Kenneth Kirkman and Peter Tassini, Jr., ordained transitional deacons
Trumpets blared, the choir sang and clergy, family and friends gathered to witness the Rite of Ordination for Transitional Deacons Kenneth Kirkman and Peter Tassini, Jr., at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception May 30.
“This is a great day of rejoicing,” stated Bishop Robert J. Cunningham to all those in attendance. “Today we pray in a special way for [Kenneth and Peter] and their families as we gather to meet the Lord of the Eucharist.”
Following the reading of the Gospel by Deacon Dare Dutter, the Ordination Rite began with the call and presentation of the candidates. Dressed in white albs, Deacon Kirkman and Deacon Tassini stood with their families until they were called by name, responding with the word, “present.” The bishop elected them for ordination and all those in attendance applauded to indicate their approval. The bishop then shared with the congregation the duties of a deacon. Following the bishop’s homily [read in full on page 3 of this issue], the candidates readied for the examination portion of the rite, affirming their intention to serve their office faithfully and offer their respect and obedience to Bishop Cunningham and his successors.
Subsequently the candidates lay prone on the floor with their arms outstretched as a sign of their submission to God, while the clergy and congregation prayed the Litany of Supplication to the Saints. Following the prayer, the bishop performed the essential act of ordination, the Laying On of Hands, which signified the conferral of the Holy Spirit, a gesture that can be traced back to the first diaconate ordination by the apostles. The bishop offered a prayer of consecration after which the vesting chaplains for the newly ordained deacons assisted them with the signs of their office, the stole and dalmatic. Wearing their new vestments, both deacons presented the Book of the Gospels to the bishop, signifying the beginning of their new duties to proclaim the Gospel in both word and action.
As the Rite of Ordination concluded, the bishop and clergy present extended a sign of peace to the newly ordained, welcoming them into the Order of the Deacons. As transitional deacons, both Deacon Kirkman and Deacon Tassini will perform the duties of the diaconate until they have completed their final year of seminary and can then be ordained priests.
Family members of both deacons assisted in readings and in the presenting of the Communion gifts to the bishop. During Communion, both Deacon Kirkman and Deacon Tassini assisted with offering the cup to those receiving Communion.
Before the conclusion of Mass, Bishop Cunningham offered his personal thanks to the families of both deacons and to all those who had offered assistance to Deacon Kirkman and Deacon Tassini throughout their preparation for ordination. “Thank you for sharing your faith with these young men so they could recognize their vocations,” stated the bishop.
Once the Mass concluded, throngs of well-wishers approached the newly ordained deacons outside the Cathedral, offering their congratulations.
Deacon Tassini’s parents, surrounded by a number of family and friends, quickly made their way to where their son Peter, now a transitional deacon, stood by waiting. Nearby, Deacon Kirkman smiled broadly as members of his family came forward to offer their congratulations.
“It’s been a very exciting day,” stated Deacon Kirkman. “It’s been a wonderful celebration and I am so happy.”
Watch video from the ordination at youtube.com/user/syrdio