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270 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated

All candidates for ordination in the Latin Church—with the excep-

tion of permanent deacons, who can be married at the time of their ordi-

nation—are chosen from among those who intend to remain celibate

“for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:12). Their celibacy is a

sign of their intention to imitate Christ’s own celibacy and to serve God

in the Church’s ministry with an undivided heart. In some cases, mar-

1. What does the prayer from the Byzantine Rite say about the

spiritual gift a priest receives at ordination?

The prayer reads: Lord, fill with the gift of the Holy Spirit,

him whom you have deigned to raise to the rank of the

priesthood, that he may be worthy to stand without

reproach before your altar, to proclaim the Gospel of

your kingdom, to fulfill the ministry of your word of truth,

to offer you spiritual gifts and sacrifices, to renew your

people by the bath of rebirth. (CCC, no. 1587)

2. What is the essential rite of ordination?

The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying

on of hands by the bishop followed by a solemn prayer

of consecration asking God to grant the man being

ordained the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his

ministry. (CCC, no. 1597)

3. What does it mean to say that the priest acts “in

the person of Christ”?

In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ

himself who is present to his Church as Head of the Body,

Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sac-

rifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by

saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy

Orders, acts

in persona Christi capitis

(in the person of

Christ the head). (CCC, no. 1548)