Ordinal

ORDINAL. "The form and manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating Bishops, Priests, and Deacons." Various forms of Service for Ordination have existed from the earliest times. Although differing in many ways, each kept the essentials of Ordination, viz., Imposition of hands, with Prayer and Benediction, as used by the Apostles themselves. The first Reformed Service was taken as usual partly from the ancient ordinals in use. It was revised in 1552, and again in 1662, when some changes, tending to greater solemnity, were introduced.

The Preface  insists upon the necessity of Episcopal Ordination. It determines the age at which men may be ordained, viz.. Deacon at 23, Priest at 24, Bishop at 30, and speaks of the qualifications of candidates for the ministry. Canon 34 of 1604 mentions further qualifications necessary (see OrdersQualifications for ). The times for Ordination appointed by the Canon are, of course, the four Ember Seasons, which have been so set apart from the 5th century.

The Form and Manner of making of Deacons. After Morning Prayer, including the Sermon, is ended, the Candidates for Deacon's Orders, dressed either in surplice or gown, are presented by the Archdeacon to the Bishop, who is sitting in his chair in the Sanctuary. The Bishop's address to the people is of much the same nature as the Si quis already read. The Litany is made specially appropriate by the insertion of the suffrage, "That it may please Thee to bless these Thy servants, now to be admitted to the Order of Deacons (or Priests), and to pour Thy grace upon them; that they may duly execute their office, to the edifying of Thy Church, and the glory of Thy Holy Name." Then follows a special Collect and Epistle. Before the Gospel the Bishop proceeds with the Ordination Service. Until 1865 the Oath of the Queen's Supremacy was administered here, but now it is taken before the Service. Sitting in his chair, the Bishop puts certain searching questions to those he is about to ordain. The first is of the "Inward Call" of the Holy Ghost. This perhaps is sometimes misunderstood, but several high authorities unite with Calvin in explaining it to be "the good testimony of our own heart, that we have taken this office neither from ambition, covetousness, nor any evil design, but out of a true fear of God, and a desire to edify the Church." (See Call to the Ministry.) The next question is of the "Outward Call," and implies a willingness to accept all the regulations under which the Ministry is to be exercised in the Church of England. The third and fourth questions demand a belief in the Bible, and a desire to read (and perhaps expound it) in the Church.

The next question explains the duties of the Diaconate, and marks very distinctly the great difference between that Order and the Priesthood. The answer expresses the candidate's intention to be faithful in the public ministration of his office, and the answer to the next question his desire to be an example in his private life. The last question concerns canonical obedience. Next follows the Ordination itself, which is notable for its extreme simplicity in comparison with the great solemnity of the Ordination of Priests. The Gospel is usually read by the Deacon who passes first in the Examination.

The Communion Service is then proceeded with, one final prayer being added in behalf of those who have just become Deacons in the Church.

The Form and Manner of Ordering of Priests. The ground-plan of this Service is the same as that of the preceding. The Deacons are ordained before the Gospel, the Priests after. The Bishop's exhortation before putting the question brings out in a striking manner a picture of the whole pastoral duty and life. The first question dwells on the outward call  to the Priesthood; the second, third, and fourth, on the rule of faith and practice ; the fifth and sixth on the individual life ; the seventh and eighth on the submission to order and peace. Then follows a call to the congregation present to engage in silent prayer  on behalf of those about to be ordained to the Priesthood. After which the hymn Veni Creator  is sung, as it always has been sung since the 11th century on this occasion; and after another prayer the special act of Ordination is proceeded with. It is to be noticed that Priests present are to join with the Bishop in the laying on of hands in obedience to 1 Tim. iv. 14. The Charge given in this Ordination is threefold, (a ) The Dispensation of the Word; (b ) The Dispensation of the Sacraments; (c ) the "Power and Commandment" of Absolution, John xx. 23, and compare Matt, xvi. 19; xviii. 18. The Service of the Holy Communion is then proceeded with, the final collect being a twofold prayer for the newly-ordained and for the people. The concluding rubric is a direction for the order of the Service if Priests and Deacons are to be ordained on the same occasion.

The form of Ordaining and Consecrating of an Archbishop or Bishop. This form of Service differs from the other services in beginning with the Communion Service, placing the Sermon in its usual place in that Service, and then inserting the Litany after the Gospel and before the Consecration. The Service is to be conducted by the Archbishop, or some Bishop appointed by him. The presence of other Bishops is implied throughout, according to the old rule, which prescribed, as a matter of church order, though not of absolute necessity, that three Bishops at least should concur in the Consecration. The Candidate, vested in a Rochet, is presented by two Bishops, in accordance with a custom of great antiquity. The Queen's mandate is then read, and the oath of canonical obedience taken. The Litany contains a special suffrage and prayer. The questions which follow are substantially the same as in the Ordination of Priests; except that (a ) in the sixth the duty of enforcing discipline is insisted upon; and (b )the seventh requires a promise to be faithful in ordaining others; and (c ) the eighth lays stress on the duty of gentleness and charity. After this the Bishop elect is to put on the rest of the episcopal habit. The form of consecration itself corresponds to the Ordination of Priests, save that in place of conferring the power of absolution, we have St. Paul's exhortation to Timothy (2 Tim. i. 6, 7), to stir up the gift of Consecration in "power, love, and soberness." The charge at the delivery of the Bible takes the form of an earnest exhortation. The Holy Communion is then proceeded with.