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21.11.2022

‘Propelled by the Spirit of God’ – The Revd Edwin Aiken is ordained to the priesthood

‘Propelled by the Spirit of God’ – The Revd Edwin Aiken is ordained to the priesthood
Archbihsop Michael Jackson and the Revd Edwin Aiken.

Priesthood is not simply a job that needs to be done, it is a life where one is propelled by the Spirit of God to reach out in compassion to the world. So said the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne, at the ordination to the priesthood of the Revd Edwin Aiken on Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King (November 20).

Edwin’s ordination took place at the Cathedral Eucharist, at which Archbishop Michael Jackson presided, in the presence of family and friends and amongst the cathedral community where Edwin will serve as Dean’s Vicar. Also present were members of the Holmpatrick Group of Parishes where Edwin served his deacon year.

A native of County Down, Edwin was an academic before ordination with special interests in the relationship between science and religion in the 19th century, the history of ideas and the historical geography of the Holy Land. He was based in Bristol University.

In his sermon, Dean Dunne spoke of the relationship between the celebration of the kingship of Christ and the ordination to the priesthood. He said that one derived from the other – the whole origin and function of priesthood flowed from the kingship of Christ crucified.

The Dean said that the very heart of the priest was sacramental. “To understand this, we need to revisit the catechism’s definition of what a sacrament is: The outward sign of inward grace. The priest needs to be the embodiment of this. Throughout today’s ordination service we hear how Edwin is called to order his life in a way that becomes truly sacramental. This is a life that embraces the word of God and becomes a living sign of the infinite grace and mercy of God,” he explained.

Dean Dunne continued that ministry flowed from sacrament. The ministry of the priest flowed from the charge in ordination to the person to become an outward sign of the ever flowing presence of God in the world, he said.

“This priesthood is not a singular act or vocation but happens as part of the community and flows from the fullness of priesthood as contained by the archbishop in his role as chief pastor. We all, lay and ordained, share in the priesthood of Christ and we derive that priesthood from the bishop. I think too often priests think that they are independent entities working on their own, pursuing individual glory. The priest cannot function if cut off from the bishop who holds that fullness of priesthood. I think it would do well if some of my colleagues in ministry would revisit again the ordinal and embrace the theology of their priesthood as being derived from the bishop and without whom their ministry is invalid and like an empty tin can making noise without substance,” he stated.

In being called to minister in the cathedral, the Dean told Edwin that he was called to be a pastor to all who worked and worshiped there and to all who came through the doors each day. He reminded him that he was called to be a servant to those he was called to pastor but that they were not his master – his only master was Christ who called him and sent him forth. He hoped as Edwin embraced the charisms of the spirit seeking unity, truth, goodness, beauty and love, that he would flourish in the vineyard of God and be a source of joy to all he met.

The ordination to the priesthood of the Revd Edwin Aiken.
The ordination to the priesthood of the Revd Edwin Aiken.

 

 

The Revd Edwin Aiken (centre with Archbishop Michael Jackson and Dean Dermot Dunne.
The Revd Edwin Aiken (centre with Archbishop Michael Jackson and Dean Dermot Dunne.
The Archbishop anoints the Revd Edwin Aiken.
The Archbishop anoints the Revd Edwin Aiken.
The laying on of hands.
The laying on of hands.

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