The Holy Orders of the St.Thomas Christian Church
The St. Thomas Christian Church administers Holy Orders to all qualified candidates regardless of gender, marital status or nationality. In general, minimum age for reception of Holy Orders is twenty-one. Determination of qualification for orders is the responsibility of the Bishop administering the sacrament and the Dean of the Seminary. Completion of curriculum requirements is not a sufficient condition for ordination, but is a necessary condition. Candidates are expected to be of good character, to express general assent to the tenets and principles of the St. Thomas Christian Church and to abide by common procedure with respect to their functioning as clergy.
The acolyte participates in liturgical services assisting the minister or priest in his/her duties.
The minister performs all clerical duties in accordance with his/her office. As part of the sacramental ministry, the minister offers all sacraments, excepting Holy Unction. The minister offers Holy Eucharist while using the reserved sacrament . Other traditional sacraments administered by the minister are Baptism, Healing (Reconciliation), Matrimony and Burial.
The priest is ordained by a bishop who has been consecrated by other bishops, in an unbroken line of succession going back to the original apostles. The priest becomes part of the central core structure of the church. On both inner and outer planes, the church structure is a receptacle and sanctuary for Divine force, while the priest is a transformer and transmitter of that force into physical existence. The priest administers all the traditional sacraments including Holy Eucharist, Baptism, Healing (Reconciliation), Matrimony, Burial and Holy Unction.