The 7 Steps of Ordination: Part I
In the process of his elevation to the Priesthood, the seminarian will receive 7 ordinations.
They are degrees instituted by the Church through which a candidate access to the priesthood itself called by the Fathers of the Church the “Highest Dignity”. This divine and magnificent function requires then great dispositions. That is why the Church leads its candidates through these ‘Novitiates’ to methodically prepare them to carry this burden.
The four first ordinations are the “inferior” or “minor” orders and the very first of them is the order of Porter.
The Seminarian on his ordination day will receive the power of the Keys. Incredible power by which the priest will be given the power to bind or unbind, to open or close Paradise. The Porter is initiated to this higher power by receiving the responsibility of the doors of the church and of everything contained therein, sacred vestments and vessels, relics of the saints and more importantly the safe keep of the Tabernacle. On his ordination he touches the keys of the church. The proper virtue of the Porter is the virtue of detachment. He who is the guardian of the richness’s of the Church has nothing but the desire to preserve the received heritage. With detachment comes also the zeal for the House of God. He will therefore care for the cleanliness of the church.
Another function of the porter is to ring the bells. On this he is the voice of God leading to the teaching of the church. Spiritually they prepare themselves to speak as loud and clear as a bell does.
This order is so important that some souls dedicated their whole lives to this particular and humble office. Nothing is small in the Church. All is august and mysterious hiding treasures of graces. The order of Porter can be given only by a bishop.
The second Order is Lector. The seminarian receives in his hands the deposit of the Holy Scripture. It comes immediately after the first order. Indeed the church has two treasures: The Holy Eucharist reserved in the Tabernacle and the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Scriptures have been entrusted to the Church and it is convenient that a special order is dedicated for this purpose. The attention given to the book, the perfection of its use in the careful recitation of the office, and the personal purity of life are the proper virtues of the Lector. Accipe librum and devora illum. Receive the book and eat it. By these words Christ invites the Lector to meditate, to make the Scriptures his own that later, as a priest, he might speak them with ease.