Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rite of Candidacy

Yesterday, Jason received his Rite of Candidacy, the first milestone towards the Diaconate. It was a nice ceremony with Bishop Wilkerson presiding. I felt...left out.

From the beginning of this whole process, the diaconate office has stressed to us the importance of the wives participation. We are required to attend class, participate, and do homework. It has been stressed to us that this journey is a journey we make together, as a couple. If I had not given my o.k., Jason would not even be allowed in the program. So why, then, were the wives excluded from this important milestone?

Don't get me wrong. I am not asking for ordination or even my own "rite". I just think it would have been nice to at least have been able to stand up there next to my husband when he confirmed his commitment to this calling. Would it really have changed anything, liturgically speaking, if I had stood behind him with my hand on his shoulder?

He is called to this ministry, but I am called to be his wife and support him throughout the journey. I think what bothers me most is just the inconsistency from the diaconate office. Support your husband, attend your classes, do your homework, but don't expect any recognition or appreciation.

All my b*tchiness aside, it really was a nice ceremony and I really appreciated that not only did our mentor couple (Deacon John and Diane) attend, but so did our pastor and our pastoral intern. I did feel support and appreciation from them. Plus, much to my embarrassment, at the end of mass this morning, the priest and Deacon John called our entire family up for a special blessing and we processed out with them.

I am certainly not leaving the program, nor am I going to start picketing in front of churches to demand female ordination. I know that the permanent diaconate is a new concept for the Church, and I am confident that this Church that I love and believe in will, in time, find the "happy medium" needed to truly support the Diaconate Families.


HigherLegal said...

You Rock Girl!

Anonymous said...

Onie and I share your sentiments. Thanks for speaking up.

Martha said...

Briana, I also share your sentiments. Here is what bothers me. We are called "Deacon Couples." Is this a real Church designation or a pretend one? We are asked to prepare and sacrifice as much as our husbands. The Church has the expectation that we women will be working alongside our husbands. “Deacon Couple” implies that we as women who have gone through formation have a special place in the Church. When I am excluded from the rites, I don’t feel very special. My thing is – let’s be real. If I am not a deacon couple then don’t call me a deacon couple. Call me Martha. This will not change my commitment to the Church, to my husband’s calling or the formation process. It will seem just a little less hypocritical. (Aside from this small thing, I feel privileged to be among you and a part of the diaconate!)

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...

I thought this was a beautiful and honest post.