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05.04.2022

Ordination of Latvian priest in Dublin is a first for Ireland’s Porvoo relationship

Ordination of Latvian priest in Dublin is a first for Ireland’s Porvoo relationship
The Revd Imants Miezis (centre) with Archbishop Lauma Zusevica and Archbishop Michael Jackson and the Revd Andris Habakuk, Dean Emerita Ilze Kuplens Ewart and the Revd Robert Marshall.

The congregation at Christ Church Cathedral’s Eucharist on Sunday morning (April 3) witnessed a small bit of history. The Revd Imants Miezis was ordained to the priesthood for the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Worldwide, the first time such cooperation has taken place between Churches of the Porvoo Communion in Ireland.

Imants was ordained by the Archbishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Worldwide, the Most Revd Lauma Zusevica and the service was celebrated by the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson.

The Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Worldwide (LELCW) is a Lutheran denomination with a presence in Latvia, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States. The Church was originally established by refugees after the Second World War when Latvia was occupied and incorporated into the Soviet Union.

It is a member of the Porvoo Communion of Churches which is made up of Nordic and Baltic Lutheran Churches which have bishops and the Anglican Provinces of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Porvoo Agreement was signed 20 years ago and its bedrock is the recognition of ordained ministry by its member churches and their people along with shared initiatives in parishes and dioceses.

Sunday’s ordination of Imants brought together two member Churches, the LELCW and the Church of Ireland, in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. In a short legal ceremony after the service, Archbishop Jackson gave Imants a license to officiate so that he has authority to exercise priestly ministry in both the Latvian Church and the Church of Ireland in the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.

Imants trained in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute by means of an individual learning agreement with the Latvian Church Worldwide.

Commenting after the service, the Archbishop said: “It is a great delight to see the Porvoo Agreement come to life in this way. We in the diocese wish Imants all that is best as his ministry continues to unfold”.

In her sermon, Archbishop Zusevica said that the day of Imants’ ordination had been long awaited. “We are so grateful that we can gather here in happiness as envisioned in the Gospel reading of the Sermon on the Mount,” she stated. She said that Latvians could understand what the people of Ukraine were going through and acknowledged that in everyone’s everyday lives they encountered struggle. She said that Imants could tell others how to reach God in times of doubt, fear, struggle and darkness.

Afterwards Imants noted that there were more than 25,000 Latvians living in Ireland so ordination was very important to him.

The ordination of the Revd Imants Miezis for priesthood in the Latvian Church Worldwide in Christ Church Cathedral.
The ordination of the Revd Imants Miezis for priesthood in the Latvian Church Worldwide in Christ Church Cathedral.

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