The words that resonated with me most in the first ordinations I attended many years ago were from Isaiah 6:8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Profound words but time has moved on. Some of the men I witnessed answering God's call now find themselves in the episcopate in a radically different church. Damien Thompson's recent piece for the Telegraph reminded me that different words resonated in consecrations I have attended. In the Church of England, before the Prayers of Penitence, the Archbishop introduces the service for 'The Ordination and Consecration of a Bishop' with the words:
God calls his people to follow Christ, and forms us into a royal priesthood, a holy nation, to declare the wonderful deeds of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
The Church is the Body of Christ, the people of God and the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit. In baptism the whole Church is summoned to witness to God's love and to work for the coming of his kingdom.
To serve this royal priesthood, God has given particular ministries. Bishops are ordained to be shepherds of Christ's flock and guardians of the faith of the apostles, proclaiming the gospel of God's kingdom and leading his people in mission. Obedient to the call of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, they are to gather God's people and celebrate with them the sacraments of the new covenant. Thus formed into a single communion of faith and love, the Church in each place and time is united with the Church in every place and time.
"Will you promote peace and reconciliation in the Church and in the world; and will you strive for the visible unity of Christ�s Church?", the ordinand Answers "By the help of God, I will" when clearly he should say 'No'!