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Are there canons related to the manner of ordination?

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#1 Father Philosoph Uhlman

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:22 AM

While I am reasonably familiar with the canons related to impediments, I have not seen too many canons relating to the manner of ordination. For instance I have been thinking about the descriptions of ordinations which took place in ancient times - where the community would be electing the priest or bishop, and I have been contrasting that with the modern north american situation where an ordination might take place in another state or province which in some cases might be extremely far away - I am thinking for instance of some of the ordinations that happen in the diocese of canada, where the diocese is the second largest country in the world - and someone from Vancouver might be ordained in Toronto. And it is not merely about location - but I found it really strange for instance when I went to one ordination and there was only one person from the parish other than the presbytera. Do the canons say anything about the location of an ordination and its relation to the community? And also I was think of instances where someone is ordained with a very limited knowledge within the community - and then people are somewhat surprised. Are there canons related to that - something parallel to the announcement of a wedding to allow for it to be known and any objections to be raised?

Also in addition to thoughts of flight, there is also the thoughts of a sort of humility or survival from grandious thoughts and unnecessary congratulations and esteem that seem to be a sort of obligatory North American cultural practice which one might want to avoid prior and post ordination - this might motivate the idea of hiding or secrecy about ordination - but is this contrary to the notion of affirmation via the Axios of the community or more particularly is this found in any of the canons. Do the canons require a particular period of time for the community to know of an ordination before it occurs?

Edited by Philosoph Uhlman, 10 August 2011 - 05:25 AM.

#2 Father David Moser

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 01:51 PM

I think the reason for such ordination where they are sometimes "far away" with few present from the community for which the ordination is being done is much more simply a matter of function - you have to be where the bishop is for an ordination to occur. And the ordination generally occurs within the context of a hierarchal liturgy which requires a minimum number of experienced servers of various ranks (and if the parish doesn't have them, a not uncommon situation, they have to be imported from elsewhere, which is an expense). So when it seems expedient the bishop will have the candidate come to the cathedral or to a larger parish where they have the personnel and where they are used to hierarchal services at a time when the bishop is already present so that the smaller parish won't have to bear the expense of bringing in and providing room and board for a number of extra people (as you recall such was your tonsure to the rank of reader in Vancouver).

Its not a desire to keep things quiet or secret or to hide anything, but simply a matter of practicality in our modern world - its much less expense to transport one person to the ordination than to transport many. I do understand the relative oddity of having an ordination far away from the home of the priest with few or no people from his community to be there - that's the way mine went. Although my ordination had been agreed upon beforehand, and it was known that it would happen, no date had been given. While on vacation visiting my family, who live nearer the cathedral city than I did at the time, the bishop just said to me "Well, come next week and I will ordain you." I didn't even know that it would happen on that day until the week before. When something needs to happen, my experience is the bishop makes it work in the best manner possiible and in this case it was better to have me ordained sooner but far away than wait for the next (at that time as yet unscheduled) visit and be ordained there but later.

Fr David

#3 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 06:14 PM

I think Fr. David gives the best reason, mainly that you need the bishop and hierarchical liturgy to perform an ordination. In the OCA, it is very common for men to be ordained while at seminary during a bishop's visit, or at large events like diocesan assemblies. Neither place is usually anywhere near the home parish or future parish of the priest being ordained, but it is the place where the bishop is at that time.

Sbdn. Anthony

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