An Anglican Priest

"Protestant and Reformed according to the principles of the ancient Catholic Church." Bishop John Cosin (d. 1672)

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Since this blog is now a debate as to the propriety of any form of "modernized language" services. . .



THE ORDAINING OF PRIESTS

(from the AMiA "green book," largely the result of the work Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon of the American Prayer Book Society).


On the appointed day, the Service shall begin with Morning
Prayer which shall be followed immediately by a Sermon or
Exhortation, in which the duty and office of those who are to be
ordained Priests shall be declared, the necessity of the office of
Priest in the Church of Christ explained, and how the people of
God ought to esteem those who are made Priests, stated
After the Sermon or Exhortation, a senior Minister shall present
unto the Bishop (sitting in his Chair near to the holy Table) those
who are being presented for ordination and who are appropriately
dressed for the occasion.


Reverend Father in God, I present unto you these persons
to be admitted to the Office of Priest.

The Bishop shall reply,
Have you made sure that these persons whom you present
to us are truly suited and prepared, by their knowledge
of Holy Scripture, sound doctrine and holiness of
life, to exercise their ministry for the glory of God and the
building up of his Church?

A Senior Minister shall reply,
I have examined them and I believe that they are suited
and prepared for this Office.

The Bishop addresses the congregation
Brothers and Sisters, we intend, God willing, to receive
today these persons into the holy Office of Priesthood ( or,
the Presbyterate). After examining them we find that they
are both lawfully called to their Ministry and fit to enter
into it. But if any of you knows a reason why any of these
persons ought not to be received into this holy Ministry,
come forward in the Name of God and make known that
reason.

If any serious objection is alleged against a candidate, the
Bishop shall postpone that person’s ordination so that proper
investigation can be made.

The Bishop proceeds by commending to the prayers of the congregation
all those against whom no objection has been lodged.
Thus here shall be said or sung the Litany (see above pp.93).
After the Litany the Service of Holy Communion shall begin with
this Collect, followed by the Epistle and Gospel.


Almighty God, giver of all good things, who by your Holy
Spirit have appointed various orders of Ministry in your
Church: Look in mercy upon these your servants now
called to the Office of Priesthood (or, the Presbyterate);
and so fill them with the truth of your teaching, and
adorn them with holiness of life, that, both by word and
good example, they may faithfully serve you in this office,
to the glory of your Name, and the building up of your
Church; through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now
and for ever. Amen.

The Epistle. Ephesians 4. 1-7
The Gospel. Matthew 9. 36-38 or John 10. 1-16

Sitting in his chair the Bishop says to those about to be ordained,

My brothers in Christ, you have heard both beforehand
in your private examination and now in the sermon and
Scripture readings of what dignity and great importance
this office is, to which you are called. In the Name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, I urge you to keep in mind the nature
of this office. You are called to be messengers, watchmen
and stewards of the Lord; to teach and to warn, to feed
and nurture the Lord’s family; to seek for Christ’s sheep
scattered abroad in the evil world, so that they may be
saved through Christ for ever.
Always have printed in your memory what a great
treasure is committed to your charge. For the people
whom you serve are the flock of Christ, which he purchased
with his death and for whom he shed his precious
blood. The church and congregation is both Christ’s
Bride and his Body. Thus, if the congregation itself, or
any member of it, is hurt or hindered as a result of your
negligence, God will surely discipline or punish you for
this sin. Bearing this in mind, remember what God has
called you to be and to do. Never cease your work, care
and diligence, until you have done all that you can
possibly do, as is your duty, to bring all those under your
pastoral care, to a true knowledge of God, unity of faith
and maturity in Christ, so that there is no place available
for erroneous belief and immoral behavior.
Since this office is both so excellent in nature and so
difficult in its exercise, you see how most carefully and
studiously you ought to apply yourselves to this Ministry,
so as to prove yourselves dutiful and thankful to the
Lord, who has placed you in such a dignified position;
and also to take care neither to offend nor to cause others
to do so. It is only God himself who can give you the
intention and ability to do these things. Therefore, you
ought and you need to pray earnestly for his Holy Spirit.
And, bearing in mind, that you cannot accomplish so
important a work relating to the salvation of man, except
by using teaching and exhortation taken our of the Holy
Scriptures, and by living a life agreeable to the same,
consider how seriously you ought to study and learn the
Scriptures, and order your own life and that of your family,
according to the rule of the same Scriptures. For the
same reason, you ought to forsake and set aside, as
much as you can, all worldly cares and studies which
hinder you doing your duty.
We are persuaded that you have carefully weighed and
pondered these things for some time, and that you have
clearly determined, by God’s grace, to give yourselves
wholly to this office, into which it has pleased God to call
you, so that, to the extent of your ability, you will apply
yourself wholly to this one thing, and draw all your concerns
and studies towards the fulfillment of this ministry.
We are also persuaded that you will continually pray to
God the Father, by the mediation of our only Savior Jesus
Christ, for the heavenly assistance of the Holy
Spirit; that, by daily reading and considering of the
Scriptures, you will grow stronger in your ministry, and
endeavor to sanctify and shape your lives and those of
your families according to the rule and teaching of Christ,
that you may be wholesome and godly examples and patterns
for the people to follow.
And now, in order that this congregation of Christ’s
flock may also understand your minds and wills in these
things, and in order to strengthen your resolve to do your
duty before God, you shall plainly answer the questions
which we, in the Name of God, and of his Church, now
ask you.
Do you genuinely think that you are truly called,
according to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
canon law of this Church, to the order and ministry of
priesthood [or, the presbyterate]?

