Ordination (or orders) is the public celebration of those who have been called to a special ministry of service to the community. In a special way, the Church, the ecclesial body of Christ, asks for God’s blessing on those who will be a special sign of Christ’s presence to all the people of God. The “orders” of those who have been called to serve are deacon, priest and bishop. Each has a distinct and different ministry to God’s people for which different rites are celebrated in this sacrament. It is a sacrament that symbolizes in a special way one’s baptismal call to serve.
There are many resources for those seeking to learn more about becoming a priest or deacon or joining the consecrated life, such as the following:.
- Archdiocese of Washington: VocationsIncludes information about the Sacrament of Holy Orders within the Archdiocese, and a prayer for vocations.
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and VocationsSupports dioceses in sounding the call to priestly life and ministry, the consecrated life, priestly formation, and the diaconate.