Investiture of the New Priests

Investiture of the New Priests

Now the newly ordained priests go and kneel before the bishop one by one. The bishop is seated on the faldstool and is wearing the mitre. He takes the stole, until now worn by the newly ordained on the left shoulder, draws it over the right shoulder, and arranges it in the form of a cross over the chest (in the manner worn by a priest). As he does so he says to each one:

Take the yoke of the Lord, for His yoke is sweet and His burden light.

Next he invests each one with the chasuble, leaving it folded and pinned at the back but hanging down in front. As he does so he says:

Take the vestment of priesthood which signifies charity; for God is able to advance you in charity and in perfection.

To this the ordained adds: Thanks be to God.

The bishop rises, removes the mitre, and says the following prayer, during which all the others kneel:

O God, the source of all holiness, whose consecration is ever effective, whose blessing is ever fulfilled, pour out on these servants of yours, whom we now raise to the dignity of the priesthood, the gift of your blessing. By their noble and exemplary lives let them prove that they are really elders of the people, and true to the norms laid down by Paul to Timothy and Titus. Let them meditate on your law day and night, so that they may believe what they have read, and teach what they have believed, and practice what they have taught. May justice, constancy, mercy, courage, and all the other virtues be reflected in their every way of acting. May they inspire others by their example, and hearten them by their admonitions. May they keep pure and spotless the gift of their high calling. For the worship of your people may they change bread and wine into the body and blood of your Son by a holy consecration. May they through persevering charity mature “unto the perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ,” and rise on the day of the just and eternal judgment of God with a good conscience, true faith, and the full gifts of the Holy Spirit. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with

you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

The bishop kneels, facing the altar, and intones the hymn, “Veni Creator” which is then continued by the choir (for the music see the music supplement):

Veni Creator

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,

And in our souls take up your rest;

Come with your grace and heavenly aid

To fill the hearts which you have made.

O Comforter, to you we cry,

You heavenly gift of God Most High,

You, fount of life and fire of love,

And sweet anointing from above.

You in your sevenfold gifts are known;

You, finger of God’s hand we own;

You, promise of the Father, you

Who do the tongue with power imbue.

Kindle our senses from above,

And make our hearts o’erflow with love;

With patience firm and virtue high

The weakness of our flesh supply.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,

And grant us your peace instead;

So shall we not, with you for guide,

Turn from the path of life aside.

Oh, may your grace on us bestow

The Father and the Son to know;

And you, through endless times confessed,

Of both the eternal Spirit blest.

Now to the Father and the Son,

Who rose from death, be glory given,

With you, O holy Comforter,

Henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.

The Anointing of Hands

After the first verse of the hymn the bishop rises and sits on the faldstool (wearing the mitre). He removes his gloves but puts the episcopal ring back on his finger. The gremiale is placed over his knees. The ordained come forward and one by one kneel before the bishop. He then takes the oil of catechumens and anoints both of their hands which they hold together palms upward. First he anoints the inside of the hands, tracing a cross from the thumb of the right hand to the index finger of the left, and from the thumb of the left hand to the index finger of the right. Next he anoints the entire palms. He says as he performs the anointings:

May it please you, O Lord, to consecrate and sanctify these hands by this anointing and our

All: Amen.

And having made the sign of the cross over the hands of the ordained he continues:

That whatever they bless may be blessed, and whatever they consecrate may be consecrated in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To the above form each of the ordained adds:


Then the bishop closes or joins together the hands of the ordained. The latter, keeping his hands joined, goes to the side of the altar where one of the assistants of the bishop binds the consecrated hands together with a white cloth, leaving the fingers free. Each of the ordained goes back to his place. The bishop cleanses his fingers with a piece of bread.

Presentation of the Host and Chalice

The bishop now presents each of the ordained with a chalice containing wine and water and a paten upon it with a host. The ordained touches with the fore and middle fingers both the paten and the cur of the chalice. During this ceremony the bishop says:

Receive the power to offer sacrifice to God, and to celebrate Masses for the living and the dead, in the name of the Lord.

All: Amen.

Having cleansed his hands the bishop goes to the throne or to the faldstool at the epistle side. Mass is resumed with the singing of the last verse of the tract or sequence or alleluia verse.

