Thursday, March 3, 2011


Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and deaconate.

The word order in Roman antiquity designated an established civil body, especially a governing body. Ordinatio means incorporation into an ordo. In the Church there are established bodies which Tradition, not without a basis in Scripted Scripture, has since ancient times called taxies (Greek) or ordines. And so the liturgy speaks of the ordo episcoporum, the ordo presbyterorum, the ordo diacononum. Other groups also receive this name of ordo: catechumens, virgins, spouses, widows,...
Integration into one of these bodies in the Church was accomplished by a rite called ordination, a religious and liturgical act which was a consecration, a blessing or a sacrament. Today the word "ordination" is reserved for the sacramental act which integrates a man into the order of bishops, presbyters, or deacons, and goes beyond a simple election, designation, delegation or institution by the community, for it confers a gift of the Holy Spirit that permits the exercise of a "sacred power" (sacra potestas) which can come only from Christ himself through hi Church. Ordination is also called consecration, for it is a setting apart and an investiture by Christ himself for his Church. The laying on of hands by the bishop, with the consecratory prayer, constitutes the visible sign of this ordination.


A.   The priesthood of the Old Covenant.

The chosen people were constituted by God as "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation". But within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service; God himself is its inheritance. A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. The priests are "appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins".

Instituted to proclaim the Word of God and to restore communion with God by sacrifices and prayer, this priesthood nevertheless remains powerless to bring about salvation, needing to repeat its sacrifices ceaselessly and being unable to achieve a definitive sanctification, which only the sacrifice of Christ would accomplish.

The liturgy of the Church, however, sees in the priesthood of Aaron and the service of the Levites, as in the institution of the seventy elders, a prefiguring of the ordained ministry of the New Covenant. Thus in the Latin Rite the Church prays in the consecratory preface of the ordination of bishops:
God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...
   by your gracious word
   you have established the plan of your Church
   From the beginning,
   you chose the descendants of Abraham to be your
   holy nation.
   You established rulers and priest,
   and did not leave your sanctuary without
   ministers to serve you...
   At the ordination of priests, the Church prays:
   Lord, holy Father,...
When you had appointed high priests to rule your people,
you chose other men next to them in rank and dignity
to be with them and to help them in their task...

you extended the spirit of Moses to seventy wise men...
You shared among sons of Aaron
The fullness of their father's power.

   In the consecratory prayer for ordination of deacons, the Church confesses: 
   Almighty God...
   You make the Church, Christ's body,
   grow to its full stature as a new and greater temple.
You enrich it with every kind of grace
and perfect it with a diversity of members
to serve the whole body in a wonderful pattern of unity.

You established a threefold ministry of worship and service,
for the glory of your name.
As ministers of your tabernacle you chose the sons of Levi
And gave them your blessing as their everlasting inheritance.

B.   The one priesthood of Christ
Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the "one mediator between God and men". The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, "priest of God Most High", as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique "high priest after the order of Melchizedek"; "holy, blameless, unstained", "by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified", that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross.

The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ id the true priest, the others being only his ministers".

C.   Two participations in the priesthood of Christ 
Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church "a kingdom, priests for his God and Father". The whole community of believers is, as such priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ's mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are "consecrated to be...a holy priesthood".

The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, "each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ". While being "ordered one to another", they differ essentially. In what sense? While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace – a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according to the Spirit -, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders.

D.   In the person of Christ the Head...
In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:
It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).

Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.
Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.
The presence of Christ in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister's sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church. 

This priesthood is ministerial. "That office . . . which the Lord committed to the pastors of his people, is in the strict sense of the term a service." It is entirely on Christ and on his unique priesthood; it has been instituted for the good of men and the communion of the Church. The sacrament of Holy Orders communicates a "sacred power" which is none other than of Christ. The exercise of this authority must therefore be measured against the model of Christ, who by love made himself the least and the servant of all. "The Lord said clearly that concern for his flock was proof of love for him."

E.   . . . "in the name of the whole Church"
The ministerial priesthood has the task not only of representing Christ – Head of the Church – before the assembly of the faithful, but also of acting in the name of the whole Church when representing to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice.
"In the name of the whole Church" does not mean that priests are the delegates of the community. The prayer and offering of the Church are inseparable from the prayer and offering of the Christ, her head; it is always the case that Christ worships in and through his Church. The whole Church, the Body of Christ, prays and offers herself "through him, with him, in him," in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to God the Father. The whole Body, caput et membra, prays and offers itself, and therefore those who in the Body are especially his ministers are called ministers not only of Christ, but also of the Church. It is because the ministerial priesthood represents Christ that it can represent the Church.


