The Sacrament of Holy Orders
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the second sacrament of the Sacraments of Service or Vocation.
All members of the church share in the priesthood of Christ because of their baptism and that within the common priesthood, some men are consecrated as members of the ministerial priesthood through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1536)
An ordained minister becomes a member of the “order” of bishop, priest, or deacon. The word order means “an office.” Bishops receive the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. Priests are ordained to be co-workers with the bishops. Deacons are not ordained to priesthood. They are ordained to help and assist bishops and priests.
Like Baptism and Confirmation, the sacrament of Holy Orders imprints a permanent character upon a person’s soul. Thus, this sacrament is given only once and upon bestowed can never loss the powers received.
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