Choosing Ordination Texts

I will be ordained on Saturday, December 20, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Arlington, VA (please join us!).  As you can imagine, I'm quite excited.

The Lutheran Book of Worship Occasional Services suggests plenty of texts, all good and appropriate for an ordination, but . . . but I'm being ordained at the end of Advent, just prior to Christmas.  If it were a "green" season I'd more likely select texts that focus on the ordination and tasks of ministry.  But because we'll be in the midst of an intentionally sacred season of preparation and hope, I would like to choose texts from the season's lectionary to reflect the season's themes.

To that end, I turned to the Daily Lectionary (found in the back of your Evangelical Lutheran Worship pew edition, starting on page 1121) and looked at all of the texts for the days surrounding Advent 4 (I also peaked at Year A and Year C texts for the week surrounding Advent 4).

And then, breaking from my self-imposed Advent rule, I chose Isaiah 6 for the first reading, a wonderful call text which was put to music by my church choir director in high school (I'm not sure if we can get the anthem for my ordination, however – I think it was an unpublished manuscript, and quite modern.  I remember practicing it for months!  Not the type of song that you just pick up and sing with little preparation.)

Well, nothing is set in stone yet.  I'm still playing with the texts (they're growing on my wife).  Let me know what you think.  Here's a link putting all the texts together.

  • Isaiah 6:1-13 (see above)
  • 1 Samuel 2:1-10 (as the psalmody, from the Wednesday after Advent 4.  I love this text, as it points to one of my favorite texts in the Gospels, the Magnificat)
  • Hebrews 1:1-2:1 (joining and extending the readings for the Thursday & Friday before Advent 4.  This text rings out to me because of its strong proclamation of the Christ for whom we are waiting and preparing.  This text is both a comfort to me and a reminder of the proclamation task to which I am called.)
  • Mark 11:1-11 (from the Wednesday after Advent 4.  This account of Palm Sunday reminds us to prepare the way for the Lord, and recalls the reason for which he came: the cross.)

I'd be thrilled to hear your feedback on these texts, either here at my blog or over on my Facebook page.  Thanks!

Published by Chris Duckworth

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. Veteran. Jedi. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.

4 thoughts on “Choosing Ordination Texts

  1. I really like your Hebrew Scripture choices. I’m not exactly sold on the Hebrews text, but like your reasoning for having it.
    As a friendly warning if I was preaching at your ordination I would use the lowly colt as a metephore for the newly ordained preacher (aka you).
    Just the thoughts off the top of my head.

  2. Interesting choices. I too am not sure of the Hebrews text – might be a bit heavy for an ordination reading? Also, there is a slight implication in choosing the Palm Sunday text that the ordinand is the one for whom we say Hosanna – avoidable depending on what the preacher does with the text. CHoosing non-standard ordination texts could really go either way, again, depending on the shape of the serrvice and the preacher, they could be outstanding, or just odd.
    Are you being installed in the same service?

  3. I think you have done a great job in selecting the texts. God bless you as this journey goes forward. Ordination was such a moving and emotional time for me, and given your passion for the gospel, I’m sure it will be for you as well. You are in my prayers.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: