The ordination of a priest is his consecration – the formal dedication of his being – to the Church. Many of us have never attended an ordination, but the liturgy is a beautiful one, filled with many prayers that might inspire any of us with a desire to dedicate ourselves, however humbly given our own personal circumstances, to God’s service as well. The following is taken from the Rite for Ordination of Priests; it is only a small part of the service, but a most beautiful set of prayers of dedication:
Almighty Father, we pray that you bestow on these servants of yours the dignity of the priesthood. Renew in their hearts the spirit of holiness, so that they may be steadfast in this second degree of the priestly office received from you, O God, and by their own lives suggest a rule of life to others. May they be prudent fellow-workers in our ministry. May they shine in all the virtues, so that they will be able to give a good account of the stewardship entrusted to them, and finally attain the reward of everlasting blessedness.
O God, the source of all holiness, whose consecration is ever effective, whose blessing is ever fulfilled, pour out on these servants of yours, whom we now raise to the dignity of the priesthood, the gift of your blessing. By their noble and exemplary lives let them prove that they are really elders of the people, and true to the norms laid down by Paul to Timothy and Titus. Let them meditate on your law day and night, so that they may believe what they have read, and teach what they have believed, and practice what they have taught. May justice, constancy, mercy, courage, and all the other virtues be reflected in their every way of acting. May they inspire others by their example, and hearten them by their admonitions. May they keep pure and spotless the gift of their high calling. For the worship of your people may they change bread and wine into the body and blood of your Son by a holy consecration. May they through persevering charity mature "unto the perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ," and rise on the day of the just and eternal judgment of God with a good conscience, true faith, and the full gifts of the Holy Spirit. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.