Monday, February 13, 2012

The Feast Of Absalom Jones

On February 13th, 1804, The Rev. Absalom Jones was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church of the United States.  While the Church itself was in its infancy, as we had officially claimed separation from the Church of England a mere twenty years before, the event of this ordination established our individual identity before the world.  Fr. Jones, you see, was a freed slave and the first black man to be ordained in our tradition.  In fact, he was the first to receive sacramental ordination in any American Christian church or denomination.

Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear; that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servant Absalom Jones, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.