"The divinely instituted ecclesiastical ministry is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times have been called bishops, priests and deacons." Catholic doctrine, expressed in the liturgy, the Magisterium, and the constant practice of the Church, recognizes that there are two degrees of ministerial participation in the priesthood of Christ: the episcopacy and the presbyterate. The diaconate is intended to help and serve them. For this reason the term sacerdos in current usage denotes bishops and priest but not deacons. Yet catholic doctrine teaches that the degrees of priestly participation (episcopate and presbyterate) and the degree of service (diaconate) are all three conferred by a sacramental act called "ordination," that is, by the sacrament of Holy Orders:
Let everyone revere the deacons as Jesus Christ, the bishop as the image of the Father, and the presbyters as the senate of God and the assembly of the apostles. For without them one cannot speak of the Church.

A.    Episcopal ordination -- fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders.
"Amongst those various offices which have been exercised in the Church from the earliest times the chief place, according to the witness of tradition, is held by the function of those who, through their appointment to the dignity and responsibility of bishop, and in virus consequently of the unbroken succession going back to the beginning, are regarded as transmitters of the apostolic line."
To fulfill their exalted mission, "the apostles were endowed by Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them, and by the imposition of hands they passed on to their auxiliaries the gift of the Spirit, which is transmitted down to our day through episcopal consecration."
The Second Vatican Council "teaches . . . that the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by episcopal consecration, that fullness namely which, both in the liturgical tradition of the Church and the language of the Fathers of the Church, is called the high priesthood, the acme (summa) of the sacred ministry."
"Episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, also the offices of teaching and ruling . . . In fact . . . by the imposition of hands and through the words of the consecration, the grace of the Holy Spirit is given, and a sacred character is impressed in such wise that bishops, in an eminent and visible manner, take the place of Christ himself, teacher, shepherd, and priest, and act as his representative (In Eius persona agant). "By virtue, therefore, of the Holy Spirit who has been given to them, bishops have been constituted true and authentic teachers of the faith and have been made pontiffs and pastors".
"One is constituted a member of the episcopal body in virtue of the sacramental consecration and by the hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college." The character and collegial nature of the episcopal order are evidenced among other ways by the Church's ancient practice which calls for several bishops to participate in the consecration of a new bishop. In our day, the lawful ordination of a bishop requires a special intervention of the Bishop of Rome, because he is the supreme visible bond of the communion of the particular Churches in the one Church and the guarantor of their freedom.
As Christ's vicar, each bishop has the pastoral care of the particular Church entrusted to him, but at the same time he bears collegially with all his brothers in the episcopacy the solicitude for all the Churches: "Through each bishop is the lawful pastor only of the portion of the flock entrusted to his care, as a legitimate successor of the apostles he is, by divine institution and precept, responsible with the other bishops for the apostolic mission of the Church."
The above considerations explains why Eucharist celebrated by the bishop has a quite special significance as an expression of the Church gathered around the altar, with the one who represents Christ, the Good Shepherd and Head of his Church, presiding.

Holy Orders are the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It is intricately joined to the ministry of Christ and his apostles. Remember from our discussion of the order in the Church that the apostolic ministry is shared by the bishops who in turn are aided in that ministry by the priests who in turn are aided by the deacons. Thus, there are three degrees of the sacrament of Holy Orders: Deacon, Priest, and Bishop.

B.    The Name Holy Orders.

The name "orders" comes from the Latin ordo, which in Roman antiquity designated as established civil governing body. Hence ordinatio is incorporation into an ordo. In the church there are well-established ordines from the earliest days e.g. the ordo episcoporum, the ordo presbyterorum, the ordo diaconorum. [1] Incorporation into an ordo was accomplished by a rite called ordinatio. In the early days, ordinatio was a consecration, blessing or a sacrament. Today it is reserved for the sacramental act by which a man is integrated into the order of bishops, priests or deacons. It confers the Holy Spirit that permits the exercise of a "sacred power" which comes from Christ himself through the Church. This is accomplished by the laying on of hands by the bishop (the matter of the sacrament) accompanied by the prayer of consecration (the form of the sacrament). 

