Derived from the Greek presbyteros, “elder,” the term is used as a synonym for presbyter. Presbyters constituted a collegiate ruling body of institutions in Judaism. The Catechism notes that “the ministry of a priest or presbyter” is “to represent Christ and his Church, particularly as pastor to the people; to proclaim the gospel; to administer the sacraments; and to bless and declare pardon in the name of God” (BCP, p. 856).
The term “priest” is more frequently used than “presbyter” in the Episcopal Church. After the Reformation, the Anglican Church used the term “priest” for the second order of ministry.
“All baptized people are called to make Christ known as Savior and Lord, and to share in the renewing of his world.” (BCP 531)
Unlike a career change in the secular world, a call to the priesthood is a call to live a different kind of life, one that is centered on sacrifice and conforming one’s life to Christ’s example.
Priests are called to “proclaim by word and deed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to fashion [one’s] life in accordance with its precepts.” (BCP, p. 531)
For information about discerning a call to the priesthood
Contact Derek Moyer, Missioner for Lifelong Formation at email@example.com.