After the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, the apostles brought their number back to twelve by choosing Matthias to replace him. He was chosen by lot from amongst the disciples. The author of the Acts of the Apostles sees apostleship differently from Paul’s interpretation of the role and seems to reflect the understanding of the Gospel of Luke. The number had to be restored so they might ‘sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel’. It was conditional that they had to have been with Jesus during his earthly ministry and witness to the resurrection. The point of being chosen by lot, rather than by some democratic method, indicated election, or choosing by God, rather than by mortals.
who into the place of the traitor Judas
didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias
to be of the number of the twelve Apostles:
Grant that thy Church,
being alway preserved from false Apostles,
may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.