Published in Church and Life No 16 (1824) 20.10 to 09.11.2011.

Priests are always ordained during a Divine Liturgy.  This is so, because the central role of a priest is the Eucharist, the response to the command from Jesus Christ to “do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke22:19).  The liturgical function of the priest is his main role.  He has other duties as well, but he was ordained during a liturgy to bring alive the presence of Jesus to the faithful in all its liturgical services.

 In the early days of the church men were often reluctant to accept ordination and this was because ordination carried a certain promise of persecution or martyrdom.

 Thus a priest is not ordained for personal desires or goals.  He is ordained so that God’s Grace may be passed on through him to the people of God.  Men are ordained for the purpose of doing God’s Will; not for any other reason i.e. wanting to be a leader or having power.  Ordination is a sign of a priest’s desire for sanctity – his own and that of his people.  Priests are the leaders of public prayer which is strengthened by his own personal prayer.

 In the Body of Christ, which is the “church”, lay people are not mere spectators.  They are an integral part of the life of the church.  They work together with the priest to build and to strengthen the church.

 During the ordination of the priest, the bishop places his hands on the head of the priest and says “Divine Grace which cures the infirm and supplies what is wanting …. Let us pray for him that the grace of the Most Holy Spirit may come upon him”.  The Holy Spirit allows the grace of God to work through him for the good of thekingdomofGod.

 He hears confessions, baptises people, creates families when he witnesses marriages, but most importantly, he changes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.  The priest brings the presence of Christ to people from birth to their death.