C.    Holy Orders in the History of Salvation

In the Old Testament as the covenant on Sinai was taking shape, God set up twelve tribes. But one of those twelve tribes was set aside for liturgical service. In the division of the land after the conquest, they were given no share in the land but rather God himself was to be the inheritance of Levi. These priests were to offer gifts and sacrifices to God for sins thereby restoring broken communion with God. They did this over and over again, never able to achieve definitive sanctification. This had to wait until Christ. 

In all three prayers of consecration, we find a reference to the priesthood of Aaron and the service of Levites. But it was the priesthood of Jesus Christ that brought about definitive sanctification. The major Old Testament prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ is the priesthood of Melchizekek. He comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. In the line of Melchizedek Christ offers a perfect sacrifice for all time, his unique sacrifice of the cross. 

D.    Two Participation in the one priesthood of Christ

In his sacrifice, Christ the high priest, has made the Church a "kingdom, priests for his God and Father." Thus the whole community of believers is priestly. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, the faithful are "consecrated to be....a holy priesthood."

But there is also another participation in this priesthood of Christ, the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood. This ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood of all the faithful participant "each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ." They are ordered to one another; yet they differ essentially. The common priesthood of all is exercise by a life of faith, hope and charity lived according to the Spirit. The ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. Hence it has its own sacrament, Holy Orders.

E.    Priest: in persona Christi Capitis

In the service of the ordained minister, it is Christ who is present to his church as head of his Body. This is what it means to say that by virtue of Holy Orders the priest acts in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi Capitis). This was brought out in Pius XII's encyclical Mediator Dei. Thomas Aquinas echoed the same sentiments when he wrote, "Christ is source of all priesthood: the priest of the Old Law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ." [2]

This presence of Christ does not mean that the minister is preserved from all human weakness. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. The power of the Holy Spirit does extend its guarantee to the sacraments so that a minister's sin cannot impede the flow of grace. Yet in other acts the minister can show himself to be unfaithful to the Gospel.

The ministry of the pastors of souls is strictly a service. It is related to Christ and to men. It depends on Christ and it is for the good of man. Holy Orders communicate a "sacred power" which is in reality the power of Christ. Therefore those who exercise this power must be measured against the model of Christ who was the least and servant of all.
The ministerial priesthood not only represents Christ to the assembly of the faithful, but it also presents to God the prayer of the Church. Thus when priests offer "in the name of the whole Church" they are not merely delegates of the community. 

F.    The Degrees of the Sacrament of Holy Orders

There are three Orders in the sacrament of Holy Orders. Those Orders are deacon, priest, and bishop. There are two degrees of ministerial participation in the priesthood of Christ the episcopacy (the bishop) and the presbyterate (the priesthood). Diaconate is intended to help and serve them. Thus the first two are degrees of priestly participation. And the third is a degree of service. All three are conferred by the sacramental act called ordination.

G.    The Episcopate: Fullness of the Sacrament of Orders

The Bishops are successors of the apostles. The apostles endowed with the outpouring of the Spirit imparted it by imposition of hand to their successors and it is transmitted to this day by Episcopal consecration. This is what is meant by the apostolic succession. The Episcopal confers the offices of teaching and ruling in addition to the office of sanctfying. One is constituted a member of the episcopal body by virtue of sacramental consecration and by hierarchical communion with head and members of the college.

Tradition has shown this collegiality by having several (at least 3) bishops participate in the ordination of a new bishop. Also in current times, a new bishop must be called forth by the bishop of Rome, the Holy Father. Each bishop has the pastoral care of a particular church entrusted to him, but by collegiality he also joins his brother bishops in caring for the whole church. Thus also a bishop technically is not supposed to concelebrate the Eucharist if a priest is main celebrant. The bishop is to be main celebrant, or he attends in a prominent position. 

H.    Priests: Co Workers of the Bishops

As the church grew, it became obvious that the bishops could not handle the growing demand. And so, they appointed men in the order of priest to be co-workers of the Episcopal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission that had been entrusted to it by Christ. The priest, therefore, depends upon the bishop for the exercise of his power. This is the notion of faculties that a bishop grants to a priest to function in a particular area. Priests are consecrated to preach the Gospel, and shepherd the faithful as well as celebrate the divine worship. 

The apex of the priests' ministry is the Eucharist. There he exercises in a supreme degree his office. Acting in the person of Christ (in persona Christi), the priest unites the votive offerings of the faithful to the sacrifice of Christ the head. The priests in union with their bishop constitute a unique sacerdotal (priestly college), the presbyterium. This presbyterium is dedicated to a variety of different duties. 

The priest represents his people to the bishop and the bishop to his people. Thus he can only exercise his ministry in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him. The fraternal kiss of peace that ends the ordination rite shows that that bishop considers his priests co-workers and friends. The promise of obedience at the beginning of the ritual shows that the priest owes the bishop love and obedience. The priests of a diocese form a unique unity in the presbyterium. The priests imposing hands on the ordinand after the bishop express this unity.

I.   The Order of Deacon - "in order to serve"

The imposition of hands in the diaconate ordination is not unto priesthood but unto ministry. The bishop lays hands on the deacon to illustrate his special attachment to the bishop in service, diakonia. The deacon assists the bishop and priests in the celebration of the Eucharist, the distribution of communion, the blessing of marriages, the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching. 

Note the Latin Church since the Second Vatican Council has restored the order of diaconate in the Permanent Diaconate whereby married men can receive the order of Deacon. This constitutes an important enrichment for the church's mission. 

J.    The Celebration of the Sacrament

The ordination to bishop, priest and deacon are key celebrations for the life of the Church. As such they should be celebrated so as many as possible of the faithful can witness them. Usually, these ordinations are performed in the Cathedral of the diocese by the ordinary. The rite of ordination takes place with the Eucharistic Liturgy. An ordination outside Mass is highly unusual. 

The essential rite for all three degrees consists in the bishop's imposition of hands on the head of the ordinand, and the specific prayer of consecration asked for the outpouring of the Spirit proper to the ministry to which the candidate is being ordained.

The ordination rite takes place immediately after the proclamation of the Gospel. It begins with the call of the candidates either for priesthood or for deaconate. "Let those to be ordained to the order of.... Please come forward." Then they are called by name to which they answer "Present". The bishop then inquires as to the candidates' preparation and worthiness. The person calling attests that they have been found worthy. The bishop then consents to ordain the candidates, "We rely upon the help of the Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ, and we choose these men, our brothers, for Priesthood/Deaconate in the Presbyterian/Diaconal order. The assembly then shows its approval by applause. 

In the case of a bishop, the Papal Bull proclaiming him bishop is read usually by the Apostolic Delegate at the moment of call. It is followed by the acclamation of the people. 

An instruction now follows which details the duties and obligations of the office to which the candidate is aspiring. It usually explains the position in the church that the candidates will have as priests/deacons/bishop. It also points out the responsibilities of the office, which they are about to accept. 

This is followed by an examination of the candidates concerning their understanding of the office, which they are about to undertake. This examination usually takes the form of five questions to which the candidates answer "I am" to the first four and "I am with the help of God" to the last. The questions differ with each ordination. 

In the case of priests and deacons, the final part of the examination is the promise of obedience. This binds the priest or deacon to his ordinary and guarantees that he will obey and respect him. The previous part of the examination was conducted with all the candidates answering in unison. This promise is made individually. Candidates approach the ordaining bishop places their hands into his, and he asks, "Do your promise me and my successors obedience and respect?" And the candidate answers, "I do." [3] 

The litany of the saints is then chanted. This is part of all the major celebrations of the church. In the ordination ceremony, the candidates for ordination prostrate themselves in the sanctuary as the litany is sung. The conclusion of the litany is specific to the ordination liturgy, Bless these men, Bless these chosen men and make them holy, Bless these chosen men, make them holy and consecrate them for their sacred duty.

After the litany the candidates arise and approach the bishop(s) who impose hands on them (the matter of the sacrament of Holy Orders). In the case of priesthood ordination, all priests present then impose hands sign of their collegiality with the bishop. Once all have imposed hands the appropriate prayer of consecration is chanted (the form of the sacrament of Holy Orders). At the conclusion of the prayer of consecration, the candidates are considered ordained. The rites which precede the essential rite of the sacrament attest to the choice of the candidate as being in keeping with the practice of the Church and prepare for the solemn act of consecration. 

Similarly there are a number of rites that follow the essential rite, which complete the mystery accomplished. Immediately following the essential rite, the newly ordained is vested in the vestments that signify his office. The bishop receives the mitre, the priest the chasuble, and the deacon the stole and dalmatic. Next the priests and bishops are anointed with chrism the oil of priesthood. This special anointing with the Holy Spirit to make their ministry fruitful. 

