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The Priesthood

Objectives
To understand the institution of the
priesthood and where it comes from
To learn about the role of the priest
and the ranks of priesthood in the
church
Introduction…
What can you tell me about the
army?
Does it have ranks?
What does the leader teach his
soldiers?
What are they supposed to fight
for/against?
Who thinks we are like soldiers?
What are we fighting for?
Who is our leader?
St John Chrysostom and
priesthood
“The work of the priesthood is done on
earth, but it is ranked among heavenly
ordinances. And this is only right, for no
man, no angel, no archangel, no other
created power, but the Paraclete Himself
ordained this succession, and persuaded
men, while still remaining in the flesh to
represent the ministry of angels”
Cont’d…
A priest is not only the person who
offers Mass and hears confessions,
he is a “man of God” and a “man of
prayer.” He is with people in times of
joy and sorrow, he does not remain
distant.
As the priest must continue to be a man of
prayer, of God, a leader, we are people of
God and are called by God to work for the
kingdom.
A priest is called to witness and proclaim
God’s love for the world.
The Mass is the center of a priests world,
it is the apex of this proclomation.
Cont’d…
The priest must be one who walks with
people, working with them and involving
them in the work for the Kingdom; helping
them and being helped by them. His heart
must be with the poor, the sick and the
needy. He must work for justice and
support those involved in this ministry
Apostles…
Lord Jesus, as head of the church
and therefore the one on whom the
whole body of church depends and as
“High Priest of the good things that
have come” (Hebrews 9:11), chose a
number of men and named them
disciples and apostles.
Apostles cont’d…
He commanded them to go forth and
baptize people everywhere and teach them
to observe His commandments.
They were given the power to forgive
sins/withhold forgiveness and to work signs
and wonders in His name.
They were considered mediators between
Christ and His church through the exercise
of priestly functions.
The Sacrament…
The Sacrament of Priesthood is a
holy sacrament through which the
bishop lays his hands on the head of
the elected candidate, so that the
Holy Spirit will descend on him and
grant him the priestly order.
Origin of the word…
Ooeeb: in Coptic means priest and is
derived from the Coptic word Ethoab
meaning saintly or righteous.
Ooeeb is the priest to signify that he
is a righteous man, adorned by
holiness and purity.
Institution of Priesthood
 Lord Jesus Christ instituted this Sacrament when He chose the twelve
of His followers and consecrated them for ministry, “He called His
disciples to Him, and from them He chose twelve whom He also named
apostles” (Lk 6:13). He gave them the authority of absolution and
binding, “He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy
Spirit’. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you
retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:22-23). Notice that
this took place before the Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit
here is the gift of ordination. Only to them He said, “Go therefore and
make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19) and only to
them He delivered the mystery of His Body and Blood (The Eucharist)
The Honor of Priesthood
Priesthood is a great honor as it is a
consecration of the work with God for the
salvation of the souls of the people of God,
“Let a man so consider us, as servants of
Christ and stewards of the Mysteries of
God. Moreover it is required in stewards
that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians
4:1-2)
All in all…
A divine call
A divine choice
An appointment by the Lord
A selection by the Lord
A consecration
A stewardship
Ranks of the Priesthood
The order of Deacons: Deacons are
servants
The order of Priests: Priests are
teachers
The order of Bishops: Bishops are
overseers and shepherds
The Deacon
Our teacher St. Paul specified the
requirements of a deacon, in his First
Epistle to Timothy (3:8-13): “Likewise
deacons must be: reverent, holding the
mystery of faith with a pure conscience,
ruling their children and their houses well,
should be tested first and then proved and
found blameless, so they can be ordained”
The Priest
 He is the intercessor in the Holies of Holy for the
congregation. He is a teacher who teaches the
people of the word of God and leads them to the
way of God, virtues, mysteries of the religion, and
explains the rites and details the word of truth.
 “For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge,
and people should seek the from his mouth, for he
is the messenger of the Lord of hosts” (Malachi
2:7)
Commandments of a Priest
 To teach by good example and inspiring sermons
 Caring for the congregation as a father
 Offer faithful service
 To work for achieving the food of eternal life which doesn’t
perish
 Continuous growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus
Christ
 He must escape from the love of money, which is the source
of all evil deeds.
 He must avoid envy, unkindness, pride, hypocrisy, boasting
and false witnessing
 He must Love God and all creation with all his heart and soul!
The Bishop
Overseer and pastor. Pasturing over the
congregation, teaching them and keeping them in
the church and Faith.
Lord Jesus practiced these works as He was
wandering through cities and villages teaching,
guiding and visiting people who were weary and
scattered like sheep having no shepherd.
The responsibility of the bishop is before the
throne of God.
Virtues of a Bishop
 In the hymn of virtues, they ask God to dwell upon him the
following:
 Love
 Hope
 Faith
 Purity
 Celibacy
 Peace
 Wisdom
 Righteous
 Meekness (selfless aspect of Love)
 Patience
 Endurance
 Asceticism (abstinence from worldly pleasure)
Conclusion
Priesthood in the New Testament is a
Biblical reality and a ministry
ordained by our Lord Himself.
Our Lord is our High Priest, on earth
and in Heaven.
He granted the priesthood to His
disciples and those ordained by them
Conclusion Cont’d
 St John Chrysostom said about Priesthood: “It is to
priests that spiritual birth and regeneration by
baptism is entrusted. By them we put on Christ, and
are united to the Son of God, and become members of
that blessed head. Hence we should regard them as
more august than princes and kings, and more
vulnerable than parents, for the latter begot us of
blood and the will of the flesh, but priests are the
cause of our generation from God, of our spiritual
regeneration, of our true freedom and sonship
according to grace”
Memory Verse
“For the lips of a priest should keep
knowledge, and people should seek the
law from his mouth, for he is the
messenger of the Lord of hosts”
(Malachi 2:7)