Holy Orders Home Page 

Sacrament of Holy Orders 


Minor Orders 


Major Orders 


Litany of the Saints 

Veni Creator 


The Sacrament of Holy Orders

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 
Christ, our divine Savior, united in His person the office of priest, teacher, and king. As priest He offered the great sacrifice of atonement when He died on the cross; He anticipated this bloody sacrifice in an unbloody manner at the Last Supper. As teacher He announced the glad tidings of the gospel and brought to its completion the revelation contained in the Old Testament. As king He gave to the world the law of salvation, which all men must observe in order to save their souls. Christ Himself ascended into heaven, but He willed that the work which He had begun should be continued on earth. For this reason He instituted the sacrament of holy orders, by which He conferred upon the apostles His own mission and powers, and ordained that they in turn should transmit them to their successors. He did this at the Last Supper; after He had changed bread and wine into His own body and blood, and thus had celebrated the first Mass, He conferred the same power upon the apostles by the words: "Do this for a commemoration of Me." By these words the apostles were made the first priests of the New Testament. 

Order signifies the dignity, rank, and spiritual power, as well as the state, to which a person is raised by the reception of orders. 

We speak of holy orders, because there is more than one order. The powers residing in the priesthood may be communicated by degrees; of such degrees we have seven, and these are the orders. Not all orders are equal as to dignity and importance. There are major and minor orders. They will be spoken of more in detail the text to follow. 

Before a candidate for the priesthood may receive any order, he must be made a cleric by the reception of the first tonsure. 

The sacred rite by which orders are conferred is called ordination. 

The Ordinations

The bishop and the ordinands, in cassock, or vested according to the order which they hold, and carrying a burning candle in hand, usually enter the church in solemn procession. The ordinands go to the places reserved for them, while the bishop proceeds to the sanctuary, where he makes a short adoration and then puts on the pontifical vestments. 

Ordination begins with a reading of the mandate. However, if a dispensation should have to be announced, the dispensation is read first. 

The mandate is a solemn warning given in the name of the diocesan bishop to all who present themselves for ordination not to receive orders should they know themselves to be excluded therefrom by the law of the Church; should they dare to do so, they would thereby incur excommunication. Though, in our days, it can hardly happen that a candidate be present for ordination who has not complied with all the laws of the Church in this matter, the mandate impresses upon the candidate the supreme importance and far-reaching consequences of the Ordination. 

If ordination takes place outside Mass, the ceremonies begin at once; if during Mass, they begin at some point of the Mass between the Kyrie and the Gospel. 

The Reading of the Mandate 

The bishop, with his miter on, is seated on the faldstool before the middle of the altar. The archdeacon bids all the ordinands come forward. 

    Let all who are to be ordained come forward.
The ordinands rise, go before the altar and kneel, holding the burning candle in hand. The archdeacon now reads the mandate. 
    The Most Reverend Father and Lord in Christ, His Lordship N., by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See, Bishop (Archbishop) of N.,
Should the diocesan bishop be a cardinal, the following is read: 
    The Most Eminent and Reverend Father and Lord in Christ, His Lordship N., of the Titular Church of N., Cardinal Priest of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, N., by the grace of God and he favor of the Apostolic See, Bishop (Archbishop) of N.,
If the episcopal see is vacant, the reading of the mandate begins as follows: 
    The Most Reverend Lord N. N., chosen Vicar Capitular of this diocese for the period of the vacancy, 

    under penalty of excommunication directs and commands all and each present for the reception of orders that no one shall, on any account, presume to come forward and receive orders, who perchance is irregular or else excommunicated by law or by his superior, interdicted, suspended, illegitimate, of ill fame, or otherwise forbidden by law, or belongs to another diocese without having obtained the permission of his bishop, or has not been registered, examined, approved, or called by name. Finally, no one of the ordinand is to leave before (the Mass is finished and) the bishop's blessing has been received.

Now follow the ordinations. Those to be ordained first are called by name. All others return to their places; they will be called when the time for their ordination arrives. 

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

                      Return to True Catholic     truecarpentry library1