The Editor: The celebration of Pentecost and the series of confirmation
celebrations in our parishes raise a few questions.
On the first Pentecost, according to Acts, the Spirit of Jesus and
the Father came to all who had assembled in the house. The Spirit did
not descend only on Peter and the other apostles.
Pentecost is taken to be the birth of our church as a People of God
and it marks God coming to renew life in us with gifts traditionally
taught to be of "wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, knowledge,
reverence and awe."
We are a "eucharistic people," gathered around the table
to receive the Word and to share in the sacramental body and blood
of our Lord.
We believe that God calls from the midst of his church those with the
appropriate gifts to exercise ministry to this people. One form of
this ministry is to lead the community in eucharistic celebration,
to preside at the celebration of the mystery of our salvation.
We all have witnessed clergy, of differing ranks, assembled in the
sanctuary during a "concelebration" of the eucharist -- usually
after having arrived in pomp and procession.
I ask the question, why does a eucharistic celebration need more than
Would not the true nature of the eucharistic celebration be shown with
great clarity if only one person presided, and the other clergy, in
ordinary garb, sat among the other faithful in the pews?
The sacrament of orders is an ordination for ministry and service,
not for rank and privilege, so why would rank and privilege be manifested
so prominently during such "concelebrations"?
Is it not our baptism that brings us together around the Lord's table?
Would not this truth be seen with greater clarity if the surplus clergy
attending sat in the pews beside us.
Can you think of a better way of expressing belief in the dignity of
the baptism of all of the People of God and our unity with the head
of our church, our one Lord Jesus?
-- Gerald Regnitter,
Christopher Lake, Sask.