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Catholic Ordination Scripture

The Sacrament of Holy Orders has origins in the bible. According to Protestant2Catholic.com, it begins with Christ sending forth the apostles. Here’s a partial aggregation of the scripture:

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Christ sends forth the apostles with authority:

  • Matthew 28:16,18-20:  “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee… And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
  • John 20:21-23:  “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
  • Luke 22:19-20:  “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
  • 1 Corinthians 11:24-25:  “and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

…was perpetuated by the apostles:

  • Acts 14:23:  “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.”
  • Titus 1:5:  “This is why I [Paul] left you [Titus] in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you,”
  • Acts 6:2-6:  “And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty… These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them. “
  • 2 Timothy 2:2:  “and what you [Timothy] have heard from me [Paul] before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
  • Acts 14:21, 23:  “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Ico’nium and to Antioch… And when they had appointed elders for them in every church…”

…confers grace through the ‘laying on of hands':

  • 1 Timothy 4:13-14:  “Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.”
  • 2 Timothy 1:6-8:  “Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands;  for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God,”
  • Acts 13:2-3:  “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”
  • Acts 6:2-6:  “And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty… These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.”
  • 1 Timothy 5:22:  “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor participate in another man’s sins; keep yourself pure.”

For the complete biblical origin of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, click here.