From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS


The 7 Steps of Ordination

Part V:   The Ordination of Priests,  continued

After the laying on of hands and the consecratory preface, the Bishop vests the newly ordained priest in the vestments of the priesthood.  At the beginning of the ceremony, the candidate wears the stole over the left shoulder (as do all other deacons).  The Bishop places the stole around the right shoulder and crosses it in front.  The crossed stole symbolizes the state of obedience of the priest under the bishop.  The priest then receives the chasuble, with the back of the vestment folded, while the bishop says, “Take the vestment of the priesthood which signifies charity; for God is able to advance you in charity and in perfection.”

Then follows another prayer made by the bishop and the intoning of the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus. This hymn is directed especially toward the Holy Spirit, asking Him to pour out His grace and His seven gifts on the newly ordained.  During the hymn, the bishop anoints the hands of the priest with the oil of the catechumens and prays, “May it please you, O Lord, to consecrate and sanctify these hands by this anointing and our blessing… that whatever they bless may be blessed, and whatever they consecrate may be consecrated in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Afterwards, the new priest is presented a chalice with water and wine and a paten on top of it with a host.  While touching the chalice and paten, the bishop says the prayer conferring upon the priest the power to offer the Mass.

The Mass of Ordination then continues. The new priest celebrates his first Mass as he joins the bishop in saying the prayers of the offertory and canon. Only in ordinations do we find the act of concelebrating in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

After the communion, the new priest receives the power to hear confession.  The bishop says the same words that Our Lord said to the Apostles on the day of His Resurrection: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain are retained.”  The chasuble is then unfolded, symbolizing the authority which has been given to the priest by his bishop.  Then the new priest makes a promise of obedience to the bishop and to his lawful successors.  Finally, the bishop blesses the newly ordained and exhorts him to fulfill well the priestly ministry, reminding him to study carefully the rite of the Mass before celebrating it on his own.                                                                                                                                                  Abbe Ryan Post


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