Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church.
The sacrament of Holy Orders includes three degrees;
1) Bishop (episcopate),
2) Priest (presbyterate),
3) Deacon Diaconate).
Integration into one of these bodies in the Church is accomplished by a rite called ordination (ordinatio). Ordination is a religious and liturgical rite where the one receiving the order; of bishop, priest or deacon, is ordained by a bishop through the imposition or laying on of hands on the head of the one being ordained, as the bishop says a consecratory prayer, asking God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and his gifts proper to the ministry to which the candidate is being ordained.Given the importance that the ordination of a bishop, priest or deacon has for the life of the Church, all three ordinations take place during the Eucharist and its celebration calls for as many of the faithful as possible to take part.
As in the case of Baptism and Confirmation, the sacraments of Holy Orders, confers an indelible spiritual character and cannot be repeated or conferred temporarily.
It is Bishops who confer the sacrament of Holy Orders in all three degrees of Holy Orders of Bishop, Priest and Deacon.
Prayer for Priests,
My brothers and sisters, accept us as we are; men who like you, need the mercy of God;
poor men, weak, sinful, with faults and limited talents.
Though we are men called by God, chosen by Him to be the servants of the altar in
your holy community,
we too grope through the darkness of the world.
All we can do is travel with you into the light of God, our Father,
who loves us, forgives us and sends Himself in Jesus Christ
and in the grace of the Holy Spirit.
So you see, you must carry us just as we must carry you.
And we can only beg of you; pray for us. Have patience with us. Carry us.
Accept God’s word and his holy mysteries from us.