Glossary – O


Is the submission of one’s will and conduct to an authority. For Christians obedience to God is unconditional and obedience to humans conditional.
As one of the Evangelical Counsels obedience is one of the vows publicly professed by those in religious life. Religious practise obedience in imitation of Christ who was obedient to the will of his Father.

Old Testament (N.101-123, 128-133)

The Old Testament is the first of two sections of the Christian Bible or Sacred Scriptures, the second being the New Testament. The Old Testament is a collection of 46 books of Jewish origin gathered together and edited over hundreds of years. Its final form (or canon) was not settled till early in the Christian era. The Old Testament has four main divisions. The Pentateuch (five scrolls) is the first five books, known by Jews as ‘The Law’. The second division is The Historical Books, followed by The Wisdom Books and The Prophets. The Church regards the Old Testament, along with the New Testament, as the inspired Word of God. The Old Testament is an integral component of worship in the Church which also recommends it to the faithful as a source of “strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting font of the spiritual life”. The Old Testament is sometimes referred to as the Jewish Scriptures or the First Testament.

Ordain, Ordination (N.1572-74)

The liturgical rite of the Church in which the Sacrament of Holy Orders is celebrated is known as ordination. When this rite is celebrated, the Spirit of God is invoked on the candidates for the office of bishop, or priest, or deacon as they are initiated into the ministry of the Church. The rite of ordination is presided over by a bishop, who is said to ‘ordain’ those candidates who are presented for a particular office or order. Ordination takes place during the celebration of the Eucharist. Emphasis is placed on the laying on of hands by the presiding bishop and any other bishops who are present (for the ordination of a bishop) or priests (for the ordination of a priest), together with the prayer over the candidate. These are the essential elements of the rite of ordination.

Ordinary Time (N.1163-67)

The days in the Church calendar that are not included in the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent or Easter. Ordinary Time falls into two distinct periods; the five to nine weeks between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent, and the twenty three to twenty seven weeks from Pentecost to the Feast of Christ the King. The liturgical colour for Ordinary Time is green.