Ordination Rites: Ordination of a Bishop 26

We’ll devote this whole post to the consecration prayer. Remember when we last left the bishop-elect, the Book of the Gospels was on his head, handled by two deacons. The prayer commences with an allusion to Saint Paul’s greeting in 2 Corinthians:


26. Next the principal consecrator, with his hands extended over the bishop-elect, sings the prayer of consecration or says it aloud:

God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies and God of all consolation, you dwell in heaven, yet look with compassion on all that is humble. You know all things before they come to be; 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. From the creation of the world you have been pleased to be glorified by those whom you have chosen.

As usual, the prayer is prefaced with a nod to salvation history.

An epicletic moment for the entire collection of bishops present:

The following part of the prayer is recited by all the consecrating bishops, with hands joined:

So now pour out upon this chosen one that power which is from you, the governing Spirit whom you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the Spirit given by him to the holy apostles, who founded the Church in every place to be your temple for the unceasing glory and praise of your name.

Then the principal consecrator continues alone:

Father, you know all hearts.

You have chosen your servant for the office of bishop. May he be a shepherd to your holy flock, and a high priest blameless in your sight, ministering to you night and day; may he always gain the blessing of your favor and offer the gifts of your holy Church. Through the Spirit who gives the grace of high priest­hood grant him the power to forgive sins as you have commanded, to assign ministries as you have decreed, and to loose every bond by the authority which you gave to your apostles.

May he be pleasing to you by his gentleness and purity of heart, presenting a fragrant offering to you, through Jesus Christ, your Son, through whom glory and power and honor are yours with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, now and for ever.

All: Amen.

This last section strikes me for its personal tone, the encouragement of spiritual virtues in the man ordained.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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