holy orders

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holy orders:

see orders, holyorders, holy
[Lat. ordo,=rank], in Christianity, the traditional degrees of the clergy, conferred by the Sacrament of Holy Order. The episcopacy, priesthood or presbyterate, and diaconate were in general use in Christian churches in the 2d cent.
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.

orders, holy

[Lat. ordo,=rank], in Christianity, the traditional degrees of the clergy, conferred by the Sacrament of Holy Order. The episcopacy, priesthood or presbyterate, and diaconate were in general use in Christian churches in the 2d cent. In the Roman Catholic tradition a development, beginning in the 3d cent. and culminating in the Middle Ages, resulted in a division of major holy orders (episcopacy, priesthood, diaconate, and subdiaconate) and minor orders (acolyte, exorcist, lector, and doorkeeper), with a special rite of introduction into the clerical state called tonsuretonsure
[Lat.,=to shave], formerly, practice in some Christian churches of cutting some of the hair from the scalp of clerics. In the West the tonsure consisted of a circular patch on the crown of the head from which the hair was kept cut; some tonsures kept the entire head
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. From the late Middle Ages, the minor orders and the major orders of subdiaconate and diaconate were largely ceremonial, considered steps to priestly ordination, and were taken by those who intended to be ordained to the priesthood.

A considerable revision of that schema was undertaken under the direction of Pope Paul VIPaul VI,
1897–1978, pope (1963–78), an Italian (b. Concesio, near Brescia) named Giovanni Battista Montini; successor of John XXIII. Prepapal Career

The son of a prominent newspaper editor, he was ordained in 1920.
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. In 1967 the diaconate was restored as an independent order with its own ministry (e.g., preaching, baptizing, distributing Holy Communion), and married men began to be received into this order. In 1972 tonsure, minor orders, and subdiaconate were abolished, and a rite of admission to candidacy to the diaconate and priesthood took their place. Thus the Roman Catholic Church, like the Church of England, has three orders—bishop, priest, deacon—and, like the Orthodox Eastern churches, it has permanent deacons who serve in local parishes and assist the priests. For various Protestant clerical systems, see ministryministry,
in religion, term used to designate the clergy of Protestant churches, particularly those who repudiate the claims of apostolic succession. The ceremony by which the candidate receives the office of a minister is called ordination.
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.

Traditionally in the West, the episcopacy has the plenitude of priestly power; bishops—archbishops, patriarchs, and the pope are bishops—alone have the power to ordain to major orders. In the Roman Catholic Church the ordination to the priesthood is considered a sacramentsacrament
[Lat.,=something holy], an outward sign of something sacred. In Christianity, a sacrament is commonly defined as having been instituted by Jesus and consisting of a visible sign of invisible grace. Christianity is divided as to the number and operation of sacraments.
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, conferring on the recipient the power to celebrate the eucharist and marking the priest with an indelible character. Like the sacraments of baptismbaptism
[Gr., =dipping], in most Christian churches a sacrament. It is a rite of purification by water, a ceremony invoking the grace of God to regenerate the person, free him or her from sin, and make that person a part of the church.
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 and confirmationconfirmation,
Christian rite in which the initiation into the church that takes place by baptism is confirmed. In the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Eastern churches, it is a sacrament by which a Christian is strengthened in his faith.
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, ordination is never repeated. The rite entails the laying on of hands and the recitation of the prayer beginning "Receive the Holy Spirit." Priests are required to take an oath of obedience to the bishop or superior and a promise of celibacycelibacy
, voluntary refusal to enter the married state, with abstinence from sexual activity. It is one of the typically Christian forms of asceticism. In ancient Rome the vestal virgins were celibates, and successful monasticism has everywhere been accompanied by celibacy as
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 (already taken at diaconate by those intending to be priests); they are also bound to recite the divine office, the traditional daily prayer of the priest. The diaconate was instituted in the primitive church for the distribution of alms and other material duties (Acts 6.1–6.)

The main administrative life of the Roman Catholic Church is conducted by bishops and their priests called secular clergy. Priests who are members of religious orders are called regular clergy (see monasticismmonasticism
, form of religious life, usually conducted in a community under a common rule. Monastic life is bound by ascetical practices expressed typically in the vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience, called the evangelical counsels.
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). Monsignor and cardinalcardinal
[Lat.,=attached to and thus "belonging to" the hinge], in the Roman Catholic Church, a member of the highest body of the church. The sacred college of cardinals of the Holy Roman Church is the electoral college of the papacy. Its members are appointed by the pope.
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 are honorary titles and are not identified with any particular office; they are not considered orders.

See also apostolic successionapostolic succession,
in Christian theology, the doctrine asserting that the chosen successors of the apostles enjoyed through God's grace the same authority, power, and responsibility as was conferred upon the apostles by Jesus.
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.

Bibliography

See D. N. Power, Ministers of Christ (1969); P. Bradshaw, The Anglican Ordinal (1971); C. R. Meyer, Man of God (1974).

References in classic literature ?
But for the miscreant exile who returned Minded in flames and ashes to blot out His father's city and his father's gods, And glut his vengeance with his kinsmen's blood, Or drag them captive at his chariot wheels-- For Polyneices 'tis ordained that none Shall give him burial or make mourn for him, But leave his corpse unburied, to be meat For dogs and carrion crows, a ghastly sight.
ANTIGONE Yea, for these laws were not ordained of Zeus, And she who sits enthroned with gods below, Justice, enacted not these human laws.
But I agree, he replied; for I suppose that you mean to exclude mere uninstructed courage, such as that of a wild beast or of a slave-- this, in your opinion, is not the courage which the law ordains, and ought to have another name.
If we are asked to determine which of these four qualities by its presence contributes most to the excellence of the State, whether the agreement of rulers and subjects, or the preservation in the soldiers of the opinion which the law ordains about the true nature of dangers, or wisdom and watchfulness in the rulers, or whether this other which I am mentioning, and which is found in children and women, slave and freeman, artisan, ruler, subject,--the quality, I mean, of every one doing his own work, and not being a busybody, would claim the palm--the question is not so easily answered.
To them, and not to us, perhaps, is the future ordained.
Although lately some spark may have been shown by one, which made us think he was ordained by God for our redemption, nevertheless it was afterwards seen, in the height of his career, that fortune rejected him; so that Italy, left as without life, waits for him who shall yet heal her wounds and put an end to the ravaging and plundering of Lombardy, to the swindling and taxing of the kingdom and of Tuscany, and cleanse those sores that for long have festered.
There are men whom a merciful Providence has undoubtedly ordained to a single life, but who from wilfulness or through circumstances they could not cope with have flown in the face of its decrees.
Some critics say that people who speak about women deacons, or even women who seek diaconal ordination, have a different agenda, i.e., to ordain women priests.
Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, will ordain the deacons at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 12, at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N.
But he quickly adds that the Board of Ordained Ministers, a body in the United Methodist Church that is responsible to ordain and license pastors, is vehemently opposed to ordaining homosexuals as pastors.
The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Dr Christopher Cocksworth, and the Bishop of Warwick, the Rt Rev John Stroyan, will ordain new priests tomorrow and new deacons on Sunday.