Did you know priests make seven promises?
Priests who do not belong to religious congregations do not take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. They instead make promises on their ordination day.
These are serious promises and have a deep spiritual significance. Here they are:
1. To assist the Bishop’s mission:
Do you resolve, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to discharge without fail the office of priesthood in the presbyteral rank, as worthy fellow workers with the Order of Bishops for the Lord’s flock?
Bishops are successors of the Apostles and are primary shepherds of their church (diocese). Priests however are ordained and given the mission to be co-workers who help the bishop in their pastoral mission.
2. To preach the truth of the Catholic faith:
Do you resolve to exercise the ministry of the word worthily wisely, preaching the Gospel and teaching the Catholic faith?
Priests are to spread the teachings of the Catholic Church, without tainting the purity of the gospel with personal pride and unorthodox opinions.
3. Celebrate the liturgy reverently:
Do you resolve to celebrate faithfully and reverently, accord with Church’s tradition, the mysteries of Christ, especially the sacrifice of the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation, for the glory of God and the sanctification of the Christian people?
A priest must abide by the Church’s liturgical directives and celebrate them without changing words. They are called to celebrate with reverence and great respect.
4, Remain Celibate:
In the presence of God and his Church, are you resolved, as a sign of your interior dedication to Christ, to remain celibate for the sake of the kingdom and in lifelong service to God and mankind?
This is one of the toughest to follow. Shunning worldly comforts, he must emulate Jesus and shun worldly comforts and more readily answer God’s call every time.
5. Pray without ceasing:
Do you resolve to implore with us God’s mercy upon the people entrusted to your care by observing the command to pray without ceasing?
Priests must pray every day. Especially the Liturgy of Hours. This is in addition to attending and officiating at Holy Mass and other liturgical prayers.
6. Imitate Jesus:
Do you resolve to be united more closely every day to Christ High Priest, who offered himself for us to the as a pure sacrifice, and with him to consecrate yourselves to God for the salvation of all?
Needless to say, the life of a priest is that of constant emulation of Jesus’ life. The call to abandon everything and follow in his footsteps more closely than the lay faithful. They must follow this call at all cost: to follow Jesus even at the threat of physical harm.
7. Obey his Bishop:
Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?
This is a very important promise and has an extra physical gesture. The priest has to kneel before the bishop, putting his hands in between the Bishops’ hands. This is a reminder that he has given his life to the Church and must obey the leaders who have authority over him.
Did you know priests make these promises? Leave a comment below.