claim that he and and his successors as Bishop of Rome had top authority over all the other Apostles and over the whole Christian church. I am unaware that he himself ever made any such claim.
Ron F and Pio
Thank you-I was not thinking about that , they can consider themselves Catholic and not be in Communion.
I read on Sprit Daily that Spain ordained a former Anglican who is married as a Priest, which is a first and supposedly in defiance against Rome. But I dont know what will come of it or is this the end to celibacy
The ordination was approved by Pope John Paul II prior to his death. Relatively few married protestant clergy who have converted to Roman Catholicism have been ordained as priests under this pastoral provision since 1980.
But I dont know what will come of it or is this the end to celibacy
These dispensations in no way effect the norm of celibacy in the Latin Rite. In fact all candidates must agree, prior to ordination, to adopt the discipline of celibacy if their spouse precedes them in death.
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