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Ordination

Ordination of bishops, priests and deacons in the Church of England was modelled upon the medieval Catholic rite. In the ceremony for the ordering of priests, the bishop placed his hands upon the head of the ordinand, who thus received the Holy Spirit and a charge to be 'a faithful dispenser of the Word of God and his Holy Sacraments'; with the gift of a Bible and the reception of the bread and wine the priest took 'authority to preach the Word of God and to minister the Holy Sacraments in this Congregation.' Ordination was to take place upon either a Sunday or a Holy Day. There were rules governing ordination, some of which were evaded. Ordinands had to be examined by the archdeacon or the bishop's chaplains for their reputation, their age, their title, their knowledge of Scripture and their vocation.