Thou Art a Priest Forever…

I recently had the privilege of attending the ordination of five Catholic priests in Wichita Kansas, this past Saturday, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.  I had never been to a priestly ordination before, and I found it quite moving.  There is something quite human about the mere touching of another person, and to think that thi is how a God who became incarnate wished to pass on his authority throughout all of time seems…beautifully fitting to me, though no words seem to do it justice.  These are some photos I took of the event (some of them quite grainy and not well focused), along with a brief description of the Rite of Ordination itself.

The deacons to be ordained, ready to process in

The bishop of Wichita processing in

The bishop and the presiding priest ascend to the altar and begin the mass

The Rite of Ordination  (FYI: this is merely a description of the rite, and not an exact transcription.)

The candidates for ordination are called forward individually, and the director of vocations for the diocese presents them to the bishop, informing him that they have been found worthy of being ordained to the priesthood.

After the bishop delivers his homily, the candidates are called before him again, and the bishop asks them a series of questions, to confirm their intention to carry out the ministry of the priesthood, to which they utter the reply, “I do.”    Then each one of the candidates kneels before the bishop, placing his hands between those of the bishop, and makes a vow of obedience to the bishop.

After this, a litany is sung,  while each candidate lays prostrate before the altar, facedown and with his arms extended outward, while the bishop kneels before the altar of Christ. Next comes the most essential part of the rite, the laying on of hands, as each candidate kneels before the bishop, and the bishop lays his hands on their heads, conferring on them the authority of the priesthood.  Next, the rest of the priests present, which is most of the priests in the diocese, also come forward and lay their hands on the candidates’ heads.

Next, all of the new priests are invested with their priestly vestments, while an antiphon is sung, and then each kneels again before the bishop to have his palms anointed by the bishop, the palms that will prepare the eucharistic thanksgiving from now on.  Lastly, a paten holding the eucharistic bread and a chalice containing the wine mixed with water used in the mass is brought to each of them as they kneel before the bishop.  Then each is embraced, first by the bishop, and then by his brother priests.

Finally, having been ordained, the five new priests then concelebrate the eucharist along with the bishop, and help distribute communion to those present. 

After the mass is ended, the new priests first and then the bishop process out.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

~ by Alypius on June 1, 2010.

One Response to “Thou Art a Priest Forever…”

  1. Where are the women priests?

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