Sacramental Orders

Sacramental Orders

Susan K. Wood, SCL
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Liturgical Press Suggests

Ordained ministry cannot be understood by itself or only in its relationship with Christ. It must find its identity in relationship to the Church, for it exists to serve and build up the Church. In Sacramental Orders Susan Wood places the theology of ordained ministry within its ecclesial foundations, identifying four concepts that shed light on different aspects of ordained ministry and its relationship to the Church: a monarchical and hierarchical concept; a eucharistic, collegial model of ministry representing the communion of particular Churches; the priest, prophet, and king, which structures the concept of the Church as the people of God; and a theology of the Church as a sacrament of Christ and ordained ministry as a sacrament of the Church.

Sacramental Orders is a liturgical and theological study of ordained ministry grounded in the liturgy of the 1990 typical edition of the rites. It addresses the three Orders within the one Sacrament of Order: bishop, presbyter, and deacon. By including each order with this study, the interrelationship between the three becomes more apparent, and the theology of one is allowed to inform the theology of the others. Wood points out that one of the challenges in theologies of ordained ministry today is to distinguish a bishop from a presbyter when both are ordinations to the priesthood and presbyters are assuming a greater ministry of oversight as they pastor more than one parish, and to distinguish deacons from presbyters at a time in church history when deacons are assuming more presbyteral functions.

Sacramental Orders also focuses on the mutual reciprocity in the relationship between liturgical rite and the theology of the sacrament as explained in ecclesial documents. The ordination rites reflect the theology expressed by Vatican II and yet also present a theology of the sacrament embedded in the liturgical texts and actions.

Chapters are "The Ecclesiological Foundations of Ministry," "The Liturgical Rite of the Ordination of a Bishop," "The Sacramentality of Episcopal Consecration," "The Liturgical Rite of the Ordination of Presbyters," "Theology of the Presbyterate," "The Liturgical Rite of the Ordination of Deacons," and "Questions Concerning the Diaconate."

Susan K. Wood, S.C.L., Ph.D., is chair of the department of theology at Marquette University, and a member of the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue. She is the editor of Ordering the Baptismal Priesthood: Theologies of Lay and Ordained Ministry (2003) and author of One Baptism: Ecumenical Dimensions of the Doctrine of Baptism (2009) both published by Liturgical Press.

The book is dense, not in the sense of being incomprehensible, but rather in the sense that it is packed with food for thought and further study.
Liturgy Network Newsletter

This study is an invaluable summary of the most up-to-date scholarship and pastoral implications surrounding the sacrament of order.
Emmanuel

Susan Wood has made a fine contribution to the liturgical theology and ecclesiology with this book.
Theoforum

Wood provides a thorough and reliable introduction to the theology of orders on the basis of and in relation to the official Roman Catholic rites for the ordinations of bishops, presbyters, and deacons.
Theological Studies

. . . must be welcomed as an excellent resource for anyone studying this aspect of liturgical theology at university level.
In Illo Tempore

The work can be recommended as an example of a careful exercise in liturgical theology and for its insight into the prevailing approach to the meaning of the sacrament of Order in the Roman liturgy.
David N. Power, OMI, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

. . . a must-read for bishops, Commissions on Ministry, aspirants, seminarians and anyone who cares about the church's order and its relation to worship. . . . Susan Wood has crafted an enormously helpful volume. Reading, rereading, and digesting it will further our discussions, clarify terminology, and above all show in a very practical instance how to do sacramental theology out of the rites themselves.
Open

The book should work well in masters level courses in conjunction with larger historical surveys and theological works.
Theological Studies

Product number: 2522
ISBN: 978-0-8146-2522-4
Pages: 216
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publication Date: 11/01/2000