Admission to Candidacy for Ordination
May the peace of Christ be with you and yours.
as Deacons and Priests
Introduction to Holy Orders and Institutions
Ministry means "service." The Church is the People of God (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, II) who engage in a variety of ministries (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, n. 18; Decree on Ecumenism, n. 2). All human beings, by Baptism, share in the ministry of Christ as prophet, priest, and king. "Everything which has been said so far concerning the People of God applies equally to the laity, religious, and clergy." (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, nn. 30). After receiving the Institutions of Reader and Acolyte, the petitioner may aspire to receive Orders. This aspiration is formally known as Advancement to Candidacy.
The Admission to Candidacy rite offers the candidates for ordination the opportunity to publicly express their intention to receive ordination as a Deacon and perhaps later as a Priest. The aspirant composes beforehand and then signs and dates before the start of the rite in the presence of the Bishop a declaration in one's own hand stating his/her conscious intention to serve others in the Spirit of Compassionate Presence as an ordained cleric and is making this intention freely on his or her own accord. The Bishop also signs and dates this declaration attesting acknowledgement of receipt thereof in the name of the Church.
To explain this rite, we offer you from The Roman Pontifical, with slight editions, the ordaining bishop's (or the major religious superior's) homily, examination, acceptance and prayers that encompass this rite.
After the Liturgy of the Word:
Celebration of Admission
After the gospel, the bishop, wearing miter, sits, and gives the homily, which s/he concludes with these or similar words:
Dear brethren in Christ, our (brother, sister, bothers and/or sisters) stand(s) here today in the presence of the Church, recommended to us and to you for admission among the candidates for holy orders.
CALLING OF THE CANDIDATE
Christ have this command: "As the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest." Our (brother, sister, bothers and/or sisters) know the Lord's concern his flock, (he, she, they) see the needs of the Church and (he, she, they) feel ready to respond generously to the Lord in the words of the prophet: "Here I am, send me forth." (He, She, They) put (his, her, their) hope in the Lord, trusting that (he, she, they) may answer his call faithfully.
This call from the Lord should be recognized and understood from the daily signs which reveal God's will to discerning people. When God chooses people to share in the ordained priesthood of Christ, he moves and helps them by his grace. At the same time, he entrusts us with the task of calling suitable and approved candidates and of consecrating them by a special seal of the Holy Spirit to the ministry of God and of the Church. By the sacrament of holy orders, (he, she, they) will be given part in our ministry of service to the Church, and buildup by word and sacrament the Christian communities to which (he, she, they) will be sent.
Our (brother, sisters, brothers and/or sisters) (has/have) already begun (his, her, their) preparation so that later (he, she, they) may be called to ordination by the bishop. Day by day (he, she, they) will learn to live the life of the Gospel and deepen (his, her, their) faith, hope, love, and compassion. In the practice of these virtues (he, she, they) will gain the spirit of prayer and grow in zeal to win the world to Christ.
Urged by his love and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, (he, she, they) (has/have) come here to declare (his, her, their) desire to bind (himself, herself, themselves) to the service of God and of humankind.
When called by name, (he, she, each) should come forward and declare (his, her, his or her) intention before the Church assembled here.
Deacon or priest calls the candidate(s) by name:
Candidate(s) comes forward, responds:
Present. and goes to bishop, before whom s/he makes a sign of reverence,
Then the bishop speaks to the candidate(s) in these words:
My (child, children), the pastors and teachers in charge of your formation, and others who know you, have given a favorable account of you, and we have fill confidence in their testimony.
In response to the Lord's call, are you resolved to complete your preparation so that in due time you will be ready to be ordained for the ministry of the Church?
Are you resolved to prepare yourself (yourselves) in mind, heart, and spirit to give faithful and compassionate service to Christ the Lord and his body, the Church?
ACCEPTANCE OF THE CANDIDATE(S)
The Church receives your declaration with joy. May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment.
INVITATION TO PRAYER
Then all stand and the bishop, without miter, invites the people to prayer:
Brothers and sisters, let us ask God and Lord to pour out his grace and blessing on (this servant) (these servants) of his who desire to give (his, her, their) lives to the ministry of the Church
The deacon or another qualified minister proposes the following intentions, with all responding accordingly
Deacon or minister:
That our (brother, sister, brothers and/or sisters) may draw closer to Christ and be his witness(es) in the world, let us pray to the Lord:
R/ Lord, hear our prayer.
That (he, she, they) may share the burdens of others and always listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord:
R/ Lord, hear our prayer.
That (he, she, they) may become ministers of the Church who will strengthen the faith of (his, her, their) brothers and sisters by word and example, and gather them together to share in the Eucharist, let us pray to the Lord:
R/ Lord, hear our prayer.
Then the bishop, with hands joined, continues
Lord, hear our prayers for your (son, daughter, sons and/or daughters) who wish to dedicate (himself, herself, themselves) to your service and the service of your people in the sacred ministry.
Bless (him, her, them) + in your compassionate love, that (he, she, they) may persevere in (his, her, their) vocation, and through (his,her, their) loving fidelity to Christ the Priest be worthy to carry out the Church's apostolic mission in the Spirit of Compassionate Presence. We ask this through Christ the Lord.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist continues...