Answer. I do think so.

Are you persuaded that the holy Scriptures contain sufficiently
all doctrine that is necessary for eternal salvation
through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined
to teach the people committed to your pastoral
care from those Scriptures, and to teach nothing as
required or necessary for eternal salvation except that
which you are persuaded can be proved from the
Scriptures?

Answer. I am persuaded and will do so, by God’s grace.

Will you always make every effort faithfully to provide the
doctrine, the sacraments and the discipline of Christ, as
the Lord has commanded and this Church has received
them, according to the commandments of God; so that
you may teach the people under your pastoral care diligently
to keep and observe the same?

Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.

Will you be ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish
and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary
to God’s Word? And will you use private warning
and public exhortation, both to the sick as well as to the
healthy within your congregation, to accomplish this?

Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.

Will you be diligent in prayers, in reading of the Holy
Scriptures, and in such studies as assist in gaining a
fuller knowledge of them? And will you at the same time
lay aside worldly study and private pursuits?

Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.

Will you strive to frame and fashion your own selves, and
your families, according to the teaching of Christ? And
will you make both yourselves and them, to the best of
your ability, to be wholesome examples and patterns to
the flock of Christ?

Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.

Will you maintain and promote, as far as you are able,
quietness, peace and love amongst all Christian people,
and especially among those that are or will be under your
pastoral care?

Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.

Will you reverently obey those who are set above you in
the Church, and gladly and willingly accept their godly
advice and judgments?

Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.

The Bishop stands and prays,
Almighty God, who has given you the will to do all these
things, grant you strength and power to perform them;
that he may complete the work that he has begun in you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

During a period of silence the congregation shall be urged to pray
for those to be ordained. Then, as all those to be ordained kneel,
the Bishop shall lead the singing of Veni Creator Spiritus in an
appropriate English translation. On occasion, a suitable alternative
may be sung.


All shall continue in prayer as the Bishop says
,

Let us pray.
Almighty God and heavenly Father, by your infinite love
and goodness towards us, you have given to us your only
and most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ, to be our
Redeemer and the Author of everlasting life. After he had
completed our salvation by his death, and had ascended
into heaven, he sent into the world his Apostles,
Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers, and Pastors, by whose
labor and ministry he gathered together a great flock in
all parts of the world to proclaim the eternal praise of
your holy Name. For these great benefits of your eternal
goodness, and because you have graciously determined
to call these your servants to the same office and ministry,
which is appointed for the salvation of mankind, we
give you our heartfelt thanks, and we praise and worship
you. And we humbly pray that through your Son, you will
grant to all, who both here and in other places, call upon
your holy Name, the commitment to show ourselves continually
thankful to you for these and all your blessings;
and that we may increase daily in the knowing and
believing in you and in your Son, by the Holy Spirit.
Further, we humbly pray that by these your Ministers,
and by those over whom they shall be appointed as pastors,
your holy Name will be for ever glorified, and your
blessed kingdom enlarged; through the same your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reign with you in
the unity of the same Holy Spirit, now and for ever.
Amen.

The Bishop, with the Priests present, shall lay their hands upon
the head of each of the candidates, as in turn they kneel before
the Bishop, who says
,

Receive the Holy Spirit for the office and work of a Priest
[Presbyter] in the Church of God, now committed to you
by the laying on of our hands. Whosoever’s sins you forgive,
they are forgiven; and whosoever’s sins you retain,
they are retained. And be faithful in the teaching of the
Word of God and in the administration of his holy
Sacraments, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then the Bishop shall give to each a Bible, saying to him,
Take authority to preach the Word of God, and to administer
the holy Sacraments in the congregation to which
you are lawfully appointed.

When the ordinations are completed, the Nicene Creed shall be
said or sung in either the traditional or contemporary version,
and the Order for Holy Communion shall continue. Those who
have been ordained shall receive Communion first and together.
After the last Collect and before the final Blessing, these two
Collects shall be said
.

Most merciful Father, we earnestly ask you to send upon
these your servants your heavenly blessing, that they
may be clothed with righteousness, and that your Word
spoken by their mouths may have such success that it
may never be spoken in vain. Grant also that we may
have grace to hear and receive what they shall proclaim
and teach from your most holy Word as the means of our
salvation, and grant that in all our words and deeds we
may seek your glory, and the increase of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Go before us, Lord, with your most gracious favor and
accompany us with your continual help, so that in all
our works begun, continued and ended in you, we
may glorify your holy Name, and finally by your
mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing.

If on the one day some are to be made Deacons and others
Priests, those to be Deacons shall first be presented, and then
those to be Priests. The Litany shall be said or sung once but the
Collect for Deacons and that for Priests shall both be used. The
Epistle shall be Ephesians 4. 7-13.and immediately after the
Epistle shall be the examination and ordination of the Deacons.
Then, after one of them has read the Gospel (Matthew 9. 36-38;
or Luke 12. 35-39) those to be ordained Priest shall be examined
and ordained
.

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