On my Ordination to the Subdiaconate
By: Michael Kunitz
On Sunday morning, December 29th, at my home parish of St. Stephen Byzantine Catholic Church in Allen Park, Michigan I was ordained a minor cleric at the hands of my Ordinary, Bishop Milan Lach S.J. of the Eparchy of Parma (Ruthenian).
I received all three of the Minor Orders at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. I was first elevated to Candle Bearer, reciting the Trisagion Prayers. I was then made a Cantor, singing recitando the troparia of Ss. Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Gregory Nazianzus. I was Tonsured then ordained a Reader, reading from the Acts of the Holy Apostles concerning the commission of the first Deacons. (Acts 6:1-7) Finally, I was vested with the sticharion and then orarion of the Subdeacon, washed the hands of the Bishop, and had a Rushnyk towel placed over my head, standing before the Icon of Christ on the Iconostasis for much of the Liturgy.
As I faced Christ in his Icon, much raced through my mind. I thought of the ways in which I’d both worked for this moment and how I was also not worthy of it. “For all the wrong I’ve done until now, You still brought me here,” I thought. In the quiet of my heart and in the still sound of his eyes, I could hear, “And there is still much farther to go.”
I’m thankful that He has never left me, even when I deserved it. I’ve been given to supportive communities that have helped me grow in the most valuable of ways. After the Liturgy, I went to the reception and was greeted with loving and supportive applause from parishioners, family, and friends. I was then, and remain now, at a loss of words to describe that feeling. Perhaps it is a fitting beginning to the end of my seminary career, for as this chapter closes, I can see that this journey has only just begun.