MACOSQUIN CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF PRIESTLY MINISTRY
On Sunday 29th June (the Feast of St. Peter) the congregation of St Mary’s Church in Macosquin was joined by a number of his friends to mark the 40th anniversary of Canon Mike Roemmele’s ordination to the priesthood in a celebration of the Eucharist with special music by the church choir.
The service of Thanksgiving began with the baptism of infant Elijah William Alan Clarke, who was born on 11th June.
In his address, Canon Walter Lewis, former Rector of St Thomas’ Church in Belfast spoke of the Rector’s service in Ireland, in various parts of the United Kingdom and the world-
At the end of the service, the Rector knelt on the chancel step as several retired clergy and representatives of the congregation laid their hands on him and prayed that he would be blessed and empowered by the Holy Spirit for his continuing priestly ministry in the Parish of Camus-
The service was followed by a parish lunch in the church hall and an enjoyable game of croquet on the church lawn.
After his first year of ministry as a Deacon in the parish of St Columba Portadown, The Reverend Mike Roemmele was ordained priest by Archbishop George Otto Simms in St Patrick's Cathedral Armagh on 29th June 1974, the Feast of SS Peter and Paul. He continued his curacy with the Revd Herbie Cassidy in Portadown until he was invited to Christchurch, Limavady in this Diocese, where he served with Canon George Knowles. In 1979 he responded to a call to exercise his priestly ministry in the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, the Arabian states which make up a large part of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, when he was appointed chaplain to the expatriate English-
In 1983 Mike was commissioned as a Royal Air Force chaplain and over the next 17 years his ministry was largely exercised in UK postings in Scotland and England, but also in many far-
In 2007, having completed his service with the armed forces, Mike returned to parish ministry and to this diocese when he was appointed Rector of Camus-
THE VESTMENTS -
Much of Canon Mike's ministry has been exercised outside the Church of Ireland. In other parts of the Anglican Communion the robes of priestly office are more elaborate than those which are familiar in his home church.
Until he returned to this diocese Mike was accustomed to wearing liturgical vestments which were made for him by a member of one his former congregations. The embroidery of each liturgical coloured vestment reflects a different chapter in the story of his life's ministry. In this 40th year of his priesthood, he will wear those vestments to celebrate communion at the beginning of the penitential seasons and for the major Festivals of the church's year.
Each of the vestments has symbolic significance:
Even though priests of the Old Testament wore vestments in their liturgical rites, the "Christian" vestments are not really adaptations of them; rather, they are the vestments which Christians developed from the dress of the Graeco-
The alb is a long, white garment, which flows from shoulders to ankles, and has long sleeves extending to the wrists. (The word alb means "white") The alb was a common outer garment worn in the Graeco-
In the same way, the priest must celebrate the Eucharist with purity of body and soul, and with the dignity befitting Christ's priesthood. The former vesting prayer was "Make me white, O Lord, and purify my heart so that being made white in the Blood of the Lamb, I may deserve an eternal reward".
The cincture is a long, thick cord with tassels at the ends which secures the alb around the waist. It may be white or it may be the same liturgical colour as the other vestments. In the Graeco-
The former vesting prayer was, “Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity and extinguish in my heart the fire of concupiscence so that, by the virtue of continence and chastity always abiding in my heart, I may better serve Thee”.
The stole is a long cloth, usually about four inches wide and of the same colour as the chasuble, that is worn around the neck like a scarf. It is secured at the waist with the cincture. Traditionally, the stole was criss-
Rabbis wore prayer shawls with tassels as a sign of their authority. The crisscrossing of the stole also was symbolic of the criss-
The former vesting prayer was “Restore unto me, O Lord, the Stole of immortality which I lost through the sin of my first parents and, although unworthy to approach Thy sacred Mystery, may I nevertheless attain to joy eternal”.
Finally, the chasuble is the outer garment worn over the alb and stole. Over the centuries, various styles of chasubles have emerged. Derived from the Latin word casula meaning “house”, the chasuble in the Graeco-
Spiritually, the chasuble reminds the priest of the charity of Christ: “Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect” (Colossians, 3:14).
The former vesting prayer was “O Lord, Who hast said, “My yoke is sweet and My burden light”, grant that I may so carry it as to merit Thy grace”.
In the Middle Ages, two popular interpretations of the meaning of the vestments evolved.
The most prevalent one interpreted the vestments as symbols of Jesus' Passion: the Alb is a reminder of Christ's vulnerability, stripped to his undergarments, as He was mocked and beaten; the Cincture represents the ropes and fetters which bound Him during the scourging; The Stole speaks of the cross He carried; and the Chasuble reminds us of the seamless garment for which the soldiers rolled dice.
Another popular interpretation is that although the vestments have Roman military origins they can also be viewed as symbols of the priest as the soldier of Christ, doing battle against sin and Satan.