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-shall, with the clergy and Et post modicum intervallum mox people present, sing or say the incipiunt omnes Kyrie eleison, Litany
cum Litaniao. That it may please thee to “Υπέρ του δούλου του θεού, του bless these thy servants now δείνος, του νυνι προχειριζομένου to be admitted to the order of πρεσβυτέρου, και της σωτηρίας αυpriests, and to pour thy grace του, του Κυρίου δεηθώμεν Ρ. upon them; that they may duly execute their office, to the edifying of thy church, and the glory of thy holy name.
The office of the holy communion then commences, and after a proper collect, epistle, and gospel, the bishop addresses the candidates for the priesthood in a discourse of some length, in which he reminds them of the great importance and responsibility of the office to which they are called, and explains some of the principal duties which are incumbent upon them. This address, in the most ancient times, seems to have been delivered to the candidates at their nomination, and before ordinationq; in fact, it was made when the ecclesiastical canons were read to the candidates for orders, which, according to the third council of Carthage, A. D. 397, took place some time before their ordination"; but in later ages we find some traces of it in the ordination service itself. A manuscript pontifical, cited by Martene, and written more than six hundred years ago, contains a short formulary of the kind, which is placed, as ours is, in immediate connexion with some questions addressed to the candidates for ordination, and directly before the most solemn part of the offices. The questions which follow the address in our ordinal seem to be in some degree peculiar to it. Probably no church requires from her priests such solemn vows as our own. They seem to have been modelled, in a great degree, after the parallel formularies used in the ordination of bishops; and might perhaps have been introduced here, (independently of their importance,) to preserve greater uniformity in the offices. The last question is probably the most ancient of them all, and is found in manuscript ordinals written eight hundred years ago, where it is placed in exactly the position which it holds in our service, before ordination begins, and not at the end of the communion, as in the Roman pontifical.
o Pontificale Egberti, and Sacramentar. Gelasii, ut supra.
p Goar, Rit. Græc. p. 293.
9 Martene, tom. ii. p. 304.
r See Bingham's Antiquities, book iy. ch. 6.
Interrogat Episcopus Will you reverently obey Vis episcopo tuo, ad cujus your ordinary, and other chief parochiam ordinandus es, obeministers, unto whom is com- diens esse secundum justitiam mitted the charge and govern- et ministerium tuum ? ment over you; following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions, and submitting yourselves to their godly judgments ?
Answer. I will do so, the Respons. Volo. Lord being my helper.
The Bishop. Almighty God, who hath Voluntatem tuam bonam et given you this will to do all rectam ad perfectionem sibi these things, grant also unto beneplacitam Deus perducere you strength and power to digneturt. perform the same, &c.
The hymn Veni Creator, which immediately follows, has been already noticed in the ordination of bishops. We find it to have been used at the ordination of priests in some churches of France seven hundred years ago, as manuscripts of that date, which contain it, are still in existence".
The prayers and rites by which the ordination is actually perfected, now come before our view ; but it is not my design to enter on the interesting field of discussion which they open. The validity of these forms has been satisfactorily proved; and it is impossible to examine ancient rites, without coming to the conclusion of Martene, Morinus,- and all the most learned and judicious divines, that the imposition of hands, and prayers or benedictions, are the only essentials of valid ordination. Other rites have been added by different churches in the course of ages; but every church is at liberty to act for itself in this respect, provided nothing is done inconsistently with edification and Christian piety.
The prayer of ordination is not, as far as I perceive, so immediately derived from ancient formularies as some other parts of the service. It does not resemble that which is found in the sacramentary of Gelasius, nor in that of Gregory; and the similarity between it and that of the church of Constantinople is not so striking as to induce me to copy the latter. Perhaps it bears more affinity to the prayers used on this occasion in the rituals of the Egyptian and Syrian churches"; yet it is not necessary to occupy space in transcribing them, for the resemblance is not striking. In fact, every one of these formularies differs very much from the rest in ideas and expressions, though they are all intended for the same object.
u Martene, tom. ii. p. 396.
v Rituale Copt. Martene, tom. ii. p. 590; Syror. Asse
mani Codex, tom. ix. p. 123, &c.; Nestorianorum, Martene, p. 570.
The rubric directs those priests who are present to lay their hands, along with the bishop, upon the heads of those who receive ordination. This practice is peculiar to the western church, for in the east none but the bishop has ever laid hands on persons to be ordained. With us, however, the custom is ancient and canonical; for the fourth council of Carthage, which has been adopted generally in the west, gives particular directions on the point, which deserve comparison with our present rubric.
| When this prayer is done, the Presbyter cum ordinatur, epi
bishop with the priests present scopo eum benedicente, et shall lay their hands severally manum super caput ejus teupon the head of every one that
nente: etiam omnes presreceiveth the order of priest- byteri qui præsentes sunt, hood .. the bishop saying,
suas juxta manum episcopi super caput illius
teneant w. Receive the Holy Ghost, for Accipe Spiritum Sanctum, the office and work of a priest quorum remiseritis peccata, in the church of God .. remittuntur eis ; et quorum Whose sins thou dost forgive, retinueritis, retenta sunt *. they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained. And be thou a faithful dispenser of the word of God, and of his holy sacraments, &c.
w Concil, Carthag. iv. can. 3.
X This form is found in western pontificals written 600
years ago, and has been used in the ordination of priests at least since the tenth century. See Martene, tom. ii. p. 317.
The rest of the service does not seem to require any particular notice; and I may refer the reader for further information on the ordination of priests and deacons to the Supplement of Nicholls's Commentary on the Common Prayer, where the similarity between our ordination service, and the ancient rites and customs of the church, is traced with much learning