Steven’s ordination to the priesthood will take place on Saturday, 24th September at 4 pm in St Eustachius’s Church. All are welcome to this service and to the refreshments afterwards. Steven will be ordained alongside two other deacons from Plymouth: Leo and Carl. Please remember them, and Sue Tucker (to be made deacon on 11th September), and all those to be ordained at this time, in your prayers. If you would like one of Steven’s ember cards, these will be available on Sundays in church. Ember cards are traditional prayer cards (of a size to fit between the pages of a bible or prayer book) to remind people to pray for those being ordained and those whom they serve.
The first time a newly ordained priest celebrates the Eucharist is a very special occasion as he begins his or her new ministry. Steven will celebrate the Eucharist for the first time on Sunday, 25th September at St Eustachius’s at 9.45 am, followed by refreshments. All are encouraged to attend this service and other morning services within the benefice have been re-scheduled in order to enable all of those from across the three parishes to attend. Within this first Eucharist, Steven will also baptise his and Caroline’s son, Henry. At the end of the service, Steven will give First Blessings to any individuals who wish to receive one. This custom of First Blessings is an ancient tradition whereby the newly anointed hands of the priest (sanctified by the Holy Spirit through the bishop with the holy Oil of Chrism) are used to give God’s blessing for the first time.
It is customary for the new priest to celebrate two other ‘First Masses’, in thanksgiving and to mark this important transition in his ministry. These will take place on Monday, 26th September at 10 am at St Michael de Rupe, Brent Tor, where Steven will offer a sung Eucharist (with incense), in thanksgiving for the unique witness and ministry of Mary, the Mother of God. This service will last no longer than an hour, and all are welcome to attend.
On Tuesday, 27th September at 10 am at St Paul’s Gulworthy, Steven will offer a requiem in thanksgiving for his departed family, friends and benefactors. This service will last about 30 minutes. Again, all are welcome to attend.