Holy Orders

The Sacrament of ordination can be referred to as the sacrament of differentiation since it varies in three different degrees:
– Deaconate
– Priesthood
– Episcopate
This is a ministerial sacrament. As compared to the common priesthood, ordination qualifies this sacrament to become a ministerial sacrament.

Development of the Mass

Seven Sacraments

Pre-Vatican
Before the Second Vatican Council, there was a tradition of referring to this sacrament as Priesthood. This perspective leaves out the Deaconate and Episcopate.
Vatican Fathers, give us a profound teaching that the Sacrament is to be known as a Sacrament of Ordination and not the sacrament of “Priesthood
The priesthood is only a second degree of ordination.
The Ordination of Men into the ministerial sacrament is a tradition from the early Church of the Apostles who was commissioned by Christ himself, and in turn, they ordained their fellow men who also handed the tradition to their successors, up to date.

Ordination of Women
The Catholic Church in the universal sense does not ordain women into the ministerial duties as clergy. This Tradition remained as it were when Christ only commanded the Twelve Men in the presence of other women (Mary, Magdalene) after ressurection. Matthew 28: 18-20 he commissions the 12 Apostles. At the last supper, there was the Twelve and Jesus.
So, for this, I can state that these are the two reasons why the Church does not ordain women: first, the Church does not ordain women since it was Christ who chose only men and secondly, I don’t know why Jesus chose to ordain men, it is a Divine wisdom.

However, women were ordained to the first degree of Deaconate, so as to be ministers of Baptism during the periods of St. John Chrysostom. (more on this coming soon)

Development of the Mass

Seven Sacraments

Deaconate
The first degree of ordination is for a young man to become a Deacon. This is meant to provide service to the Church. The deacon provides the services of Baptising, sending forth the faithful after Mass, the blessing of homes, reading the word of God.
The diaconate can be viewed in two degrees, the permanent diaconate, and the temporal diaconate. A temporal diaconate eventually becomes a Priest (Second Degree)

Priesthood
The second degree of Ordination.
The Priest is meant to offer the sacrifice of the body of Christ in an unbloody manner at the Alter. By being a Priest, one participates in the fullness of Ordination by being vicars of the Bishop and are in the person of Christ.

Episcopate
This is the third and the highest degree of ordination. The men ordained at episcopate, become Bishops of a local church and as Brothers, they become pastors of the universal Church.

A Bishop/Patriarch is the head of a diocese/Eparchy/Patriarchate.
The Bishops have differentiation depending on the duties attached to them:
Pope – Has a white cap. The man who seats at the seat of Peter and is the Vicar of Christ. The Bishop of Rome and leader of the Universal Church. He acts in two capacities (Bishop of Rome and Head of the Universal Church) and has a universal pallium for the universal church.
Bishop – Use purple as their colour. The leader of his local church/diocese. Acts in communion with other Bishops as Brothers and in communion with the Pope.
Arch-Bishop – The head of an archdiocese. An Arch-Diocese forms a metropolitan diocese with the bordering dioceses (Is a cluster of Dioceses). An arch-Bishop represents the Pope in the Metropolitan Diocese and has a Pallium.
Cardinal – They are identified with a red cap. The Bishop of a Diocese is appointed to Cardinal to have the function of electing a new pope and to advise the sitting Pope. The title Cardinal is to be inserted in between the names of the Bishop e.g Jude Cardinal Kwena, It is never Cardinal Jude Kwena. Over time, the office of a cardinal was meant for a Baptized Catholic man, but due to the nature of their work, the holder of this position was elevated right through from an ordained priest to an arch-Bishop.
Abbot – In charge of a monastery
Auxilliary Bishop – Appointed Bishop to assist a sitting Bishop in a Vast Diocese.

These are just some of the types of Bishops. However, Episcopate is the highest office in the Church ad all work together in a principle of collegiality (A brotherhood of communion in different diversity). Imagine you could attend a Holy mass from your upcountry of a different diocese where the creed is recited, while at your local diocese, the creed is sung. These are some of the teachings the Bishops employ in their own diocese/territories.

Development of the Mass

Seven Sacraments

Return to the homepage...

Read about Baptism and Infant Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage

5 thoughts on “Holy Orders”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *