As we prepare for the ordinations to the priesthood this coming Saturday, May 17th, let's take time for a brief Q&A, and close with a prayer.
How is the Sacrament of Holy Orders celebrated? “The Sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred, in each of its three degrees, by means of the imposition of hands on the head of the ordinand by the bishop who pronounces the solemn prayer of consecration. With this prayer he asks God on behalf of the ordinand for the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit and for the gifts of the Spirit proper to the ministry to which he is being ordained.” (Compendium CCC, no. 331)
With what authority is the priestly ministry exercised? “Ordained priests in the exercise of their sacred ministry speak and act not on their own authority, nor even by mandate or delegation of the community, but rather in the Person of Christ the Head and in the name of the Church. Therefore, the ministerial priesthood differs essentially and not just in degree from the priesthood common to all the faithful for whose service Christ instituted it.” (Compendium CCC, no. 336)
O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep Thy priests within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart, where none may touch them. Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Thy Sacred Body. Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with Thy Precious Blood. Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. Let Thy Holy Love surround them from the world's contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here and their everlasting crown hereafter. Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us: obtain for us numerous and holy priests. Amen.