Ordination Rites: Ordination of a Priest 17-21

The next five sections of the rite get us up to the consecration prayer. After the promise of respect and obedience, let’s see what happens with the about-to-be-ordained priest:


17. Then all stand, and the bishop, without his miter, invites the people to pray:

My dear people, let us pray, that the all-powerful Father may pour out the gifts of heaven on this servant of his, whom he has chosen to be a priest.

Deacon (except during the Easter season):

Let us kneel.


18. The candidate prostrates himself and, except during the Easter season, the rest kneel at their places.

The cantors begin the litany (see Chapter VI); they may add, at the proper place, names of other saints (for example, the patron saint, the titular of the church, the founder of the church, the patron saint of the one to be ordained) or peti­tions suitable to the occasion.

It would seem that priest-saints would be a good addition, too–folks like St John Vianney, St Peter Claver, St Vincent de Paul. Do ordained priests have saintly role models as they head into a life of prayer and service?

19. The bishop alone stands and, with his hands joined, sings or says:

Hear us, Lord our God, and pour out upon this servant of yours the blessing of the Holy Spirit and the grace and power of the priesthood. In your sight we offer this man for ordination: support him with your unfailing love.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.




Let us stand.

In silence, the laying on of hands takes place.


20. Then all stand. The candidate goes to the bishop and kneels before him. The bishop lays his hands on the candi­date’s head, in silence.

21. Next all the priests present, wearing stoles, lay their hands upon the candidate in silence. After the laying on of hands, the priests remain on either side of the bishop until the prayer of consecration is completed.

One commenter has found the previous rituals of examination and promises to be moving. Any priests find the litany of saints and the laying on of hands to be so?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Ordination Rites, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ordination Rites: Ordination of a Priest 17-21

  1. I will certainly not forget when I was ordained, first as a deacon, then a priest, and I was prostrate, and listened to the litany of the saints. I did listen to the names of the saints, and listened for my patron, and it was moving to hear the assembly sing with such enthusiasm. I felt great gratitude for these prayers, and had no anxiety, I knew I was being lifted up in prayer. The archbishop was nearby, my classmates on either side.

    It was, dare I say, perfect.

  2. FrMichael says:

    I found the Litany of Saints the most intense part of both ordinations. The prayers of the Communion of Saints– those in the next life and the ones present in the flesh at the Ordination Mass– are almost palpable.

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