I present unto you these persons (reading their names aloud) to be ordained elders. Then the president shall say unto the people:]
Brethren, these are they whom we purpose, God willing, this day to ordain elders. For after due examination, we find not to the contrary, but that they are lawfully called to this function and ministry, and that they are persons meet for the same. But if any of you know any impediment or crime in any of them, for which he ought not to be received into this holy ministry, come forth in the name of God, and show what the crime or impediment is.
Almighty God, Giver of all good things, who by the Holy Spirit hast appointed divers orders of ministers in thy church, mercifully behold these, thy servants, now called to the office of elder, and replenish them so with the truth of thy doctrine and adorn them with innocency of life, that both by word and good example they may faithfully serve thee in this office, to the glory of thy name and the edification of thy church, through the mercies of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.
Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above ail heavens, that he might fill all things.) And be gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; by me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture. The thief cometh not but for to steal and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth because he is a hireling and careth not for the sheep I am the good shepherd and know my sheep and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.
You have heard, brethren, in the lessons taken out of the gospel and the writings of the apostles, of what dignity, and of how great importance this office is whereunto ye are called.
We have good hope that you have all weighed and pondered these things with yourselves long before this time; and that you have clearly determined, by God's grace, to give yourselves wholly to this office, where unto it hath pleased God to call you; so that as much as lieth in you, you will apply yourselves wholly to this one thing, and draw all your cares and studies this way, and that you will continually pray to God the Father by the mediation of our only Savior, Jesus Christ, for the heavenly assistance of the Holy Ghost; that by daily reading and weighing of the Scriptures, ye may wax riper and stronger in your ministry; and that ye may so endeavor yourselves from time to time to sanctify the lives of you and yours, and to fashion them after the rule and doctrine of Christ, that ye may be wholesome and godly examples and patterns for the people to follow.
And now that this present congregation of Christ, here assembled, may also understand your minds and wills in these things, and that this your promise, may the more move you to do your duties, ye shall answer plainly to these things which we, in the name of God and his church, shall demand of you touching the same.
Do you think in your heart that you are truly called, according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the gospel ministry, and to perform the duties of an elder?
Ans. I think so.
President: Are you persuaded that the Holy Scriptures contain sufficiently all doctrines required of necessity for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined out of the said Scriptures to instruct the people committed to your charge, and to teach nothing as required of necessity to salvation but that which you shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the Scriptures?
A. I am so persuaded, and have so determined by God’s grace.
P. Will you then give your faithful diligence always so to minister the doctrines and sacraments and discipline of Christ, as the Lord bath commanded?
A. I will do so by the help of the Lord.
P. Will you be ready with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word; and to use both public and private monitions and exhortations, as well to the sick as to the whole, within your charge, as need shall require and occasion shall be given?
A. I will, the Lord being my helper.
P. Will you be diligent in prayers, and in reading the Holy Scriptures, and such studies as help to a knowledge of the same, laying aside the study of the world and the flesh?
A. I will endeavor so to do, the Lord being my helper.
P. Will you be diligent to frame and fashion yourself and your family according to the doctrine of Christ; and to make both yourself and them, as much as in you lieth, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ?
A. I shall apply myself thereto, the Lord being my helper.
P. Will you maintain and set forward as much as lieth in you, quietness, peace, and love, among all Christian people, and especially among those who are or may be committed to your charge?
A. I will do so, the Lord being my helper.
Let us pray.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of thine infinite love and goodness toward us hast given to us thine only and most dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Redeemer, and the author of everlasting life; for these so great benefits of thy eternal goodness we render unto thee most hearty thanks; we praise and worship thee; and we humbly beseech thee that we may continue to show ourselves thankful unto thee, for these, and all other, thy benefits, and that we may daily increase and go forward in the knowledge and faith of thee and thy Son, by the Holy Spirit. So that thy holy name may be forever glorified, and thy blessed kingdom enlarged, through the same, thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
The Lord pour upon thee the Holy Ghost for the office and work of an elder in the Church of God now committed unto thee by the imposition of our hands. And be thou a faithful dispenser of the Word of God, and of his holy sacraments; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Take thou authority to preach the word of God and to administer the holy sacraments in the congregation.
Most merciful Father, we beseech thee to send up on these thy servants thy heavenly blessings, that they may be clothed with righteousness and that thy word spoken by their mouths may have such success, that it may never be spoken in vain. Grant us also that we may have grace to hear and receive, what they shall deliver out of thy most holy Word, or agreeably to the same, as the means of our salvation; and that in all our words and deeds we may seek thy glory and the increase of thy kingdom through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Assist us, 0 Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help, that in all our works begun, continued and ended in thee, we may glorify thy name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord; and the blessings of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.
¶ 348. [When the time appointed for the ordination shall have come, one of the elders shall present unto the president those who are to he ordained, saying: “I present unto you these persons (reading their names aloud) to be ordained deacons.” Then the president shall say to the people:]
Brethren, if any of you know any crime or impediment in any of these persons presented to be ordained deacon, for which he ought not to be admitted to that office, come forth in the name of God and show what the crime or impediment is.
Almighty God, who by thy divine providence hast appointed divers orders of ministers in thy Church, and who didst inspire thy apostles to choose into the order of deacons thy first martyr, St. Stephen, with others: mercifully behold these thy servants, now called to the like office and administrations; replenish them so with the truth of thy doctrine, and adorn them with innocency of life, that both by word and good example they may faithfully serve thee in this office, to the glory of thy name, and the edification of thy Church, through the merits of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and forever. Amen.
Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure con science. And let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons if they be blameless. Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderous, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses we]l. For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
President. Do you trust that you are inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon you the office of the ministry in the Church of Christ, to serve God for the promoting of his glory and the edification of his people?
Ans. I trust so.
P. Do you unfeignedly believe all the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?
A. I do believe them.
P. Will you diligently read or expound the same unto the people whom you shall be appointed to serve?
A. I will.
P. It appertaineth to the office of a deacon to assist the elder in divine service. And especially when he ministereth the holy communion, and to help him in the distribution thereof, and to read and expound the Holy Scriptures; to instruct the youth, and in the absence of the elder to baptize. And, furthermore, it is his office to search for the sick, poor, and impotent, that they may be visited and relieved. Will you do this gladly and willingly?
A. I will do so by the help of God.
P. Will you apply all your diligence to frame and fashion your own lives (and the lives of your families) according to the doctrine of Christ; and to make (both) yourselves (and them) as much as in you lieth, whole some examples of the flock of Christ?
A. I will do so, the Lord being my helper.
P. Will you reverently obey them to whom the charge and government over you is committed, following with glad mind and will their godly admonitions?
A. I will endeavor so to do, the Lord being my helper.
Take thou authority to execute the office of a deacon in the church of God, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Take thou authority to read the Holy Scriptures in the church of God, and to preach in the same.
Luke 12 35-38. Let your loins be girded about and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching. Verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
Almighty God, Giver of all good things, who of thy great goodness hast vouchsafed to accept and take these thy servants into the office of deacon of thy Church; make them, we beseech thee, 0 Lord, to be modest, humble and constant in their ministration, and to have a ready will to observe all spiritual discipline; that they having always the testimony of a good con science, and continuing ever stable and strong in thy Son, Christ Jesus, may so well behave themselves in this inferior office, that they may be found worthy to be called into the higher ministries in thy church, through the same, thy Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ; to whom be glory and honor, world without end. Amen.
Assist us, 0 Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The peace of God which passeth all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his
Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father,
the Son and the Holy Ghost, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.