In the mystery of Holy Orders the Church, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, appoints men, called by Christ for the service of the community of the faithful to proclaim the Gospel, to be pastors for the People of God, and to sanctify them. The perfect model of service both in Matrimony and in Holy Orders is Christ, who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28). (Christ – Our Pascha, 470)

Christ passes on his pastorship to his chosen apostles whom he called, and also to their successors. This he does so that through them he would continue to remain in the Church and lead it. (Christ – Our Pascha, 485)

…Christ “has become a priest not through a legal requirement concerning physical [bodily] descent [from Aaron] but through the power of an indestructible life” (Heb 7:16), because mediation in him is perfect and abiding. Having brought himself as an offering of reconciliation on the cross, Christ was at once the Priest and the Offering. That is why his sacrifice, offered once for all, is perfect (see Heb 7:27). (Christ – Our Pascha, 486)

???…He did so at the Mystical Supper, when he gave the command to repeat the memorial of his Death and Resurrection (see Lk 22:19), and then after his Resurrection, when he gave his apostles the gift of the Holy Spirit for the remission of sins (see Jn 20:22-23). (Christ – Our Pascha, 487)

The priesthood of Christ is the actualization in the Church of Christ’s mediation and intercession through persons chosen by God. In the Mystery of Holy Orders, the sacred ministers receive the grace of the Holy Spirit to exercise Christ’s priesthood in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries and pastoral service. In all of the sacred minister’s service “it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock … Teacher of Truth.” But pre-eminently in the Eucharistic offering, the sacred minister acts in the name of Christ, the Supreme and Eternal High Priest. The sacred minister also acts “in the name of the whole Church presenting to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice.” (Christ – Our Pascha, 488)

Establishing new Christian communities, the apostles placed at their head presbyters (from the Greek, meaning elders) or bishops (from the Greek, meaning overseers or guardians) (see Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; Phil 1:1), while deacons (from the Greek, meaning servants) were appointed for daily service “at tables” (see Acts 6:1-6). Saint Clement of Rome bears witness to Apostolic Succession: The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. … The apostles appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. (Christ – Our Pascha, 490)

Priestly ministry in the Church has a hierarchical structure, the essence of which is most fully manifested in the celebration of the Eucharist. In the Eucharistic assembly the bishop, as successor of the apostles, presides; the presbyters concelebrate with the bishop, while the deacons assist the bishop and the presbyters. (Christ – Our Pascha, 491)

The fullness of pastoral ministry is given to the bishops. They are heirs to the fullness of the apostolic ministry, that is, to the fullness of the grace of the priesthood. In his eparchy, the bishop is the one who has primary responsibility for teaching the Word of God, leading the People of God, and sanctifying them. The sanctifying ministry particular to a bishop is the ordination of bishops, presbyters, and deacons, the consecration of Holy Chrism, and the consecration of antimensia. Presbyters, appointed by bishops at the head of parish communities, celebrate the divine services and teach and lead the flocks entrusted to them. They celebrate the Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, Eucharist, Repentance, Holy Anointing, and Crowning, and also other blessings and consecrations for the needs of the faithful. The deacons are placed by the bishop for liturgical service with the bishop or presbyter, but also for other ministries related to teaching and assisting the People of God in their needs, especially the poor and the sick. (Christ – Our Pascha, 492)

In the Church hierarchy’s pastoral ministry, that is, in the hierarchy’s royal ministry (leadership), prophetic ministry (teaching), and priestly ministry (sanctifying), it is the pastorship of Christ that is realized. The Church’s hierarchy fulfils these three ministries within the community and for the community. It does so in the name of Christ and his Church. (Christ – Our Pascha, 493)

The Mystery of Priesthood is celebrated in church during the Divine Liturgy through the laying-on of hands by the bishop. The faithful also participate in the ordination, expressing their consent by singing “Axios!” (“He is worthy!”). (We Walk with Christ: Youth Catechism, p. 113)

The Church consecrates persons to ecclesial ministry in the orders of candle-bearer, reader, cantor, and subdeacon. The attainment to each of these orders is testimony to the attainment of a spiritual maturity required for each ecclesial ministry. (Christ – Our Pascha, 502)

A vocation to the priesthood is God’s gift to an ecclesial community and at the same time the fruit of the spiritual life of a community—the family and the parish. That is why the Church prays ceaselessly for good and holy vocations to the priestly ministry. The Church provides appropriate preparation for those called by God. This is so that they can be open to receive the grace of the priesthood—to serve God’s people. During this preparation, the candidate grows in the spirit of prayer, knowledge of the Church’s teaching, and skill in leading others on the path of salvation. Responsibility for the preparedness of the candidate to the priesthood lies with the bishop, who entrusts him with a ministry in the Church. The ecclesial community, for its part, upholds him in his ministry… (Christ – Our Pascha, 499)