Ordination & First Mass of Craig Lemming

The Rev. Craig Lemming will be ordained to the priesthood at St. Mark’s Cathedral on Tuesday, June 27 at 7pm. Please plan to attend and celebrate his work and growth. An informal collection is being taken up to help offset the costs of bringing Craig’s family from Zimbabwe for his ordination. If you would like to help, send a check payable to St. John’s with “Craig Ordination” in the memo. You are also invited to join the ordination choir; for rehearsal and RSVP details, visit episcopalmn.org/jun-2017-ordination.
Then, two days later, Craig will celebrate his first Eucharist at St. John’s on Thursday, June 29 at 7pm. That service is during the usual time slot for our weekly Compline, a service that Craig has helped cultivate and develop in his time with us as seminarian and transitional deacon. Thus, it is highly appropriate that his first Eucharist happen then and with the same tenor and liturgical bent as has been the custom at Compline. Music will be provided by two of the regular Compline quartets: Lumina and Mirandola. There will be “smells and bells” (i.e. incense and sanctus bells) and lots of candlelight. As a gift to Craig from Saint John’s, in honor of his ordination, a piece of music has been commissioned and set to the words of one of Craig’s favorite poems, “Aaron” by George Herbert. That poem, addressing how priesthood does not obliterate one’s imperfections but embraces them, reads in part:

Holiness on the head,
Light and perfections on the breast,
Harmonious bells below, raising the dead
To lead them unto life and rest:
Thus are true Aarons drest.

In an essay for one of his seminary courses, Craig wrote of this poem, “In my continuous discernment of a vocation to Holy Orders and as I live into my sacramental identity as a Priest in the Episcopal Church, I have embraced Gregory of Nazianzus’ theological pronouncement: ‘For that which He has not assumed He has not healed; but that which is united to His Godhead is also saved.’ Therefore, in the fully human and fully divine Christ, all of my humanity, in all of its kaleidoscopic particularities, is assumed into the healing, wholeness, and benediction of God’s ineffable love.”

Come celebrate with Craig and with our whole church, what God has brought to fruition in Craig and in his ministry—a ministry of which we are blessed to be a part. After the Eucharist, which marks the end of Compline until fall, there will be a festive ice cream social and reception and a chance to greet and congratulate Craig. We hope you can join us.

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