Next bishop receives a ring, and crozier. The ring is a sign of fidelity to the church, the bride of Christ. The crozier is a symbol of him a shepherd of the Lord's flock. The bishop is also presented with the book of the Gospels, which signifies his apostolic mission to proclaim the word of God. The priest is presented with the paten and chalice, the "offering of the Holy People" which he is called to present to God. The deacon receives the book of the Gospels. He has just received the mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. The words spoken in the reception of the Book of the Gospels are clear "Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you now are, Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach."

K.    The Minister of the Sacrament

Since the sacrament of Holy Orders is the sacrament of apostolic ministry, it is for the bishops as successors of the apostles to hand on the "gift of the Spirit". Thus validly ordained bishops, i.e. those in the line of apostolic succession, validly confer the three degrees of the sacrament of Holy Orders.

L.    The Recipient of the Sacrament

Canon law states clearly that "only a baptized man (vir) receives the sacred ordination. The Lord chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by the choice made by the Lord. Thus ordination of women is not possible

This office is the result of a vocation, a calling from God. Therefore no one does man nor woman has a right to this office. It is not an office that one aspires to. If one thing they recognize the signs of God's call to ordained ministry, they must submit that desire to the authority of the Church. Thus like all other sacraments Holy orders is received. This is what formation in the seminary is about. It is the church testing the call of a seminarian to see if it is true. 

All ordained ministers in the Latin Church are chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life, and who intend to remain celibate "for the sake of the kingdom"

In the Eastern Churches this is not the case. Bishops are chosen from among celibates, but deacons and priests are chosen from married men or single men. Nevertheless celibacy is held in great esteem in the eastern churches and many men have chosen it freely. 

Celibacy implies that the celibate will not marry. Thus, in both churches east and west a man who has received the Sacrament of Holy Orders may not marry. Thus the question is a question of ordaining married men to the priesthood or diaconate. In no case is it a question of allowing ordained priests to marry.

All members of the church share the mission of Jesus. But the nature of their participation depends on each member's calling and personal response. By baptism, every Christian is united with Jesus and is made a sharer in His divine life and mission. The sacrament of Holy Orders offers the Christian a special participation in the ministry of Jesus. It makes the recipient, a representative of Jesus in the church.

The sacrament of Holy Orders is the act by which God the Father through a new pouring out of the Spirit confirms a baptized male to His Son, the Eternal Priest, and consecrates (sanctification) and leadership (catalyzer) in order to build up in the world, the people or the new and eternal covenant.

A.   Meaning.
The sacrament through which men receive the power and grace to perform the sacred duties of bishops, priest, and deacons.

B.   Biblical Foundations:

1.    At the Last Supper, Christ instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders. Jesus gave the Apostles and their successors the power to say mass. He said, after consecrating His body and blood: "Do this in remembrance of me." Thus, He gave the Apostles the power to offer the sacrifice of the mass. ( Mt. 22 – 23 ).

2.    On the Day of Resurrection, Christ gave the disciples the power to forgive sins. He breathed on them and said, "As the Father has sent me, I also send ... Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and those sins you shall retain, they are retained." ( Jn. 20 : 22 – 23 ).

3.    On the eve of the Ascension, Christ gave His disciples the mission to preach the Gospel, dispense the sacraments. "All the power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to essence all that I have commended you; and behold, I am with you all the days, even unto the consummation of the world. ( Mt. 28 : 19- 20 ).

C.   Historical Background:

1.    Old Testament Period:
•   The Priestly functions of the patriarchs ( as an intermediary between God and mankind ) as stated in Deuteronomy 33 : 10, namely:
a.    The discernment of God's will through the casting of sacred lots.
b.    Sacrifice
   c.    Cultic offering

2.    New Testament Period:
•   varieties of ministries and offices, namely:
a.    The 12 apostles – literally "those sent forth'.
   b.   The prophets.
   c.   The teachers.
d.   the wonder – workers, healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in tongues, evangelists, shepherds, elders, deacons and overseers.

•   The elders (presbyteroi), deacons (diakonoi) and overseers (episcopoi) became the basis of the three fold division of the Holy Orders.

•   The elders were elected before given the ritual conferual office by the impositions of hands ( Acts 14 : 23 ).

