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The Priest and His Ordination

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I’ll post one final excerpt from Fr Kyprian Kern. This time he takes up the matter of ordination.Bishop laying hands (cheirotonia) to ordain a priest

It is now time to put aside these matters [of how priests and bishops are chosen] and turn our attention to the most important matter – ordination – its meaning and substance. The priest, whether chosen or appointed by the personal power of his future diocesan bishop, still has to face, at a certain moment of his life, this mysterious and awesome hour of ordination. Symbolically speaking, the following parallels may be drawn: election by the flock is somewhat akin to a courtship, but ordination – that is his wedding with the flock. This symbolism is fortified by common rituals and by one or another sacrament: walking around the lectern or Altar, singing the psalms (“Rejoice, O Israel,” “Holy Martyrs” …) (in reverse order). [Editor's note: Kern here refers to three hymns that are included in both the marriage service and in the ordination service: "O holy martyrs who fought the good fight and have received your crowns: entreat ye the Lord, that our souls may be saved." "Glory to Thee, O Christ God, the Apostle's boast, the Martyr's joy whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity." "Rejoice, O Isaiah! A virgin is with child, and shall have a son Emmanuel, both God and man. Orient is his name, whom magnifying we call the virgin blessed."] Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fr Basil Biberdorf

June 21st, 2013 at 9:30 am

Priesthood Defined as Eucharistic Service

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Here’s some more from Fr Kyprian Kern (see yesterday’s post for the first excerpt).

Note also that The Gifts, prepared and coveredFr Kyprian was Fr Alexander Schmemann’s mentor and confessor while at St Sergius in Paris. Those who attended Fr Schmemann’s liturgical theology lectures at the St Vladimir’s Seminary remember Fr Alexander referring often to Fr Kyprian.

As to any other mere mortal, God may or may not have given the priest certain talents. He may be a bad orator or an incapable administrator of his parish, a poor teacher of Scriptures, may even be unfeeling and an excessively demanding spiritual leader, not to mention the fact that he may be completely lacking in skill for social service, but all this will be forgiven and will not erase his spiritual actions, if he would only possess a Eucharistic consciousness, if he will not cease to consider as his main mission the “concept of mysteries,” the service of the Divine Liturgy, the mystical unity of self and his flock with the Body of Christ, “That through these you may be partakers of the Divine Nature” (2 Peter 1:4). If this same Metropolitan Anthony so remarkably called pastors “the path of prolonged heroic actions of the creation in self a prayerful element,” as an ability to ascend to heaven, so by no means this element and this ability are to be accomplished in the priest except in the mystery of Eucharistic sacrifice. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fr Basil Biberdorf

June 20th, 2013 at 9:32 am

The Priestly Calling

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A couple of excerpts from Orthodox Pastoral Service (alternative source here) by the late Archimandrite Kyprian Kern (1899-1960).Archimandrite Kiprian Kern

On the priestly outlook on life and salvation:

Man in whose society the priest is called to serve, was, is, and will always be, in spite of all his sins and degradations, God’s beloved creation. For this reason, the Orthodox priest must be inspired by faith in man, his predestination in the everlasting assembly, communication with God Incarnate, his kin in the flesh, according to the words of Symeon the New Theologian. To that end, the priest’s most important means of communication must be based upon the Good News of salvation, universal faith in this salvation and worship, instead of upon the premise of the promise of fire and brimstone. (p. 35)

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Written by Fr Basil Biberdorf

June 19th, 2013 at 8:33 am

Posted in Vocation

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