What effect does Holy Orders have on the man who receives the sacrament?
This Sacrament configures the bishop and priest to Christ as the Head of the Church in Christ’s threefold office of priest, prophet, and king. This Sacrament configures the deacon to Christ as servant.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders, like that of Baptism and Confirmation, confers an indelible or permanent character on the recipient. This means that this Sacrament cannot be received again. The indelible character is a reminder to the bishop, priest, or deacon that the vocation and mission he received on the day of his ordination marks him permanently. Like Baptism and Confirmation, which also confer a permanent character, Holy Orders is never repeated.
A bishop is given the grace to teach in the name of Christ; to sanctify the Church through the celebration of the Sacraments; to guide, govern, and defend the Church; and to be a sign of the unity of the Church.
A priest is given the grace to proclaim the Gospel and preach, to celebrate the Sacraments (except Holy Orders), and to shepherd the people entrusted to him.
A deacon in the Latin Church is ordained to proclaim the Gospel and preach, to baptize, to assist the bishop or priest in the celebration of the Eucharist, to assist at and bless marriages, to preside at funerals, and to serve the community through works of charity.
You can read more from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, order your own copy, or read questions about it at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
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