Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  385 / 904 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 385 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery


remains powerless to bring about salvation, needing to repeat its

sacrifices ceaselessly and being unable to achieve a definitive sanc-

tification, 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 consecra-

tory 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 priests,

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 the 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.


10 Cf.


5:3; 7:27; 10:1-4.

11 Cf. Num 11:24-25.


Roman Pontifical,

Ordination of Bishops 26, Prayer of Consecration.


Roman Pontifical,

Ordination of Priests 22, Prayer of Consecration.


Roman Pontifical,

Ordination of Deacons 21, Prayer of Consecration.