An Ordination at the Oratory

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On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, His Excellency Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa, ordained Mr. Teodor-Gheorghe Avram, S.J. to the subdiaconate at Holy Family Church. Archbishop Prendergast, a longtime friend of the Toronto Oratory, enlisted the Oratorians’ liturgical experience with the old rite to mount the ordination, as traditionally conferred, within a Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Faldstool. The Romanian-born Mr Avram, a Jesuit of the Irish Province studying at ICS in Toronto, had received the tonsure and the minor orders from Archbishop Prendergast on February 18 at St Clement’s, the FSSP parish in Ottawa. 

Several liturgical items had to be made or borrowed for this first Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Toronto Oratory. Br Sacristan made the Faldstool and constructed such pontifical vestments as the Archbishop’s tunicle and dalmatic, buskins (liturgical stockings), and a golden mitre. Other items were generously lent for the occasion by a private donor.

The ordination takes place after the collect of the Mass. The candidate lies prostrate before the altar as the Litany of the Saints is sung. The ceremonial includes a handing-over or traditio of the cruets of water and wine, as well as the paten, which signifies the subdeacon’s service at the altar. The bishop then vests the new subdeacon with amice, tunicle, and maniple. 

After the ordination, Mass proceeds in the usual manner, and the newly-ordained subdeacon chants the Epistle. 

Music for the Mass was provided by the Oratory Choir: Missa Tu es Petrus (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina); Offertory: Haec dies (Charles Wood); Communion: Dum transisset Sabbatum (John Taverner); Organ: Final, from Symphony No. 1 (Louis Vierne).

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