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The Major Orders

The Subdiaconate 
The Diaconate 
The Priesthood 
according to the Traditional Catholic Rite of Holy Orders Return to True Catholic

by A. Biskupek, S.V.D
Mission Press, 1954
Imprimi Potest May 4, 1942 Charles Michel, S.V.D. Provincial
Imprimatur May 4, 1942 + Samuel A. Stritch, D.D.
Archbishop of Chicago 
There are three Major Orders: 
  1. The Subdiaconate
  2. The Diaconate
  3. The Priesthood
They are called major or sacred because of their dignity, powers, and obligations. Of these orders two are sacramental, namely, the diaconate and the priesthood: only these two orders imprint upon the soul the indelible mark of the priesthood, that is, a special similarity with Christ, the divine High Priest. We do not mention the consecration of a bishop as a special order, because the episcopal order is that of the priesthood in its highest perfection. In the bishop are vested the full powers of the priesthood; but not all these powers are conferred upon the ordinary priest, who is therefore a priest of lower rank. 

Major orders must be conferred during Mass, and, as a rule, on the Ember Saturdays, the Saturday before Passion Sunday, and Holy Saturday. For a grave reason, however, the bishop may also confer them on any Sunday or feast of obligation. 

The rite of conferring major orders is more solemn that that of minor orders. The features of the preceding ordinations remain: 

  1. the call, 
  2. the instruction, 
  3. the bestowal of the office, and 
  4. prayer. 
But there are added more prayers and other ceremonies, in accordance with the nature of the respective order. 

Holy Orders Home Page | Sacrament of Holy Orders | Tonsure
Minor Orders | Porter | Reader | Exorcist | Acolyte
Major Orders | Subdeacon | Deacon | Priest
Litany of the Saints | Veni Creator | Encyclical of Pope Pius XI

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