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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 21 : The Ordination and Installation of Ministers

Paragraph 7 :

21-7. The people having answered these questions in the affirmative, by holding up their right hands, the candidate shall kneel, and the presiding minister shall, with prayer and the laying on of hands of the Presbytery, according to the apostolic example, solemnly set him apart to the holy office of the Gospel ministry. Prayer being ended, he shall rise from his knees; and the minister who presides shall first, followed by all members of the Presbytery, take him by the right hand, saying, in words to this effect:
We give you the right hand of fellowship, to take part in this ministry with us.
The presiding minister shall then say:
I now pronounce and declare that __________________ has been regularly elected, ordained, and installed pastor of this congregation, agreeable to the Word of God, and according to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America; and that as such he is entitled to all support, encouragement, honor, and obedience in the Lord: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
After which the minister presiding, or some other teaching or ruling elder appointed for the purpose, shall give a solemn charge to the pastor and to the congregation, to persevere in the discharge of their reciprocal duties, and then after prayer and the singing of a psalm, or hymn, the congregation shall be dismissed with the benediction. The Presbytery shall duly record its proceedings.
*

*For assistant minister, add the word 'assistant' before 'pastor', and charge the Session rather than the congregation.

[Historical Summary : PCUS Minutes, 1899, p. 434 and 1922, p. 73]

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1973, 22-7, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 141
and
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 22-7, Proposed text, pp. 30-31
The people having answered these questions in the affirmative, by holding up their right hands, the candidate shall kneel, and the presiding Minister shall, with prayer and the laying on of hands of the Presbytery, according to the apostolic example, solemnly set him apart to the holy office of the Gospel ministry. Prayer being ended, he shall rise from his knees; and the Minister who presides shall first, and afterwards all the members of the Presbytery in their order, take him by the right hand, saying, in words to this effect:
"We give you the right hand of fellowship, to take part in this ministry with us." The Moderator shall then say:
"I now pronounce and declare that A.B. has been regularly elected, ordained, and installed Pastor of this congregation, agreeably to the Word of God, and according to the Constitution of ______________________________; and that as such he is entitled to all support, encouragement, honor, and obedience in the Lord: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
After which the Minister presiding, or some other Minister or Ruling Elder appointed for the purpose, shall give a solemn charge to the Pastor and to the congregation, to persevere in the discharge of their reciprocal duties, and then after prayer and the singing of a psalm, or hymn, the congregation shall be dismissed with the benediction. And the Presbytery shall duly record the transaction.


PCUS 1933, XXIV, §138
and
PCUS 1925, XXIV, §138
The people having answered these questions in the affirmative, by holding up their right hands, the candidate shall kneel, and the presiding Minister shall, with prayer and the laying on of hands of the Presbytery, according to the apostolic example, solemnly set him apart to the holy office of the Gospel ministry. Prayer being ended, he shall rise from his knees; and the minister who presides shall first, and afterwards all the members of the Presbytery in their order, take him by the right hand, saying, in words to this effect: "We give you the right hand of fellowship, to take part in this ministry with us." The Moderator shall then say: "I now pronounce and declare that A.B. has been regularly elected, ordained, and installed Pastor of this congregation, agreeably to the Word of God, and according to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States; and that as such he is entitled to all support, encouragement, honor, and obedience in the Lord: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." After which the Minister presiding, or some other Minister or Ruling Elder appointed for the purpose, shall give a solemn charge to the Pastor and to the congregation, to persevere in the discharge of their reciprocal duties; and then by prayer recommend them both to the grace of God and His holy keeping; and finally, after singing a psalm or hymn, shall dismiss the congregation with the usual blessing. And the Presbytery shall duly record the transaction.

PCUS 1879, VI-5-6
The people having answered these questions in the affirmative, by holding up their right hands, the candidate shall kneel, and the presiding Minister shall, with prayer and the laying on of hands of the Presbytery, according to the apostolic example, solemnly set him apart to the holy office of the Gospel ministry. Prayer being ended, he shall rise from his knees; and the minister who presides shall first, and afterwards all the members of the Presbytery in their order, take him by the right hand, saying, in words to this effect:
"We give you the right hand of fellowship, to take part in this ministry with us." The Moderator shall then say:
"I now pronounce and declare that A.B. has been regularly elected, ordained, and installed Pastor of this congregation, agreeably to the Word of God, and according to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States; and that as such he is entitled to all support, encouragement, honor, and obedience in the Lord: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
After which the Minister presiding, or some other Minister or Ruling Elder appointed for the purpose, shall give a solemn charge to the Pastor and to the congregation, to persevere in the discharge of their reciprocal duties, and then after prayer and the singing of a psalm, or hymn, the congregation shall be dismissed with the benediction. And the Presbytery shall duly record the transaction.


