Eleven years ago today I became a Deacon. It was a wonderful day. I remember having to buy a suit.

Once a deacon, always a deacon and it is still a ministry that I feel called to daily.

Here is what the ordinal says:

The Church is the People of God, the Body of Christ and the
dwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is built upon the foundation of
the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.
In baptism every disciple is called to make Jesus known as
Saviour and Lord and to share his work in renewing the world.
Some by ordination are given particular tasks.
Deacons share with the bishop and presbyters in the ministry of
word and sacrament and in works of love.
In a distinctive way deacons are a sign of that humility which
marks all service offered in the name of Christ. They bear
witness to the Lord who laid aside all claims of dignity,
assumed the nature of a slave and accepted death on a cross.
In the name of the Church, deacons care for those in need,
serving God and the world after the pattern of Christ.

Bishop: Do you trust that you are truly called by God to serve as a deacon in the Church?

Answer: You bet!


  1. Congratulations, Kelvin! I always celebrate my ordination to the diaconate rather than my ordination to the priesthood, simply because I will always be a deacon first. I’m sure you’ll remember that, even when you are consecrated bishop of wherever!

  2. ryanakin says

    congratulations! Do deacons get any exciting outfits, or is that reserved for full-blown Priests?

  3. Deacons wear the stole differently. They wear it over their left shoulder only and it is tied or clipped at the right hip.

    Deacons in grand places (oh yes!) wear the dalmatic. A dalmatic is like a tabbard. Often it has two horizontal embroidered stripes called orphreys.

    Thus, when I’m functioning as a deacon (reading the gospel, laying the table, preaching the word and dismissing the people are some of the traditional liturgical functions of deacons) then I wear my stole as above covered by a dalmatic.

  4. Here is Kelvin robed as a Deacon with Dalmatic – the one with the tassels – as his stole tied on the right side.

    ….but unfortunately there is no dalmatic for Kelvin to wear during Lent and Advent.

  5. …and Kelvin is wearing a maniple on his left wrist.

  6. Rosemary says

    I think my favourite deacon picture is El Greco’s ‘The burial of Count Oraz’. If you look carefully you will see he is being buried by a beautiful young deacon and a bishop. Both saints. Stephen and Augustine.

  7. Rosemary says

    sorry that is Orgaz – up at five and on go all day.

  8. Thanks Rosemary. I don’t know that painting. I find Stephen a compelling character. Young beautiful man condemned to death by sectarian interest in the church and all he wanted to do was minster with the other young men. Face of an angel.

    How many other young men “full of grace and power” have been denied ministry fo no good reason? How many lovely people have faced a mob with stones in their hands. In these strange times in the church I find myself looking into scripture and seeing friends reflected there.

    Painting here

  9. Ah, now, you got ahead of me Kelvin. I drove back from the 4th of July barbecue intending to email you to wish you a Happy Independence Day.

    Dalmatics are splendid things. Far more elegant than chasubles. I miss wearing them.

  10. Kimberley – as you know we have several lovely sets at St Mary’s – why not persuade Kelvin to do a “pulpit swap”. Not sure if my favourite set is the tassels (white/gold) or the red.

  11. Rosemary says

    If you look closely you will see the saint’s vestments are embroidered with scenes form their lives.

  12. irishpisky says

    I almost read that as ‘………serve as a Beacon in the Church…..’ not a bad mistake to make!

  13. Lovely photos, especially those of the installation. The one of the Primus, Provost and Dean reminded me (in a good way) of the end of Return of the Jedi 😉 :

  14. Congratulations, both on the anniversary of your ordination and on wearing such a smashing dalmatic and maniple!

  15. David |daveed| says

    ¡Felicidades de tu amigo de Mexico!

  16. Ryan, I am relieved that you seem to liken me to the one on the left in the picture you link and not to either of the others.

    Rosemary, I did notice the vestments. I noticed that lovely Stephen was sporting tassles. As I’m sure everyone who reads this blog knows, the tassles represent angels’ wings.

    This may be deserving of a separate blog post, but I am puzzled by the number of clergy who think maniples look silly. In the grand scheme of tassles, pointy hats and long silky copes, I think maniples are pretty mild.

    No maniple – no mass.

  17. Indeed, and I would say that any Bishop should be flattered to be compared to the mighty Yoda. Unhighfalutingly, St.Silas once did a “What would Jesus Say About Star Wars” service!

    Wikipedia claims that maniples haven’t been popular since 1967 ; perhaps the clergy you mention are trying to be in line with fashion? Obviously pointy hats are good for all events and seasons 🙂

  18. While I’d not go so far as to require a maniple for a valid mass (I’m rather sure Jesus wasn’t wearing one at the Last Supper) I do find them quite sporty. Far from silly, they’re a lovely addition.

    The only maniple I thought was silly was the one that matched a home-spun chasuble and stole that dwelt in the vestry of my alma mater. Really, if you’re wearing what amounts to a burlap vestment, I think the time for maniples has passed. As silly as grubby sandals with a damask cope and lace alb.

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