Sacrament of Holy Orders

Topics: Holy Orders, Bishop, Priest Pages: 7 (1976 words) Published: February 20, 2013


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(Bishops, presbyterate(Priest), and diaconate(Deacons). It is one of the Sacraments of Vocation --- re directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so.  They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God. BRIEF HISTORY

The priesthood was established by God among the Israelites during their exodusfrom Egypt. God chose the tribe of Levi as priests for the nation. Their primaryduties were the offering of sacrifice and prayer for the people.Christ, in offering Himself up for the sins of all mankind, fulfilled the duties of the OldTestament priesthood once and for all. But just as the Eucharist makes that sacrificepresent to us today, so the New Testament priesthood is a sharing in the eternalpriesthood of Christ. While all believers are, in some sense, priests, some are set aside to serve the Church as Christ Himself did


* The word order in Roman antiquity designated an established civil body, especially a governing body.  * Ordinatio means incorporation into an ordo (order). In the Church there are established bodies which are ordo episcoporum, the ordo presbyterorum, the ordo diaconorum. 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 ordinatio, 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 his Church. * Ordination is also called consecratio, 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.


Catholic doctrine, 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 priests 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

The 3 Major or "Sacred" Orders:

I: Priests:
* Bishops: The First Degree of the Priesthood: 
Bishops have the greatest authority and jurisdiction (aside from Popes and Patriarchs), and have the powers to ordain men into the diaconate and priesthood, and to offer the Sacrament of Confirmation (this last power they can delegate to a priest), to dedicate churches and altars, to consecrate chalices and patens and bells, and to preside at the benediction of abbots. They are said to exercise the fullness of the priesthood. The symbol of this office is the mitre.

* Priests: The Second Degree of the Priesthood 
The duties and powers of the priest are to confect the Eucharist at the Mass; offer the Sacraments of Penance, Communion, and Unction; to preside at the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony; to solemnly baptize; to preach; to...

References: Richert, S. (n.d.). The sacrament of holy orderss. Retrieved from
Ahaus, H. (1911). Holy Orders. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved February 21, 2013 from New Advent:
Catechism of the catholic church. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Holy orders. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Sacrament of Holy Order Essay
  • Holy Orders Research Paper
  • Holy Orders Essay
  • Essay about Religion Education: Matrimony and Holy Orders
  • Catholic Sacraments Essay
  • Essay on The 7 Sacraments
  • Confirmation Sacrament Essay
  • CCRS Sacraments Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
Here and Now | The Mayor | Janvier 2015 (99)