As the seat of a bishop, only cathedrals can be the sacred settings for specific liturgical rites. Since the second century AD., the ordination of priests brings together large numbers of clergy and the faithful to honour and celebrate this major milestone of the Christian pilgrimage.
For those who have been called to the priesthood, ordination marks the beginning of a new life in the service of God and her Holy Church. At precisely 4:00PM on Sunday, December 9th, the Rev’d Melanie Calabrigo and the Rev’d Laurel Dykstra, Deacons of the Diocese of New Westminster, took the first steps of their continuing Christian journey down the aisle of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver.
Ministerial student Claire Morgan’s commanding acappela chanting of the familiar words from 1971’s Godspell rang from the rafters; “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!”
Then followed the clergy of the diocese; archdeacons, regional deans, rectors, priests-in-charge, curates, and deacons, vested in red, processing in advance of their bishop.
Members of the Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Rupert Lang and the congregation sang “Come Down O Love Divine”. Bishop Michael Ingham, presiding, led the gathering of well-wishers, guests, sponsors, and friends, family and faithful in a prayer, which included these lines; “that things that were cast down were raised up, and things which had grown old were made new.”
The Diocese of New Westminster first ordained women as priests in November of 1976. Now, over a generation later, the inclusion of women in all three distinct orders of ordained ministry within the Anglican Church of Canada is a matter of accepted practice. There are other provinces within the worldwide Anglican Communion where this is not the case.
Ms. Calabrigo was presented by the Rev’d Peter Hanson, the Ven. Andrew Pike, Laura Krowchenko, Lise Magee and Clara Plamondon. A childhood Roman Catholic, Melanie completed her undergraduate studies at Simon Fraser University and is a graduate of the Vancouver School of Theology. Melanie has been in ministry at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Surrey, and will now assume the role of Minister of Word and Sacrament there. This appointment is possible because of full communion between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Church in Canada.
Ms. Dykstra was presented by the Rev’d Dr. Victoria Marie, the Ven. Lynne McNaughton, Penny Connell, Dave Brear and Sarah Bjorknas. A cradle Anglican, Laurel graduated from the University of Victoria and completed her studies at Trinity College of the Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto. She serves as a curate at St. Catherine’s, Edgemont Village and with the North Vancouver Deanery.
The Rev’d Dr. Paula Sampson preached and was Chaplain to the Ordinands & Presenters.
Images: Top and Homepage, Bishop, Clergy and Congregation welcome the newly ordained priests: the Reverend Laurel Dykstra and the Reverend Melanie Calabrigo. Inset right, Preacher and Chaplain,the Reverend Paula Sampson. Below, the procession and the ordination, laying on of hands wide angle and close up. PHOTOS: Wayne Chose