Neil Peoples' Ordination

  Neil's Ordination Mass Video   Ordination Photos

The following photos are now available in our photo gallery:

Big Clean Up: Thanks to those who came along on Saturday 29 June to help prepare the church for the weekend. Photos Here

From St Peter's Leicester YouTube Channel  

The weekend was a great success and a wonderful opportunity for our own Parish to come together as a community to celebrate such a great occasion with Fr. Neil's family and friends, Bishop Malcolm and priests from around the diocese.

The church was packed for the Ordination Mass (quite warm given the weather!) with extra seats provided to a video link in the parish hall.

A large number of parishioners were also able to join in the festivities following the Ordination Mass; at the Ukrainian Church Hall just a few yards up Hinckley Road.

The weekend was completed with Fr. Neil's First Mass on Sunday 7 July at 11:15am, followed by celebrations in our own parish hall.

Music and Orders of Service 

As a memento of the weekend, below you will find Order of Services and music of the Mass setting that Neil chose (Missa de Angelis).  You can play the clips within your browser or download them to your computer (right click on MP3 and 'Save Target As')

Kyrie Mass VIII MP3
Gloria Mass VIII MP3
Credo III MP3
Sanctus Mass VIII MP3
Agnus Dei Mass VIII MP3

During the Investiture with Stole and Chasuble and the Anointing of Hands, the choir sang Veni Creator Spiritus ("Come Creator Spirit")

Veni Creator Spiritus MP3

You can also download The Order of Service for the Ordination and Neil's First Mass.

Mr Neil & Mrs Catherine Peoples request the pleasure and company of
All the Parishioners of St Peter’s Church
At the Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood of their son Neil Anthony Peoples
The Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop of Nottingham
Saturday 6th July 2013 at 12 noon
St Peter’s Church, 21 Hinckley Road, Leicester, LE3 0TA

First Mass will be celebrated Sunday 7th July at St Peter’s Church at 11:15am

The Ordination of a Priest

The Rite of Ordination, which takes place after the homily in the Ordination Mass, contains several elements.

The first of these is the examination of the candidate.  This examination involves promises which the priest is asked to renew each year at the Chrism Mass with the Bishop in Holy Week.

The Examination of the Candidate

Bishop: My son, before you proceed to the order of the presbyterate,
declare before the people your intention to undertake this priestly office.
Are you resolved, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to discharge without fail
the office of priesthood in the presbyteral order as a conscientious fellow
worker with the bishops in caring for the Lord’s flock?
Ordinand: I am.

Bishop: Are you resolved to celebrate the mysteries of Christ faithfully
and religiously as the Church has handed them down to us for the
glory of God and the sanctification of Christ’s people?
Ordinand:  I am.

Bishop: Are you resolved to exercise the ministry of the word worthily
and wisely, preaching the Gospel and explaining the Catholic faith?
Ordinand: I am.

Bishop: Are you resolved to consecrate your life to God for the
salvation of his people, and to unite yourself more closely every day
to Christ the High Priest, who offered himself for us to the Father
as a perfect sacrifice?
Ordinand: I am, with the help of God.

The Promise of Obedience

When Neil was ordained a deacon, he promised to remain celibate and to recite the Divine Office (The Official Daily Prayer of the Church). To this he now adds a promise of obedience. In the Ordination Rite, he will kneel before the Bishop, place his joined hands between those of the Bishop, and promise obedience to him and his successors. The congregation will invoke the Holy Spirit to impart the Grace to fulfil these promises.

Bishop: Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?
Neil: I do.
Bishop: May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfilment.


Much is said about celibacy and how out of step it seems with the modern world. In truth celibacy has always been a way of life that runs contrary to the norm. The sad truth is the whole Christian vision of sexuality has now become counter cultural. For the Christian, sexual intimacy only harmonises with the deep and authentic desire of the human heart when it is placed in the context of covenantal love in the service of life. In other words, sexual intimacy is only fully meaningful within marriage. The priest is one wedded to the Church. He is called to give his life in service of the Bride of Christ (the Church) following Christ’s own example. Celibacy is a powerful expression of this gift of himself. Together with his commitment to the Prayer of the Church, celibacy manifests the priest’s fidelity to the Bride of Christ.


Surprisingly little is said about obedience. This promise is at least as counter-cultural as that of celibacy. In an age that exalts personal freedom and the right to self determination, the Church asks her priests to promise obedience to another man, the bishop. The priest’s obedience gives witness to the truth that the bishop exercises the authority given by Christ to His Apostles when he acts and teaches in harmony with the Catholic Faith and in communion with the Pope.

Following Neil’s promise of Obedience, the whole congregation is asked to actively participate by interceding for Neil through the Litany of the Saints.  All kneel down and Neil lies prostrate before the Altar.

The Laying on of Hands and Prayer of Consecration

Once the Litany is complete, Neil then presents himself on his knees before the Bishop who lays his hands on Neil’s head, a gesture which takes us back to the apostolic origins of Ordination found in the scripture.  The other priests come forward one by one to repeat this gesture, illustrating that Neil is being received into the fraternal order of priesthood.  The priests then associate themselves with the Prayer of Consecration, which the Bishop prays with hands extended:

Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God; you are the source of every honour and dignity, of all progress and stability.

You watch over the growing family of man by your gift of wisdom and your pattern of order.

When you had appointed high priests to rule your people, you chose other men next to them in rank and dignity to be with them and to help them in their task; and so there grew up the ranks of priests and the offices of levites, established by sacred rites.

In the desert you extended the spirit of Moses to seventy wise men who helped him to rule the great company of his people.

You shared among the sons of Aaron the fullness of their father’s power, to provide worthy priests in sufficient number for the increasing rites of sacrifice and worship.

With the same loving care you gave companions to your Son’s apostles to help in teaching the faith:  they preached the Gospel to the whole world.

Lord, grant also to us such fellow workers, for we are weak and our need is greater.
Almighty Father, grant to this servant of yours the dignity of the priesthood. Renew within him the Spirit of holiness.

As a co-worker with the order of bishops may he be faithful to the ministry that he receives from you, Lord God, and be to others a model of right conduct.

May he be faithful in working with the order of bishops, so that the words of the Gospel may reach the ends of the earth, and the family of nations, made one in Christ, may become God’s one, holy people. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, none God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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