I read a blog comment elsewhere which brought into focus a niggle I have, and one that I have expressed on here before. It is about the distinctivness of priests and laity.
The argument goes that priests do not have special 'powers' (a term often used but not my own) and that we are not ontologically changed - that our inner-being is not changed as we are made priests. The implications for this are significant.
Send down the Holy Spirit on your servant N for the office and work of a priest in your Church.
This is moment of ordination, the moment when the Spirit is invoked and the ordinand changed by the grace and intervention of God through his Spirit in the laying on of hands. If this is not the case, we have to say the same for any change brought about by
Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit.
and if we have to say the same for that, then we have to say the same for any change born of
N, I baptize you
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
...and I doubt that any would argue that through baptism we are not changed. To me, at least, we cannot pick and choose, simply because a heart for inclusiveness finds distinctiveness awkward. We have a role and a charism, and I think that those to whom we minister rather count on it.
Quotes taken from the Common Worship provisions for those Rites