Traditional Ordination Rite
From the Pastor Traditional Ordination Rite
Saturday, May 18, Bishop Gregory Parkes ordained three men to the Priesthood (assuming everything went as planned, since this was written before that date!) Last week at Mass I encouraged all of you to attend, especially if you have never been to an ordination before. I mentioned that I have never been to an ordination in the older Rite and hope to see it happen in this diocese one day. That got me thinking, so I later went online to check out the differences between the current and the 1962 rituals. There are many! Though I cannot reproduce all of it here, below is a quite interesting address and exhortation near the beginning of the older ceremony. It comes from SanctaMissa.org if you wish to read the whole ritual.
The bishop addresses the clergy and the people as follows:
My dear brethren, since the captain of a ship and its passengers alike have reason to feel safe or else in danger on a voyage, they ought to be of one mind in their common interests. Not without reason, then, have the fathers decreed that the people too should be consulted in the choice of those who are to be raised to the ministry of the altar.
For sometimes it happens that one or another person has knowledge about the life and conduct of a candidate that is not generally known. And the people will necessarily be more inclined to be loyal to a priest if they have given consent to his ordination.
As far as I can judge, the conduct of these deacons, who with God's help are to be ordained to the priesthood, is commendable and is pleasing to God. In my opinion, then, they are deserving of being promoted to a higher honor in the Church. Yet it is well to consult the people as a whole, rather than to rely on one or a few, whose approval might be a consequence of partiality or of misjudgment.
Be perfectly free, then, to say what you know about the conduct and character of the candidates and what you think of their fitness. But let your approval of their elevation to the priesthood be based more on their merits than on your own affection for them. Consequently, if anyone has anything against them, let him for God's honor and in God's name come forward and sincerely speak his mind. Only let him remember his own state.
After a brief pause the bishop continues, addressing himself now in exhortation to the candidates:
My dear sons, who are about to be consecrated to the office of the priesthood, endeavor to receive that office worthily, and once ordained, strive to discharge it in a praiseworthy manner. A priest's duties are to offer sacrifice, to bless, to govern, to preach, and to baptize. So high a dignity should be approached with great awe, and care must be taken that those chosen for it are recommended by eminent wisdom, upright character, and a long-standing virtuous life.
Thus it was that when the Lord commanded Moses to choose as his helpers seventy men from the whole tribe of Israel, to whom He would impart the gifts of the Holy Spirit, He said to him: "Choose the ones whom you know to be elders of the people" (Num 11.16). It is you yourselves who are prefigured in these seventy elders, if now, by the help of the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit, you are faithful to the Ten Commandments, and display soundness and maturity in knowledge and in action.
Under the same kind of sign and figure, our Lord, in the New Law, chose the seventy-two disciples, and sent them before Him two by two to preach. Thus He taught us both by word and by deed that the ministers of His Church should be perfect both in faith and in works; in other words, that their lives should be founded on the twofold love of God and of neighbor. Strive, then, to be such, that by God's grace you may be worthy of being chosen to assist Moses and the twelve apostles, that is, the Catholic bishops who are prefigured by Moses and the apostles. Then indeed is Holy Church surrounded, adorned, and ruled by a wonderful variety of ministers, when from her ranks are consecrated bishops, and others of lesser orders, priests, deacons, and subdeacons, each of a different dignity, yet comprising the many members of the one body of Christ.
Therefore, my dear sons, chosen as you are by the judgment of our brethren to be consecrated as our helpers, keep yourselves blameless in a life of chastity and sanctity. Be well aware of the sacredness of your duties. Be holy as you deal with holy things. When you celebrate the mystery of the Lord's death, see to it that by mortifying your bodies you rid yourselves of all vice and concupiscence. Let the doctrine you expound be spiritual medicine for the people of God. Let the fragrance of your lives be the delight of Christ's Church, that by your preaching and example you help to build up the edifice which is the family of God. May it never come about that we, for promoting you to so great an office, or you, for taking it on yourselves, should deserve the Lord's condemnation; but rather may we merit a reward from Him. So let it be by His grace.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka
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