Concelebration of the Mass

After the offertory antiphon the bishop puts on the mitre and is seated before the middle of the altar. The ordained come to the altar, and two by two kneel before the bishop and present him with a lighted candle, kissing his hand as they do so. After this they return to their places.

From now on all the newly ordained priests pray the Mass along with the bishop, saying all prayers aloud, even those usually said in a low voice. They receive the kiss of peace from the bishop at the usual time. At holy communion the ordained, before receiving the sacred host, say “Amen” to the formula and then kiss the bishop’s ring.

After receiving communion they go to the epistle side of the altar to partake of some wine, not from the chalice which the bishop has consecrated, but from another containing ordinary wine. One of the assisting priests holds a chalice and a purificator in readiness for this purpose.

After taking the ablution and washing his hands, the bishop removes the mitre, stands at the epistle side, and intones the following responsories, which are continued by the choir (for the music see the music supplement):


No longer do I call you servants * but my friends, for you have known all things I have wrought in your midst, (alleluia).*

Receive the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, within you. * It is He whom the Father will send to you, (alleluia).

V. You are my friends if you do the things that I command you. * Receive the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, within you.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. * It is He whom the Father will send to you, (alleluia).

The alleluia is omitted from Septuagesima to Easter.

Having said the responsory the bishop puts on the mitre, goes to the middle of the altar, and turns to the ordained. The latter now recite the Creed which is a summary of the faith they will henceforth preach:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell, the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty, from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

The Commission to Absolve

When the Creed is finished the bishop sits on the faldstool at the middle of the altar (he is wearing the mitre). As the ordained kneel before him one by one, he places both his hands on the head of the ordained and says to each one:

Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

Then the bishop unfolds the chasuble, which the ordained has worn folded on his shoulders until now; and as he lets the chasuble drop at the back he says to each one:

The Lord clothe you with the robe of innocence.

The Promise of Obedience

Then each of the ordained comes again before the bishop, kneels and places his folded hands between the hands of the bishop. If the bishop is the Ordinary of the ordained he says to him:

Do you promise me and my successors reverence and obedience?

The priest replies: I promise.

But if the bishop is not the Ordinary of the newly ordained he says to him as he holds his hands (if he is a secular priest):

Do you promise reverence and obedience to the bishop who is your Ordinary for the time being? R: I promise.

Or he says to a priest of a religious order:

Do you promise reverence and obedience to the prelate who is your Ordinary for the time being? R: I promise.

Then the bishop, still holding the newly ordained’s hands within his own, kisses him on the right cheek, saying:

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

The ordained responds: Amen.

Admonition and Blessing

Afterward when the ordained have returned to their place, the bishop sits down, puts on the mitre, takes the crozier, and addresses the ordained as follows:

My dear sons, as the office you are undertaking is hazardous enough, I admonish you, before you begin to celebrate Mass, to learn carefully from other experienced priests the ritual of the whole Mass—the consecration, the breaking of the host, and the communion.

The bishop rises, and retaining the mitre and crozier, blesses the priests who kneel before him, saying in a loud voice:

May the blessing of almighty God, Father,


and Holy


come upon you, that you may be blessed in the priestly order, and may offer for the sins and transgressions of the people appeasing sacrifices to almighty God, to whom be honor and glory forever and ever.
All: Amen.

At the end of Mass the bishop gives the pontifical blessing in the usual way:

B: Blessed be the name of the Lord.

All: Now and forevermore.

B: Our help is in the name of the Lord. All: Who made heaven and earth.

B: May almighty God bless you, the Father,


and Holy

All: Amen.

Final Exhortation

The bishop sits down and speaks a final word to the ordained, saying:

My dear sons, ponder well the order you have taken and the burden laid on your shoulders. Strive to lead a holy and devout life, and to please almighty God, that you may obtain His grace. May He in His kindness deign to bestow it on you.

Now that you have been ordained to the priesthood, may I ask you, after you have offered your first Mass, to celebrate three other Masses, namely, one in honor of the Holy Spirit, a second in honor of blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, and a third for the faithful departed. I ask you also to pray to almighty God for me.

Mass is concluded as usual.

The wondrous power, the glory, wow!


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