Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Ordination is the rite by which a person is elevated from the laity to one of the minor orders or one of the major orders of the clergy (bishops, priests, or deacons). There are four aspects to ordination:

1. the person who administers the ordination;

2. the person who receives the ordination;

3. the act of ordination;

4. and the effect of it.

The person who ordains has been authorized to do so by the church, …

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van Geest, Paul, “Ordination”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 30 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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