The Answer to the BURNING QUESTION of the Week
By Paul Dion, STL
Here 's the Burning Question:
"Would you attend an Ordination Ceremony? Why?"
Whatever your answer was, or is, ParishWorld.net presents these reasons why a Catholic person should go out of the way to attend an ordination. By the way, the following are not mandatory reasons for attendance at an ordination or the absence from one. These statements do not impact your moral standing in the Church. These reasons to attend are spiritual suggestions.
First, the careful progression of the ritual itself clarifies the road taken by the candidate for the priesthood. The first step is the same step that the prophets of the Old Testament had to take when Yahweh called them. When their name is called they must answer, "Present." That defining moment takes them away from the "real" World and places them in the Kingdom of God at another level. Let me suggest strongly that you read the first few chapters of the Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. See that their Call from God requires a strong assent from them.
Second, the ritual takes them before the bishop and he asks them, "Are you willing and prepared to obey me and my successors?" They, once again have to answer, "Yes" or it's all over. They have now listened to the voice of God and to the voice of God through His high priest, the bishop from whom they will receive their sustenance for the rest of their lives.
Third, they prostrate themselves on the floor while the entire congregation implores all the saints of heaven to help these men be true leaders of the people of God for the rest of their lives. The litany of the saints is a very emotional moment in the ritual. In the call of some of the prophets, the angels surround the throne of God during the vision of the call and the prophet is assured of heavenly spiritual support. Remember the opening of the heavens during the Baptism of Jesus? During this litany, the candidates are surrounded by the living saints, we faithful,praying for them and assuring them of spiritual support as well. When they stand up again, the relief and the joy in the Temple is palpable.
Fourth, is the imposition of hands, first from the bishop, then from all the ordained priests present. Turn to your Bible now and open it at chapter 6 of the Acts of the Apostles and read the first 7 verses. You will then see that the ordination ritual copies exactly what the Apostles did in the very, very early days of the Church. If you go to an ordination ( we strongly suggest that you do, at least once in your life ) you will be deeply moved by this act because it will bring home to you the meaning of the priesthood, the true servant of God. You will know that in the moment of the imposition of hands, you too are putting your hands on the head of the priests by all the prayers and good acts of love that you have offered to them. When he community of priests has finished laying on their hands, the candiates are no longer candidates, they are priests.
Fifth, the consecration of the hands of the priest with the holy oil, chrism. These are the hands of Christ now. At Baptism the oil is placed on the breast of the child and on the head...in the case of an adult, on the head. In Confirmation the chrism is placed on the head. At Ordination, the cycle is completed and the hands are consecrated to lift, support, embrace, offer, bless and pray, palms visible as a welcoming gesture of acceptance the needs of the community of God's people. These consecrated hands are the symbol of constant intercession for the good of the faithful.
Sixth, the new priests offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass around the altar of sacrifice and of banquet.
We at ParishWorld.net say that to attend an ordination ceremony is to live in about four hours the entire history of our personal salvation. It is an event that makes us all come to a deeper faith and human understanding of what it means for us to participate in the priesthood of Christ through our baptism. if you want to be a better Catholic with deeper faith about what being Catholic means and requires, you owe it to God and to yourself to be there at an ordination.
If you have further questions or comments, please share them with us either by submitting a coment or writing to email@example.com
CLICK HERE to post a comment on this Burning Question
or just to see what others are saying.