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Ordinal Approved for Use by the College of Bishops


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Text Describes the Form and Manner of Ordaining Bishops, Priests and Deacons

The Anglican Church in North America is pleased to announce the Ordinal has been approved for use by the College of Bishops. The Ordinal text was approved on June 24, 2011. To view the PDF document, please click here.

“One of the major things that we sought to do was to craft an Ordinal that was written in contemporary English, but also was clearly in the Prayer Book tradition. Of particular focus was the strengthening of the vows that those who are ordained ascribe to,” said Bishop Bill Thompson, Chair of Prayer Book and Common Liturgy task force.

“We were very deliberate about the tone and content of the Ordinal and the fact that it is clearly connected to our Anglican roots. Our intention is for the other liturgies that we put forth to have that same quality,” Bishop Thompson said.

The language and doctrine of the new Ordinal is descended from the historic Anglican Ordinals of 1549, 1662, and the American 1928 and Canadian 1962. The primary source was the American book of 1928 because it has removed references to the English Monarch and Government, which makes more sense in our North American context. The other editions are used in places where there has been a variance between the various editions.

The structure of this edition, however, does look to ecumenical and more recent Anglican Ordinals, especially the American BCP of 1979, the Church of England “Common Worship: Ordination Services,” Study Edition of 2007, and the Province of Southern Africa “An Anglican Prayer Book” of 1989. Where appropriate, this edition seeks to reconcile the text of the Ordinal with the English Standard Version of the Bible.

As we celebrate the work the Lord is doing in our body through His faithful servants, please join us in saying the Veni, Creator Spiritus as a prayer for the renewal of the Church.

Veni, Creator Spiritus

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost Thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above,
Is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
The dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
With the abundance of Thy grace.
Keep far our foes, give peace at home;
Where Thou art guide, no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
And Thee, of both, to be but One;
That, through the ages all along,
This may be our endless song:

Praise to Thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Photo captions: Website homepage - Archbishop Robert Duncan lays hands on The Rev. Mike McGhee during an ordination service on June 13, 2009. Story photo - Archbishop Robert Duncan presided at the consecration of The Rt. Rev. Bill Ilgenfritz to the office of bishop on August 22, 2009. Photo credit: Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh