We wish to call upon the faithful to unite their prayers with the ordinands in Germany on this day.
Diaconal ordination is the last of the steps leading up to the dignity of the priesthood. It is (as an introductory part of Holy Ordination) a true and proper sacrament of the New Covenant instituted by Jesus Christ. Above all, the deacon is given the power to minister to the priest (or bishop) in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries, to sing the Gospel at Holy Mass, and (with the permission of the bishop or parish priest) to administer solemn Baptism, to preach and distribute Holy Communion. Consecration as a deacon is essentially administered through the laying on of hands by the Bishop with the following words: "Emitte in eos ... roborentur", which, as a sacramental form, defines this laying on of hands more precisely than the external sign by which the power of ordination of the deacon and the grace of the Holy Ghost are communicated.
Through the sacrament of priestly ordination, the priesthood of Jesus Christ is constantly renewed and continued in the Church. Through the ordination the priest receives, among other things, the power to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass and to administer the sacraments of Holy Church, especially that of Penance. He thus receives authority over the Real and Mystical Body of the Lord.
The essential act of consecration is the laying on of hands by the Bishop and the words "Da quæsumus, omnipotens Pater ... exemplo suæ conversationis insinuent" of the Preface to Orders. As a sacramental form, these words define the laying on of hands more closely than the external sign by which the priest's power of ordination and the grace of the Holy Ghost are communicated.