GIRM 4: Ministerial Priesthood

Two sections discuss the priesthood. Tomorrow in GIRM 5, the priesthood of the baptized. But today, that of the clergy:

4. In truth, the nature of the ministerial Priesthood proper to the Bishop and the Priest, who offer the Sacrifice in the person of Christ and who preside over the gathering of the holy people, shines forth in the form of the rite itself, on account of the more prominent place and function given to the Priest. The essential elements of this function are set out and explained clearly and extensively in the Preface for the Chrism Mass on Thursday of Holy Week, the day, namely, when the institution of the Priesthood is commemorated. For in the Preface is made clear how the conferral of Priestly power is accomplished through the laying on of hands; and, by the listing one by one of its duties, that power is described which is the continuation of the power of Christ, the High Priest of the New Testament.

Complaints about the blurring of the ministerial priesthood for the mainstream Catholic Church strikes me as a fabrication. The prominent role of the priest is a given in any celebration of the Mass, even when the priest does not preach, or when there is concelebration.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to GIRM 4: Ministerial Priesthood

  1. The series is off to a fantastic start – thanks for this effort.

  2. Tony Kaiser says:

    It may seem to be a fabrication if you’ve never seen a priest who downplays his priestly ministry. It’s probably more localized to more “progressive” areas of the country and in a certain age-group of priests, but, unfortunately, there are those out there who fail to act in a priestly manner, and like any “current issue” the bad instances always get the most press. It’s the religious version of “if it bleeds, it leads.”

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