PCUS 1869 draft, VI-5-6
The people having answered these questions in the affirmative, by holding up their right hands, the candidate shall kneel down in the most convenient place. Then the presiding Minister shall, with prayer and the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, according to the apostolic example, solemnly set him apart to the holy office of the gospel ministry. Prayer being ended, he shall arise from his knees; and the Minister who presides shall first, and afterward all the members of the Presbytery in their order, take him by the right hand, saying, in words to this purpose, “We give you the right hand of fellowship, to take part in this ministry with us.” The Moderator shall then say, “I now pronounce and declare that A. B. has been regularly elected, ordained, and installed Pastor of this Congregation, agreeably to the Word of God, and according to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States; and that as such he is entitled to all support, encouragement, honour and obedience in the Lord: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” After which the Minister presiding, or some other appointed for the purpose, shall give a solemn charge in the name of God to the Pastor and to the Congregation, to persevere in the discharge of their mutual duties; and then by prayer recommend them both to the grace of God and His holy keeping; and finally, after singing a psalm, shall dismiss the Congregation with the usual blessing. And the Presbytery shall duly record the transaction.

PCUS 1867 draft, VI-5-6
The people having answered these questions in the affirmative, by holding up their right hands, the candidate shall kneel down in the most convenient place. Then the presiding minister shall, by prayer, and with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery, according to the apostolic example, solemnly ordain him to the holy office of the gospel ministry. Prayer being ended, he shall arise from his knees; and the minister who presides shall first, and afterward all the members of the presbytery in their order, take him by the right hand, saying, in words to this purpose, “We give you the right hand of fellowship, to take part in this ministry with us.” The moderator shall then say, “I now pronounce and declare A. B. regularly elected, ordained, and installed pastor of this congregation, according to the constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, and agreeably to the word of God; and that as such he is entitled to all support, encouragement, honor and obedience in the Lord: In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.” After which the minister presiding, or some other appointed for the purpose, shall give a solemn charge in the name of God to the pastor and to the congregation, to persevere in the discharge of their mutual duties; and then by prayer recommend them both to the grace of God and his holy keeping, and finally, after singing a psalm, shall dismiss the congregation with the usual blessing. And the presbytery shall duly record the transaction.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, p. 149-150) on VI-5-6:
121.--VI. The people having answered these questions in the affirmative, by holding up their right hands, the candidate shall kneel, and the presiding Minister shall, with prayer and the laying on of hands of the Presbytery, according to the apostolic example, solemnly set him apart to the holy office of the Gospel ministry. Prayer being ended, he shall rise from his knees; and the minister who presides shall first, and afterwards all the members of the Presbytery in their order, take him by the right hand, saying, in words to this effect:
"We give you the right hand of fellowship, to take part in this ministry with us." The Moderator shall then say: "I now pronounce and declare that A.B. has been regularly elected, ordained, and installed Pastor of this congregation, agreeably to the Word of God, and according to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States; and that as such he is entitled to all support, encouragement, honor, and obedience in the Lord: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." After which the Minister presiding, or some other Minister or Ruling Elder appointed for the purpose, shall give a solemn charge to the Pastor and to the congregation, to persevere in the discharge of their reciprocal duties, and then after prayer and the singing of a psalm, or hymn, the congregation shall be dismissed with the benediction. And the Presbytery shall duly record the transaction
.
It is to be noted that the Minister presiding is to do everything but preach the sermon and deliver the charge, and he may also deliver the sermon or the charge, or both ; that the charge to the Pastor and to the people is to be delivered by one Minister, there being prescribed here only one charge by one Minister, and not two charges by two Ministers ; and that a Ruling Elder cannot be an appointee for any of these functions. As there is nowhere any rule for determining an order of precedence between the members of Presbytery, the phrase "members of the Presbytery in their order" must mean simply one after another. Ruling Elders, members of the Presbytery, lay their hands on the head of the candidate, and extend to him the right hand of fellowship, as well as the Ministers. It is proper for them also to use the words "to take part in this ministry with us," although these words can mean, in their mouth, only the ministry of ruling. (Cf. also par. 112 and comments.)



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I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
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