The Ordination of a Priest
A hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.
The people standing, the Bishop says
|Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.|
|People||And blessed be his kingdom, now
and for ever.
In place of the above, from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost
|Bishop||Alleluia. Christ is risen.|
|People||The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.|
In Lent and on other penitential occasions
|Bishop||Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.|
|People||His mercy endures for ever.|
The Bishop then says
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from you no secrets are hid. Cleanse the thoughts of our
hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may
perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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The bishop and people sit. A Priest and a Lay Person, and additional
presenters if desired, standing before the bishop, present the ordinand,
N., Bishop in the Church of God, on behalf of the clergy and
people of the Diocese of N., we present to you N.N. to be
ordained a priest in Christ's holy catholic Church.
Has he been selected in accordance with the canons of this
Church? And do you believe his manner of life to be suitable
to the exercise of this ministry?
We certify to you that he has satisfied the requirements of the
canons, and we believe him to be qualified for this order.
The Bishop says to the ordinand
Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of
Christ as this Church has received them? And will you, in
accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop
and other ministers who may have authority over you and
I am willing and ready to do so; and I solemnly declare that I
do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments
to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to
salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine,
discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church.
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The Ordinand then signs the above Declaration in the sight of all
All stand. The Bishop says to the people
Dear friends in Christ, you know the importance of this
ministry, and the weight of your responsibility in presenting
N.N. for ordination to the sacred priesthood. Therefore if
any of you know any impediment or crime because of which
we should not proceed, come forward now, and make it
If no objection is made, the Bishop continues
Is it your will that N. be ordained a priest?
The People respond in these or other words
Will you uphold him in this ministry?
The People respond in these or other words
The Bishop then calls the people to prayer with these or similar words
In peace let us pray to the Lord.
All kneel, and the Person appointed leads the Litany for Ordinations, or
some other approved litany. At the end of the litany, after the Kyries, the
Bishop stands and reads the Collect for the Day, or the following Collect,
or both, first saying
|The Lord be with you|
|People||And also with you.|
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Let us pray.
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look
favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred
mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry
out in tranquillity the plan of salvation; let the whole world
see and know that things which were being cast down are being
raised up, and things which had grown old are being made
new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection
by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus
Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Ministry of the Word
Three Lessons are read. Lay persons read the Old Testament Lesson and
The Readings are ordinarily selected from the following list and may be
lengthened if desired. On a Major Feast, or on a Sunday, the Bishop may
select Readings from the Proper of the Day.
Old Testament Isaiah 6:1-8, or Numbers 11:16-17,24-25
(omitting the final clause)
Psalm 43, or 132:8-19
Epistle 1 Peter 5:1-4, or Ephesians 4:7,11-16, or Philippians 4:4-9
*It is to be noted that where the words elder, elders, and fellow elder, appear in
translations of 1 Peter 5:1, the original Greek terms presbyter, presbyters, and
fellow presbyter, are to be substituted.
The Reader first says
A Reading (Lesson) from _____________.
A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.
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After each Reading, the Reader may say
|The Word of the Lord|
|People||Thanks be to God.|
or the Reader may say Here ends the Reading (Epistle).
Silence may follow.
A Psalm, canticle, or hymn follows each Reading.
Then, all standing, a Deacon or a Priest reads the Gospel, first saying
|The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
according to _____________.
|People||Glory to you, Lord Christ.|
|Matthew 9:35-38, or John 10:11-18, or John 6:35-38|
After the Gospel, the Reader says
|The Gospel of the Lord|
|People||Praise to you, Lord Christ.|
The Congregation then says or sings the Nicene Creed
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
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We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
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All are seated except the ordinand, who stands before the Bishop.
The Bishop addresses the ordinand as follows
My brother, the Church is the family of God, the body of
Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. All baptized people
are called to make Christ known as Savior and Lord, and to
share in the renewing of his world. Now you are called to
work as pastor, priest, and teacher, together with your
bishop and fellow presbyters, and to take your share in the
councils of the Church.
As a priest, it will be your task to proclaim by word and deed
the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to fashion your life in
accordance with its precepts. You are to love and serve the
people among whom you work, caring alike for young and
old, strong and weak, rich and poor. You are to preach, to
declare God's forgiveness to penitent sinners, to pronounce
God's blessing, to share in the administration of Holy
Baptism and in the celebration of the mysteries of Christ's
Body and Blood, and to perform the other ministrations
entrusted to you.
