The Reverend Keerthisiri Fernando was collated and installed as the 5th Archdeacon of Nuwara Eliya by the Lord Bishop of Colombo at a diocesan service of Holy Eucharist held in the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour on Friday 29th April 2016 at 6.00 p.m.
The Collation and installation of an Archdeacon has historically taken place in our diocese in the context of a diocesan Choral Evensong but in recent times it has been within a celebration of the Eucharist which affords an opportunity for the participation of more people in taking different parts of the liturgy and also gives the newly installed Archdeacon the opportunity to begin his task eucharistically.
The Liturgy was presided over by the Lord Bishop of Colombo assisted by the incumbent Archdeacons of Colombo, Jaffna and Galle as well as the immediate past Archdeacon of Nuwara Eliya. The Registrar of the Diocese was present to fulfil the legal requirements and handed over the Act of Collation to the new Archdeacon during the ceremony.
The trilingual liturgy incorporating different cultural elements involved clergy and lay persons from the Archdeaconry of Nuwara Eliya and members of Fr Keerthi’s family and drew a large congregation of people from all parts of the diocese particularly from parishes in which Fr Keerthi had served as Vicar. The choir of Holy Emmanuel Church joined with the diocesan choir to lead the singing and chanting while the Deaf and Blind Schools’ Choir sang a special song for Fr Keerthi during the gradual. The Clergy Choir, ‘The Priests’, led by Fr Malinda de Mel sang a special accapela blessing after the installation, Fr Keerthi having been a founder member of the group.
The Old Testament Lesson was read by a representative of the Eastern Province in Tamil while the Epistle was read in English by a representative from the Uva Province and the Gospel was beautifully chanted in Sinhala by Sethsara Fernando, Fr Keerthi’s daughter. The Revd Canon Joshua Ratnam preached an inspiring sermon in Tamil with a brief summary in English comparing the leadership styles of Moses and Jesus as models for leadership that the new Archdeacon may wish to consider. The Prayers of the People were led by three clergy persons representing the three Area Deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Nuwara Eliya.
The liturgy was completed within two hours and was a beautiful act of worship with which to inaugurate a new ministry. We wish the Ven Keerthi Fernando, his wife Arlene and their children Sethlath and Sethsara all God’s blessings in this new sphere of ministry to which they have been called and commissioned..