Ordination Speech of Dn. Phillip Saba to the Diaconate

Pentecost 2018

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. One God. Amen.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry…” (1 Timothy 1:12)

Your Eminence beloved Sayedna Basilios, beloved Fathers, Deacons, Family and Friends (who I also call my family), how can I put into words just how blessed I feel, and have felt, these past few weeks from the overwhelming love and support I have received from each and every one of you? Thank you for all prayers and for your efforts to be here today and to share in this ecclesiastical wedding with me. I am so unworthy of all this love, and even more unworthy to be ordained on the Day of Pentecost, the par-excellence Feast Day of the Holy Spirit.

When I sat down to write this speech, I wondered ‘How can I possibly thank all the people who have helped me get to this point in my life, in the short span of a few minutes?’ But then I realised, all I need to do is thank One in particular.

Thank You God for blessing me with a mother and grandmother who taught me from the very beginning, to always put You first in my life. Thank You for providing me with amazing siblings, family and friends who always stand behind me in everything I do.

Thank You God for my previous Archbishop (may God rest his soul) who sent me to the Balamand; and for my current Archbishop who not only woke me up and put me back on this path towards You, but who has humbly given me so much of his precious time to prepare me for the road ahead. Thank You God for the amazing priests and community (especially my beloved parish St Nicholas, and beloved choirs) who have welcomed me with open arms and open hearts, and for the Deacon who also sacrificed so much of his time in training me. Thank You God for everyone who continuously encouraged me on this path. You know who they are, and they also know who they are. I do not need to say anymore.

Thank you God for sending me a wife who shares the same love and passion for our Church as I do; who supports me and who already sacrifices so much so that

I can do what You have called me to do. And thank you for sending me the greatest gift, a beautiful son, who allows me on a daily basis to experience the glory of God in my own home. It amazes me how any parent in the world can question your existence Lord, when all they have to do is look into the innocent eyes of their child and find You there.

Finally, Thank You God for your patience with me and for not giving up on me, when like the Prophet Jonah, I turned in the other direction and ran away when You first called me. (It turns out, I named my son after me)

God has given me everything I can possibly ask for and I will never be able to express my gratitude to Him in words – for this reason I aim to express it with my actions.

The role of the deacon is to serve, and I promise to give myself whole-heartedly to this community and to the service of God’s Holy Church. The role of the Deacon is to lead God’s people in prayer, and I promise to pray for you all and with you all from the depths of my heart. And I only ask in return that you do the same for me and my family. May God grant us the strength to serve his Church faithfully and worthily.

Blessed Pentecost +