In all that you do, you are to nourish Christ's people from the
riches of his grace, and strengthen them to glorify God in this
life and in the life to come.
My brother, do you believe that you are truly called by God
and his Church to this priesthood?
|Answer||I believe I am so called.|
|Bishop||Do you now in the presence of
the Church commit
yourself to this trust and responsibility?
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|Bishop||Will you respect and be guided
by the pastoral
direction and leadership of your bishop?
|Bishop||Will you be diligent in the
reading and study of the
Holy Scriptures, and in seeking the knowledge of
such things as may make you a stronger and more
able minister of Christ?
|Bishop||Will you endeavor so to
minister the Word of God
and the sacraments of the New Covenant, that the
reconciling love of Christ may be known and
|Bishop||Will you undertake to be a
faithful pastor to all
whom you are called to serve, laboring together
with them and with your fellow ministers to build
up the family of God?
|Bishop||Will you do you best to pattern
your life [and that
of your family, or household, or community] in
accordance with the teachings of Christ, so that you
may be a wholesome example to your people?
|Bishop||Will you persevere in prayer,
both in public and in
private, asking God's grace, both for yourself and for
others, offering all your labors to God, through the
mediation of Jesus Christ, and in the sanctification
of the Holy Spirit?
|Bishop||May the Lord who has given you
the will to do these
things give you the grace and power to perform them.
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The Consecration of the Priest
All now stand except the ordinand, who kneels facing the Bishop and the
presbyters who stand to the right and left of the Bishop.
The hymn, Veni Creator Spiritus, or the hymn, Veni Sancte Spiritus, is
A period of silent prayer follows, the people still standing.
The Bishop then says this Prayer of Consecration
God and Father of all, we praise you for your infinite love in
calling us to be a holy people in the kingdom of your Son
Jesus our Lord, who is the image of your eternal and invisible
glory, the firstborn among many brethren, and the head of
the Church. We thank you that by his death he has overcome
death, and, having ascended into heaven, has poured his gifts
abundantly upon your people, making some apostles, some
prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to
equip the saints for the work of ministry and the building up
of his body.
Here the Bishop lays hands upon the head of the ordinand, the
Priests who are present also laying on their hands. At the same time
the Bishop prays
Therefore, Father, through Jesus Christ your Son, give
your Holy Spirit to N.; fill him with grace and power, and
make him a priest in your Church.
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The Bishop then continues
May he exalt you, O Lord, in the midst of your people; offer
spiritual sacrifices acceptable to you; boldly proclaim the
gospel of salvation; and rightly administer the sacraments of
the New Covenant. Make him a faithful pastor, a patient
teacher, and a wise councilor. Grant that in all things he may
serve without reproach, so that your people may be
strengthened and your Name glorified in all the world. All
this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and
the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.
The People in a loud voice respond Amen.
The new priest is now vested according to the order of priests.
The Bishop then gives a Bible to the newly ordained, saying
Receive this Bible as a sign of the authority given you to
preach the Word of God and to administer his holy
Sacraments. Do not forget the trust committed to you as a
priest of the Church of God.
The Bishop greets the newly ordained.
The new Priest then says to the congregation
|The peace of the Lord be always with you.|
|People||And also with you.|
The Presbyters present greet the newly ordained; who then greets family
members and others, as may be convenient. The Clergy and People greet
534 Ordination: Priest
At the Celebration of the Eucharist
The liturgy continues with the Offertory. Deacons prepare the Table.
Standing at the Lord's Table, with the Bishop and other presbyters, the
newly ordained Priest joins in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and
in the Breaking of the Bread.
In place of the usual postcommunion prayer, the following is said
Almighty Father, we thank you for feeding us with the holy
food of the Body and Blood of your Son, and for uniting us
through him in the fellowship of your Holy Spirit. We thank
you for raising up among us faithful servants for the ministry
of your Word and Sacraments. We pray that N. may be to us
an effective example in word and action, in love and patience,
and in holiness of life. Grant that we, with him, may serve
you now, and always rejoice in your glory; through Jesus
Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Bishop then asks the new priest to bless the people.
The new Priest says
The blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.
A Deacon, or a Priest if no deacon is present, dismisses the people
|Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the
power of the Spirit.
|People||Thanks be to God.|
From Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost, "Alleluia, alleluia," may
be added to the dismissal and to the response.
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