In this sacrament men are ordained to the diaconate and the priesthood. In Ireland so far the diaconate is a stage before priesthood but in a many other countries the diaconate is a separate ministry to help priests in busy cities and towns. It belongs solely to the priest the role of presiding at the Eucharist, being able to absolve sinners in the sacrament of Penance and anoint the ill.
Those ordained to the diaconate can baptise, preside at a wedding ceremony where there is a Liturgy of the Word or a Holy Communion Service. Ordination is a call to share in the ministry of Christ and the Apostles in a very special way.
This sacrament is about leadership, witness and being the prophetic voice of the Spirit in the world and being able to break the word of God so that it can be an energy for those weighed down by illness, bereavement or other challenging experiences.
Holy Orders in the Roman Catholic Church includes three orders: Deacon, Priest, and Bishop.
The Church regards ordination as a Sacrament. The purpose of the Sacrament is to constitute a person as a minister within the Church.
Priests, as cooperators of the bishops in their sacramental ministry, may confer all of the sacraments except Holy Orders, the sacrament of governance, itself.
Bishops receive the "Spirit of governance" and are the successors of the Apostles. Since they have the "fullness of orders," they may confer all seven of the sacraments and are empowered to lead the Church in terms of sound doctrine and pastoral administration. Bishops are chosen from among the priests in the Catholic Church.