I was reminded of this while preparing myself for the ordinations the Church will graciously confer upon me through the agency of my Bishop. I'm reminded of these two facts, plus one more--how brief the rite truly is.
In Byzantine rites, the form for conveying any sacrament is not said in the first person (e.g., absolvo te). The same is true of the ordination rite. On Saturday and Sunday, the bishop will declare:
The Grace Divine, which always healeth, that which is infirm, and completeth that which is wanting, elevateth, through the laying-on of hands, (NAME), the most devout Subdeacon [Deacon] to be a Deacon [Priest]. Wherefore, let us pray for him, that the Grace of the All-Holy Spirit may come upon him.After the usual ektina led by the Deacon, the bishop then says a prayer beseeching the grace of the Holy Spirit. That's it. That's the rite: a declaration of what Grace Divine does, and a prayer that Grace Divine Himself will accomplish in this man what He does.
In all of this, I take great comfort in these words: "which...completeth that which is wanting." Those words specifically do not call into question, nullify, or abbrogate the baptisms, absolutions or communions that, by the Holy Spirit, I was undeservedly graced to administer for 16 years. Rather, those words declare that the Holy Spirit will make up, no doubt with unspeakable groanings, whatever is lacking in this unworthy candidate. And then will come these words of even greater comfort:
Do thou, the same Lord, fill with the gift of thy Holy Spirit this man whom it hath pleased thee to advance to the degree of Priest, that he may be worthy to stand in innocence before Thine Altar, to proclaim the Gospel of thy Kingdom, to minister the word of thy truth, to offer unto thee spiritual gifts and sacrifices, to renew thy people through the laver of regeneration.
The ordination of a Deacon
The ordination of a Priest