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Middle English ordeinen, from Anglo-French ordener, ordeiner, from Late Latin ordinare, from Latin, to put in order, appoint, from ordin-, ordo order
- Date: 14th century
- transitive verb
- 1 : to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority
- 2 a : to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law : enact <we the people…do ordain and establish this Constitution — United States Constitution>
In general religious use, ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination itself varies by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is undergoing the process of ordination, is sometimes called an ordinand. The liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordinal.