Wednesday, August 31, 2022

ARCWP Rite of Ordination of Elaine Pfaff - October 10, 2022 - Corolla, NC

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests



Elaine Pfaff

Ordaining Bishop

Bridget Mary Meehan

1105 Morris Drive

Corolla, NC 27927

October 10, 2022


Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 825 5102 1379

Passcode: 130875


MT: Good morning. My name is Mary Theresa Streck and I am a Roman Catholic Woman Priest from the Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community in Albany, NY. We welcome all of you gathered today in the room and on Zoom. Participants online, you are invited to bring bread and wine or juice for Communion at home.

 Please silence your cell phones during this holy ceremony. 

We, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, welcome you to the public priestly ordination of Elaine Pfaff.  

We gather together on this journey of Good News for those who long for the fullness of the Body of Christ for the life of the world. 

Historical and archaeological evidence reveals that women and men served as deacons, priests and bishops during the first twelve hundred years of the church’s history.

In the ordination of deacons and priests, we continue in the renewal of our first Christian traditions.  We celebrate the fact that Jesus invited women as well as men to become leaders in building the kin-dom and sent the Spirit, Wisdom-Sophia, to dwell with us and lead us forward in being Church.

We celebrate with joy the indwelling of our God among us. Our liturgical style is inclusive, which is expressed in several ways. We include female biblical images of God. You are invited to participate in the words of consecration and the doxology leading to the Great Amen. Our Eucharistic Table is open to all. 

Our presiding Bishop is Bridget Mary Meehan. Bridget Mary is a member of the Pastoral Team at Mary, Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota, Florida. 

We now welcome Bishop Bridget Mary who, as presiding Bishop, gathers us as the universal church.  Please stand for our opening song.

Gather Us In by Marty Haugen on YouTube


Bishop:  We gather joyfully for this ordination and we begin in the name of God, Source of all Being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit,

All: Amen.

Bishop:  Our God is with you.

All: And also with you.

Bishop:  Let us pray:  Loving God, Jesus, our brother, taught the disciples not to be served but to serve.  We pray for Elaine that she may serve her sisters and brothers.  May she be effective in her work and persevering in her prayer, performing her ministry with compassion and concern for all.  

All:  Amen.

MT: Please be seated as we present the candidate for ordination.


MT: On behalf of the assembled community and the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Dotty Shugrue will call forward our candidate for the priesthood.

Dotty: Elaine Pfaff

Elaine: Here I am. I am ready.

Dotty: Dear Bishop, the holy Church asks you to ordain our sister, Elaine, to the priesthood.

Bishop: Do you know if she is ready?

Dotty: Those responsible have been asked.  They testify that they find her ready. Rick Pfaff is here to give witness and represent the church, the Body of Christ, as we present Elaine for ordination.

Bishop: In the name of Jesus, we choose you, Elaine, as our priest. 

All:  Thanks be to God.  Applause.

MT:  Let us signify our approval by singing "Amen."

Words and Music by JESTER HAIRSTON©Copyright 1957 & 1966 by Schumann Music (a division of Bourne Co.)

Copyright Renewed. All Rights Reserved International Copyright Secured ASCAP


First Reading  ~  A Reading from the Book of Sirach 14: 20-27

Happy those who meditate on Wisdom, and fix their gaze on knowledge; Who ponder her ways in their heart and understand her paths; Who pursue her like a scout, and watch at her entry way; Who peep through her windows, and listen at her doors; Who encamp near her house and fasten their tent pegs next to her walls; Who pitch their tent beside her, and dwell in a good place; Who build their nest in her leaves, and lodge in her branches; Who take refuge from the heat in her shade and dwell in her home.  

The word of God

All:  AMEN

Psalm Response ~ Psalm 91 in Psalms for Praying by Nan Merrill

Reader 1: Those who dwell in the shelter of Infinite Light,

                 who abide in the wings of Infinite Love,

All: Will raise their voices in praise;

     “My refuge and my strength;

      In You will I trust.”

      For You deliver me from the web of fear;

      from all that separates and divides

Reader 2: You protect me as an eagle shields its young,

                 Your faithfulness is sure, like

                 an arrow set upon the mark.

All: I will not fear the shadows of the night,

      nor the confusion that comes by day,

      Nor the dreams that awaken me from sleep,

      nor the daily changes that life brings.

Reader 3: Though a thousand may deride this radical trust,

                 ten thousand with me take joy 

                 in doing Your will,

All: Yet will I surrender myself to You,

      abandoning myself into Your hands

      without reserve.

Reader 1: For You have sent Your angels to

                 watch over me, 

                 to guide me in all my ways.


All: On their hands, they will bear me up,

      lest I dash my foot against a stone     


Reader 2: Because you cleave to Me in love,

                 I will deliver you;


All: I will protect you, who

      call upon my Name.

Reader 3: When you call to Me, I will answer you;

                 I will be with you in times of trouble,

                 I will rescue you and reverence your life.

All: All through the years, will I dwell in your heart,

      As loving Companion Presence, forever.

Second Reading ~ from the Gospel of Mary 

Jesus said, “I told you to find contentment at the level of the heart, and if you are discouraged, take heart in the presence of the image of your true nature.  Those with ears, let them hear this.”

“You must realize that earth unfolds its properties and powers in union with Heaven … and there is one Heart, one Being, one God, all in all.”

“Go forth, now, and proclaim the Good News concerning the Kingdom.”

Mary arose, then, embracing them all and began to address them as her brothers and sisters saying, “Do not weep and grieve or let your hearts remain in doubt, for his grace will be with all of you.  Rather, let us give praise to his greatness which has prepared us so that we might become fully human.”

The word of God,

All:  AMEN

Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia

© 1985, Fintan O'Carroll and Christopher Walker. Published by OCP. All rights reserved.

One License Licensing permission under One License #S-921939. All rights reserved.

Gospel: ~ A reading from the Gospel of Matthew 13: 52-57

When Jesus had finished these parables, he left the area and came to his own town and began teaching the people in the synagogue, and the people were amazed.  They said to one another, 'Where did he get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?  Isn't this the carpenter's child?  Isn't his mother's name Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judah?  His sisters too, aren't they all here with us?  But where did such gifts come from?  And they found him altogether too much for them.”

The word of God,

All:  AMEN


Homily: Bridget Mary and Elaine


MT:  As the People of God gather in hope and love, we now invoke the Spirit of God within this woman called to serve as priest and within us all. 

Hymn to the Holy Spirit: Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit)

Text: Come Holy Spirit; Verses drawn from the Pentecost Sequence; TaizĂ© Community, 1978; Tune: Jacques Berthier, 1923-1994 © 1979, Les Presses de TaizĂ©, GIA Publications, Inc., agent All rights reserved. One License Licensing permission under One License #S-921939. All rights reserved

Examination of Candidates for Priesthood

MT: We invite Elaine to stand.

Bishop: My dear sister, before you receive the Order of Priest, you are asked to proclaim before this assembly, that you willingly take on this office and ministry.  So I ask you: Are you resolved to be ordained for priestly ministry in the church by the laying-on-of our hands and the gift the Holy Spirit?

Elaine: I am.

Representative of Community – Barbara: Are you ready to fulfill the office of priest faithfully and serve the people of God? 

Elaine: I am

Bishop: Are you ready to celebrate the mysteries of Christ faithfully as has been handed down to us, for the glory of God and the flourishing of grace among God's people?

Elaine: I am

Representative of Community - Christina: Are you ready to live the ministry of the word worthily and wisely, preaching the Gospel and teaching the faith of Jesus and our church? 

Elaine: I am

Bishop: Are you ready to consecrate your life to God's holy work with all of creation and to unite yourself closely to the Christ who lived and taught us justice in the beatitudes and in the works of mercy? 

Elaine: I am, with the help of God.

Bishop: May God complete the good work already begun in you.

All: Amen. 


Litany of Saints and Prostration of Candidates

MT: We invite Jennifer to lay the prostration cloth. 

MT: We now invite Elaine to prostrate while the litany of saints is sung.  The prostration is an act of loving surrender to God.  We call upon those who have gone before us in the communion of saints, our friends, the prophets of God, and all holy women and men.

Bishop: In gratitude, we pray to our loving God who grants abundant grace and blessings to this woman, called to be a priest. 

Litany of Saints

Music © 1987, John D. Becker. Published by OCP. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License S-921496. All rights reserved.

Bishop: Let us pray:  Gracious and Loving God, You hear our prayers and those of your angels and saints. You pour out upon this woman the blessing of your wisdom and the grace and integrity of the order of priest.  As we approach the moment of ordination, hold her close to you with your unfailing love.  You are with us now and always.  

All: Amen.

MT: We invite Elaine to rise and please come forward to the chair for the laying-on-of hands. 

Laying-On-of-Hands for Priest

MT: We now come to a most sacred moment of the ordination rite, the laying-on-of hands for the priest, which we celebrate in reverent silence.  The gesture is the prayer and there are no words spoken.  

MT: You, The People of God, the Body of Christ, are invited to come forward in silence to continue this sacred action of laying hands on this chosen woman. 

Songs during community laying-on-of-hands: During laying-on-of-hands ~ Open the doors for the sound of ocean waves; if inaudible, Fall Asleep with Powerful Waves at Night on Museddu Beach on YouTube (do not share screen)

Prayer of Consecration for Priest 

MT: Our bishop will now pray a prayer of consecration for our newly ordained priest.

Bishop: Loving and gracious God, you are ever present to us. Your Spirit, Your Breath of Life indwelling with us, is the source of every blessing ensuring our growth and stability. 

In communion with the saints, with your friends, your prophets and our ancestors, your presence is within all of creation. You support us with your gifts of wisdom and patterns of order. You called forth leaders to serve and guide your priestly people. 

The numbers of leaders grew and their ministry was recognized by sacred rites. In the desert, you extended Your Spirit through Moses, to Aaron, Miriam and all the holy women and men of Israel.

You called seventy wise people to help them lead an exiled community from slavery to freedom. Among the children of Aaron and of Miriam, you shared the fullness of your power. You provided worthy leaders in sufficient number for the increasing rites of worship.

With the same loving care, you beckoned women and men for later generations to serve with Jesus' disciples. They continued his work of healing and teaching.  They loved and supported one another, became advocates for justice and prophets of peace.  They preached the Gospel to the whole world.

Loving God, you give this woman the graces of the priesthood.  You renew within her the spirit of holiness. You give her strength, wisdom and the gifts of your Spirit. 

Together with the people of God, You inspire and bless her as she responds to your call in loving service. 

I now invite you, the assembly, to join me in extending your hands over this woman as we embrace the Spirit in her and in all.

God’s Spirit strengthens you to carry out your ministry faithfully.

God’s Spirit calls you to heal and reconcile  

God’s Spirit guides you in your work for justice and peace for all. 

God’s Spirit enlivens you in prophetic and liberating obedience. 

Together, we are one in Christ, loving and serving as God’s holy people. 

All: Amen.


MT:  We invite Jennifer to come forward and represent us all by vesting our newly ordained priest for priestly ministry in her chasuble and stole.

Anointing of Hands

MT: The hands of our newly ordained priest will now be anointed for priestly service.


Bishop: God anointed Jesus, the Christ, through the indwelling of the Spirit.  May Jesus work through you to bless the People of God and to offer table friendship and unity. 

Bishop:  It is with great joy, that I present to you our new priest.

Sing Amen.


Preparation of Table for Eucharist 

Music During the Preparation of the Table: Seguaro on CD Faces of the Harp  #4, fade when Table has been set

Procession of the Gifts

Michael, Alexandra, Emma, and Matthew Pfaff will prepare the altar and bring the gifts.

Presentation of the Cup and Plate


Bishop: Receive these gifts entrusted to you by the people of God for this sacred meal of remembrance and thanksgiving in praise, in hope, and in loving service. 


Offering of the Gifts

Bishop: (lifting the bread) Blessed are You, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made.  It will become for us the bread of life.

All:  Blessed be God forever.

Elaine: (lifting the chalice) Blessed are You, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.

All:   Blessed be God forever.

Eucharistic Prayer

Bishop:  Our God is with you.

All:  And also with you. 

Bishop: Lift up your hearts.

All: We lift them up to our God.

Bishop: Let us give thanks to our loving God.

All: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Elaine: All-loving and ever-living God beyond all imagining, we give You thanks for the gift of awareness that allows us to recognize Your presence and action in our universe. Everything we have, everything we see, everything we do, everyone we love and everyone who loves us, reveals Your sustaining presence.  We thank You for Your presence which animates life and all that exists.  

Bishop: You express yourself in human life and through us you sing and dance, speak and write, love and create.  In this we never cease to hope, and for this we always thank and praise You.  We join with the saints of all times and places as they sing forever to Your glory: 

All: Holy, Holy, Holy (sung)

Karen Drucker

Reprinted with permission from Karen Drucker

We are holy, holy, holy

We are holy, holy, holy

We are holy, holy, holy

We are whole.


Spirit divine, come to me

Feeling love, healing me

Open my heart; allow me to see

Beauty and love, lives in me

You are holy, holy, holy

You are holy, holy, holy

You are holy, holy, holy

You are whole.

Ann: Loving God, we live and move and have our being in You. We give thanks for those throughout history who have affirmed your loving presence and moved your people to give witness.  They have witnessed to your presence in lives characterized by love, mercy, compassion, generosity and forgiveness.


Bishop: We thank you for Jesus, who loved so greatly, taught so clearly, and proclaimed so courageously.  He set people free from images, ideas and religious practices that bound them in fear and a false sense of separation from you. Through Jesus, we know our loving actions become a share in your life.  In Jesus, we see your Spirit challenging us to make your presence more visible on earth.


Jill: We thank You for Your Spirit of life and love among us. We are grateful that Your Spirit sets us free to discover your presence within us and in all of creation.  And for this we thank and praise You.  

Bishop: (addressing the assembly) I invite you, the People of God, to extend your hands and pray with me:

All: Loving God, intensify the presence of Your Spirit in these our gifts, as they, and we, become the Body and Blood of Jesus the Christ for our wholeness and the wholeness of all creation.  

All: We remember that on the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took the Bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it them saying: Take and eat, this is my body.



All: When supper was ended, Jesus took the cup of wine, spoke the blessing and offered it to them saying: Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life in you. Do this in memory of me.


Elaine: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.


All: Nurtured by your Word, nourished by your food, called anew to be your people, we acclaim your praise.

Bishop: Loving God, through Jesus You entrusted this pledge of love to us.  We celebrate the memory of his life, death and resurrection, and bring to You the gifts You have given us: reconciliation, justice, and peace. You fill us with Your Spirit in the sharing of this meal. You keep us in communion with one another and with all living beings. Your Spirit makes us a sign of unity, a model of equality and instruments of Your peace.


Dotty: Inspire our leaders, both religious and political, so that they act without fear to bring your justice. May they become peacemakers who transform your church and society so that all living beings and our planet may thrive.

Bishop: You have gathered us around this table in friendship, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the apostles, and all the saints. May all who are suffering in any way be strengthened and consoled by your Presence. You bless all who have gone before us and bring them into the lasting joy and peace of your presence.


Elaine: You gather together women, men and children of every race, language, religion and way of life to share in your one, eternal banquet. In your presence, we give you glory with all creation and with Jesus through whom your goodness flows.



All: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, may all glory and honor be Yours, all-loving God, forever and ever. 

All: Great Amen 

Mass of Creation, Marty Haugen, © 1984, GIA Publications, Inc. One License Licensing permission under One License #S-921939. All rights reserved

Prayer of Jesus

Bishop: Let us pray together the prayer that Jesus taught us: 

All:  O Holy One, who is within, around and among us,

We celebrate your many names.

Your Wisdom come.

Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us,

Each day you give us all we need;

You remind us of our limits, and we let go.

You support us in our power, and we act with courage.

For you are the dwelling place within us, 

the empowerment around us,

and the celebration among us, now and forever.  Amen  

(Miriam Therese Winter)   

Sign of Peace

Elaine:  The peace of Christ be with you always.

All: And also with you. 

Elaine: As we share our joy, let us share God’s abundant peace. Please share a sign of peace.


Peace Song: Let Justice Roll Like a River, artist Marty Haugen on YouTube
; fade after 2 verses (about half way thru)


Bishop: Please join in praying the prayer for the breaking of the bread:

All: Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. 

           We will live justly.   

Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world.  

We will love tenderly.

Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power.  

We will walk with integrity. 

Bishop: This is the Bread of Life. How blessed are we who are called to this Table.

All: Jesus, you affirm our worthiness and by your word, we will heal the world. 

Communion Song: ~ Lord, When You Came/Pescador De Hombres on YouTube

Prayer After Communion

Bishop: Let us pray.  Loving God, You renew us with spiritual nourishment in this bread and wine. You watch over this newly ordained woman and inspire her as a faithful minister of Word and Sacrament to give generously for your glory and for the good of all living beings.  We pray this prayer in the name of Jesus, our brother.

All:  Amen.


MT:  Please stand and extend your hands as we pray our final blessing.

Bishop: Loving God, in this moment, You draw us to you and make us aware, not so much of what we've given but of all that we have received and have to share.

All: Amen.

Elaine: You bless us and move us forward in prophetic obedience to Your Spirit. You send us forth in power and gladness and with great courage, to live what we pray and profess.

All: Amen. 



Recessional song: Sing a New Church on YouTube

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