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Minister Ordination: Becoming a Spiritual Leader


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Ordination as a minister has two chief aspects. First and foremost it is the process by which a person is granted the authority to perform religious ceremonies by the power of a church, seminary or other religious organization. While ministers officiating weddings often say “By the power granted to me by the state of. . . ” in fact the state takes a relatively small roll in officially sanctioning pastors and leaves most of the requirements to be set by the church.

The second, and personally more significant aspect at least to the newly ordained minister, is the spiritual dimension of being ordained. Rituals for ordination vary widely from the elaborate dogmatic spectacles to private meditations, but in every case the purpose of the ritualistic aspect is to enhance and induce spiritual and religious awe.

In the classic work, “The Varieties of Spiritual Experience, ” William James documented and detailed the many different methods that people use to help themselves achieve the elusive and difficult to describe emotional state associated with religious rapture. His manuscript was published in 1902, since then we can add a few more to fill out his findings: ecstatic dancing, fasting, self flagellation, hallucinogenic drugs, meditation, handling poisonous snakes, and even strong incense have all been used to reach this spiritual state of revere.

But extreme or elaborate rituals and facilities are really not necessary. This is fortunate if you happen to be a person wishing to be ordained and want a spiritually significant event but lack the capitol or time to invest in the pomp and circumstance of a cathedrals or other convoluted venue. For example if you are being ordained by an online process such as those offered by the Universal Life Church or the Church of Spiritual Humanism, then their websites should give you some guidance of the thoughts and actions you need to perform when seeking a connection to the rest of the cosmos.

Minister ordination should be freely available to any person that hears the calling to be a spiritual leader. While being ordained has important legal responsibilities associated with it, these should not overshadow the personal religious rewards that are the real basis of motivation for devotion and service.


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