   Functions of the Bishops and elders.
a.   Take care of the church.
b.   Manage the church.
c.   God's stewards.
d.   Instruct and feed the flock

a.   Could manage a household well.
b.   Could organize, stabilize and combat dangerous innovations.
c.   Not recent converts.
d.   Not married more than once.
e.   With pastoral skills.

3.    Third to Fifth Centuries:
•   The bishop was elected by the people but has to receive the imposition of the hands from another bishop, while the presbyter or priest was ordained by the bishop alone as he was to serve the bishop.
•   The Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. degreed, that a priest be ordained for a particular church.

4.    Sixth to Twelve Centuries:
   a.    Germanization of Christianity.
•   Fusion of priestly and royal powers.
•   Priests caught up in the feudal system included tax collecting was to the feudal system or lords who selected them, and not to the bishops.
   b.    The Prankish Churches.
•   New rites of ordination.
•   Anointed with holy chrisms given with Croizer (staff). 

D.   Effects.
1.    A person is made the representative of Jesus in nourishing the church with God's love.
2.    A Christian is commissioned to continue the works of Jesus on behalf of the church.
3.   God offers an ordained minister the graces, which are necessary for the fulfillment of Jesus' mission.
4.   Receives a character which last forever (indelible mark of the soul).

E.   Requirements of the Priestly life.
1.    Life of celibacy.
2.    Life of prayer.
3.    Life of witnessing ( to live a moral life )
4.    Life of service ( to serve and not to be served ).

F.   Qualities of the Recipient.
1.    General health.
2.    Intellectual ability.
3.    Moral fitness.
4.    Strength of character.
5.    Holiness of life.
6.    Desire to do priestly work.
7.    The capacity to carry out the obligations of the ordained minister.

G.   Center of Life of a Priest.
1.    Life of prayer.
2.    Life of humility. 
3.    Life of patience.
4.   Life of study.
H.   Powers of the priest given by Christ.
1.    Power to consecrate bread and wine.
2.    Power to offer bread and wine.
3.    Administrating the body and blood.
4.    Power to forgive and retained sins.
5.    Proclaiming the Gospel.

I.   Chief Supernatural Power of the Priest.
1.    To change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Mass.
2.    To forgive sins in the sacrament of Penance.

J.   Two Categories of the exercise of Priestly Authority.
1.    Teaching of truth with authority ( knowledgeable ). 
2.    Directs the community in the path of unity ( unifies ). 

K.   Two Special Priestly Obligations ( Vows ).
   1.    Celibacy: the law that ask the candidate to voluntarily renounced the married state of life for the love of God and serving mankind. 
2.    Daily prayer of the liturgy of the Hours.

L.   Preliminary Sign of Vocation to the Priesthood.
1.    A boy or young man must be capable of living habitually in the state of grace.
2.    That he be attracted to the priesthood and manifest the attraction by:    a.    Virtuous life.
b.   Love of serving the mass.
c.   Frequent confession and communion. 
       d.    Teaching catechism.
      e.    helping others to be a good Catholic.

M.   Hierarchical Grade of Priesthood. 
   1.    Deacons. 
2.    Priests.
3.    Bishops.

N.   Sacred Office of Deaconate: 
It is the first and the lowest level in the degree of the sacrament of Holy Orders. The following are some of his duties :
1.    Preach the Gospel with permission from the bishop.
2.    Gives immediate assistance to the priest at high mass.
3.    Expose and repose the blessed sacrament at benediction.
4.    In case of necessity, they distribute holy communion and baptize.

O.   Functions of the Deacon:
1.    Ministering of charity in the church.
2.    Witnessing the faith.
3.    Defending the faith.

P.    Chief Duties of the Deacons.
1.    Assists in liturgy.
2.    Distribute the Holy Communion .
3.    Baptizes.
4.    Proclaims and preach the Gospel.

Q.    Qualities of a Good Priest
1.    He is a man of prayer. He needs the strength of a good prayer life to sustain him in a difficult situation. 
2.    He recognizes that he has come to serve the others. He sees his primary contribution to the community by faithfully proclaiming God's message – witnessing to the truth of Jesus' good news. 
3.       He witness to God's kingdom. One way of witnessing is through his practice o of celibacy, which is a total commitment of one's life – including one's gift of sexuality – to God and the cause of his kingdom.

R.      The Ministerial Priesthood of the Laity.
1.    To offer prayer and thanksgiving.
2.    Witness of holy life.
3.    To observe self – denial and practice charity.

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