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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

393

preaching, in presiding over funerals, and in dedicating them-

selves to the various ministries of charity.

57

1571

Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin Church has restored

the diaconate “as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy,”

58

while

the Churches of the East had always maintained it. This

permanent diaco­

nate,

which can be conferred on married men, constitutes an important

enrichment for the Church’s mission. Indeed it is appropriate and useful

that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church, whether

in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable

works, should “be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has

come down from the apostles. They would be more closely bound to the

altar and their ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacra-

mental grace of the diaconate.”

59

IV.

T

he

C

elebration of

T

his

S

acrament

1572

Given the importance that the ordination of a bishop, a

priest, or a deacon has for the life of the particular Church, its

celebration calls for as many of the faithful as possible to take part.

It should take place preferably on Sunday, in the cathedral, with

solemnity appropriate to the occasion. All three ordinations, of the

bishop, of the priest, and of the deacon, follow the samemovement.

Their proper place is within the Eucharistic liturgy.

1573

The

essential rite

of the sacrament of Holy Orders for all three

degrees consists in the bishop’s imposition of hands on the head of

the ordinand and in the bishop’s specific consecratory prayer asking

God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and his gifts proper to the

ministry to which the candidate is being ordained.

60

1574

As in all the sacraments additional rites surround the celebration.

Varying greatly among the different liturgical traditions, these rites have

in common the expression of the multiple aspects of sacramental grace.

Thus in the Latin Church, the initial rites—presentation and election of the

ordinand, instruction by the bishop, examination of the candidate, litany

of the saints—attest that the choice of the candidate is made in keeping

with the practice of the Church and prepare for the solemn act of conse­

cration, after which several rites symbolically express and complete the

mystery accomplished: for bishop and priest, an anointing with holy

chrism, a sign of the special anointing of the Holy Spirit who makes their

ministry fruitful; giving the book of the Gospels, the ring, the miter, and

the crosier to the bishop as the sign of his apostolic mission to proclaim the

Word of God, of his fidelity to the Church, the bride of Christ, and his office

as shepherd of the Lord’s flock; presentation to the priest of the paten and

chalice, “the offering of the holy people” which he is called to present to

57 Cf.

LG

29;

SC

35 § 4;

AG

16.

58

LG

29 § 2.

59

AG

16 § 6.

60 Cf. Pius XII, apostolic constitution,

Sacramentum Ordinis: DS 3858.

1579

699

1585

1294

796