Holy Orders (Ordination)
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17)
Persons of good character with the calling of the Holy Spirit are formed by the Church to serve the Church in leadership, to care for the lost , to the proclamation of the Word and to the Liturgy and Sacraments. Holy Orders is the sacrament in which Jesus acts to receive people into the ministry of the deacon, the priest or the Bishop of the Church.
Who may recieve Holy Orders?
Those who believe that the Holy Spirit is calling them to Holy Orders follow a prescribed course in the study of theology, scripture, and tradition after having been received by a Bishop or Superior of a community as candidates for the ministry. Having completed the process of formation for ordination, the candidate for priesthood or diaconate is called by a Bishop from the community of the faithful to the reception of Holy Orders. A bishop receives the order of Episcopacy when he is chosen by the Pope and ordained for that office. Catholics believe that those who are called to ministry and ordained are united with the ministry of Jesus. Catholics further believe that those who are ordained are empowered to minister for the Church and in the world in Jesus’ name.
Currently only men are called to orders in the Roman Catholic Church.
Who is the ordinary minister of Holy Orders?
The ordinary minister of Holy Orders is a Bishop.
When is the Sacrament of Holy Orders administered?
Usually the Sacrament of Holy Orders for priests or deacons will be conferred annually at a special liturgy for ordination.
The liturgy for the ordination of a Bishop takes place usually within 90 days of the appointment by the Pope of the new Bishop.
Where do ordinations take place and may I attend?
Most ordinations take place in a Cathedral. Since our parish is the Cathedral of Saint Andrew we have the proximity and availability each year to witness ordinations of the Diocesan Clergy. Anyone who wishes may attend the ordination ceremonies.
At those times when a new Bishop is appointed to our Diocese, he will either be ordained a Bishop in our Cathedral, or if he is already a Bishop will be received at the Cathedral. Normally, attending the ordination of a Bishop is by invitation.
I have heard that lay people are priests in some sense. What does that mean?
Since the Second Vatican Council (1961-1965), the Catholic Church has taught that all the faithful are called by virtue of their Baptism to share in the priesthood of Christ who is priest, prophet and servant of the kingdom of God. Therefore the members of the Church have a role in the mission and in the worship of the Church. The priesthood of the faithful is the basis for participation of the members of the community in the offering of the Eucharist. Lay people in the Church are not just passive recipients of the Eucharist, according to Vatican II; they are instead full participants in the liturgy. There is an essential difference between the priesthood and the priesthood of all believers, but the Second Vatican Council was quite clear that both are important in the celebration of the Eucharist.
Is the role of the deacon different from a priest?
A deacon is called to service in the name of the Church. Permanent deacons are men who have been called by the Church to Holy Orders. The Deacon is to be a sign of Christ’s serving mission, especially the service to the poor. The Deacon will also instruct the faithful through Catechesis and preaching. He may also minister all the sacraments sacraments except those reserved to priests.
Are there any Sacraments that only a Bishop can minister?
A bishop is the ordinary minister of Holy Orders. He is also the ordinary minister of Confirmation, although at times he may designate a priest to be the minister of Confirmation in a parish, for example when a person is confirmed after being baptized as part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.