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John St. H. Gibaut

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Sequential or Direct Ordination?

A return to the Sources
ISBN: 978-1-60724-404-2
In the Anglican Communion, the medieval practice, which certainly had some earlier roots, continued—that ordination came to any one individual in this 'sequence': deacon, presbyter, bishop. The Anglican ordinal was so committed to this pattern at the Reformation that Cranmer's text prayed that deacons 'may so well use themselves in this inferior office, that they may be found worthy to be called unto higher ministries in thy Church.' Latterly, however, Anglicans have not only sought to develop the calling of a deacon in his or her own right, but have in some places and cases promoted the idea that the true calling of a deacon and of a presbyter would be best clarified by a separate 'direct' ordination. John Gibaut, a liturgical theologian of the Anglican Church of Canada, presents the case for 'direct' ordination—rooting it in the patristic era, and spelling out its implications in the present day.