But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
(1 Peter 2:9, also Exodus 19:6).
The 'royal priesthood' is often mentioned in the Church, but how is it understood by the Fathers? I have heard two schemes:
- We are all priests, at least in some sense. Whilst we have certain men set apart as priests, we are all called to offer everything to God.
- Christians form a corporate "priesthood" in the world. We are not individually priests but rather as a nation offer all to God.
I heard point 2 from an Anglican who I think was trying to keep away from people dismissing priests as unnecessary, but it's a position I've never really come across in an Orthodox context. Do the Fathers make use of both schemes, or even use others, in interpreting this passage?