|Holy Orders Home
Sacrament of Holy Orders
Litany of the Saints
The Catholic Rite
|according to the Traditional Catholic Rite of Holy Orders|
It is for the purpose of keeping alive and increasing this interest in the priesthood that this document has been prepared. It is intended, in the first place, for the clerical students preparing for the reception of holy orders. They must understand and possess the spirit of the priesthood; and nowhere else will they find it portrayed so clearly and impressively as in the rite or ordination. The guidance and mysterious unction of the Holy Spirit, the Maker of the priest, are clearly visible in the beauty, vigor, and unction of the instructions, prayers, and ceremonies which give to it its form and substance. Every candidate for the priesthood ought to have the rite of ordination place in his hands, ought to study it and meditate upon it, not only before ordination but also after: "I admonish thee, that thou stir up the grace which is in thee by the imposition of my hands." (2 Tim. 1,6).
In the second place, the document is intended for our Catholic people, particularly the parents, relatives, and friends of the cleric. They want to know to the full what it means for a beloved boy to rise from order to order until he ascends the altar, a priest of God. The priesthood is the heart of the Church; but the priest comes from the people. A deeper understanding therefore of the dignity and mission of the priest cannot but increase the general reverence and love for him and add to the happiness of those whom God calls to offer one of their own to His service. How many parents would not do much more to foster priestly vocations among their sons if they had a better knowledge of the exalted dignity and profound significance of the priesthood! It is just such an understanding attitude toward priestly vocations that must be developed among our Catholic people. Holy Church can fulfill her mission of bringing salvation to the world only through priests; but today, as in the days of Christ, "the harvest is great, but the laborers are few" (Luke 10,2)
May this purpose be accomplished for the honor and glory of our divine High Priest, Jesus Christ.