Installed Acolytes

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Deacon2006

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What would you do if you knew an installed acolyte was at the Mass and wanted to serve at the altar per his rank ?

I know several, including myself, who feel we never get a chance to adequately preform our duties because of over zealous EMHCs elbow us out of the way.

Personally, as an installed acolyte, I have requested to take my turn at serving the altar during weekday masses yet the I have only received a cold shoulder from the adult servers. I have asked to be scheduled to assist as an EMHC on Sunday masses but have only been offerred Saturdays. Another EMHC who organizes communion for the sick only seems to require my help on holiday weekends and that she does want to have me go along with her team to the senior residences because some weekends I am at the seminary.

To be fair I don’t think any of these people realise that installed acolytes hold the liturgical position of first among EMHC’s. Acolytes tend to be very humble men and many of us just let it slide. I would like to hear what others think.

Do you think you acolytes should publicly perform the role the bishop has installed them for? Would you step aside as an EMHC to let the acolyte perform his ministry? Do you think the ministry of installed acolyte offers anything to the mass? Would it effect you to know that there are acolytes in your parish not being properly utlized? Or do you think that an acolyte should not say anything and just wait until they ordained to live out their public Ministry?

Peace and God Bless
 
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Deacon2006:
What would you do if you knew an installed acolyte was at the Mass and wanted to serve at the altar per his rank ?

I know several, including myself, who feel we never get a chance to adequately preform our duties because of over zealous EMHCs elbow us out of the way.

Personally, as an installed acolyte, I have requested to take my turn at serving the altar during weekday masses yet the I have only received a cold shoulder from the adult servers. I have asked to be scheduled to assist as an EMHC on Sunday masses but have only been offerred Saturdays. Another EMHC who organizes communion for the sick only seems to require my help on holiday weekends and that she does want to have me go along with her team to the senior residences because some weekends I am at the seminary.

To be fair I don’t think any of these people realise that installed acolytes hold the liturgical position of first among EMHC’s. Acolytes tend to be very humble men and many of us just let it slide. I would like to hear what others think.

Do you think you acolytes should publicly perform the role the bishop has installed them for? Would you step aside as an EMHC to let the acolyte perform his ministry? Do you think the ministry of installed acolyte offers anything to the mass? Would it effect you to know that there are acolytes in your parish not being properly utlized? Or do you think that an acolyte should not say anything and just wait until they ordained to live out their public Ministry?

Peace and God Bless
Hard to tell. Have you asked the priest about this? He should talk to them and straighten them out. I would think he could give you the best council on this issue.
 
I am also an Installed Acolyte, planning on a May 2005 ordination as a Permanent Deacon.

What advantage is there in pressing? We will only be seen as self-aggrandizing.

Better to talk privately with our pastors to be scheduled to serve.

Pax,
Joe
 
I don’t think most people have any clue to what an acolyte is? I know I am a bit confused, could you explain more in detail?
 
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Deacon2006:
What would you do if you knew an installed acolyte was at the Mass and wanted to serve at the altar per his rank ?

I know several, including myself, who feel we never get a chance to adequately preform our duties because of over zealous EMHCs elbow us out of the way.

Personally, as an installed acolyte, I have requested to take my turn at serving the altar during weekday masses yet the I have only received a cold shoulder from the adult servers. I have asked to be scheduled to assist as an EMHC on Sunday masses but have only been offerred Saturdays. Another EMHC who organizes communion for the sick only seems to require my help on holiday weekends and that she does want to have me go along with her team to the senior residences because some weekends I am at the seminary.

To be fair I don’t think any of these people realise that installed acolytes hold the liturgical position of first among EMHC’s. Acolytes tend to be very humble men and many of us just let it slide. I would like to hear what others think.

Do you think you acolytes should publicly perform the role the bishop has installed them for? Would you step aside as an EMHC to let the acolyte perform his ministry? Do you think the ministry of installed acolyte offers anything to the mass? Would it effect you to know that there are acolytes in your parish not being properly utlized? Or do you think that an acolyte should not say anything and just wait until they ordained to live out their public Ministry?

Peace and God Bless
Outside of those men on their way to the priesthood or permanent diaconate, or in the Diocese of Lincoln Nebraska (and a small handful of others), very few installed acolytes exist today in the USA.

Your note outlines the pushiness and ignorance of more than a few EMHCs. You need to take this up with your pastor away from the Mass, behind closed doors. In essence, you should be seheduled to serve before any EMHC or altar server…
 
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cmom:
I don’t think most people have any clue to what an acolyte is? I know I am a bit confused, could you explain more in detail?
An installed acolyte is a minor order open only to males. A man is permantly installed as an acolyte by his bishop. Most men who become acolytes today do so on their way to the priesthood or permanent diaconate.

Their duties are most easily described as a combination of those performed by an EMHC and an altar server.

EMHCs on the other hand are deputed for a temporary period. An acolyte to a EMHC is analogous of a lector to a reader…

I was told that my bishop would not consider installing acolytes because he wanted to ensure that women could be involed in sanctuary based ministries…
 
I don’t think we have any in our diocese.
Explain the difference between lector and reader please. We use the term interchangably.
 
Only men are allowed to be lectors.

Four Minor Orders:
-Acolyte
-Lector
-Excorcist
-Porter

Major Orders:
-Bishop
-Priest
-Deacon
-Subdeacon
 
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Iohannes:
Only men are allowed to be lectors.

Four Minor Orders:
-Acolyte
-Lector
-Excorcist
-Porter

Major Orders:
-Bishop
-Priest
-Deacon
-Subdeacon
Porter, Subdeacon and Exorcist were minor orders. They were supressed with Vatican Council II.

Exorcisms are now carried out only by specially trained and approved priests at the diocescan (or above) level.
 
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cmom:
I don’t think we have any in our diocese.
Explain the difference between lector and reader please. We use the term interchangably.
Lector = minor order open only to males. Males are permanently installed as lectors by their bishops, or along their journey to the priesthood or permanent diaconate.

Reader = open to either sex. Individuals are temporarily deputed as readers for a determined period or as a specific need arrises.

Some of the confusion stems from the fact that readers assume the duties of the installed lector at most Masses, just as altar servers and EMHC assume the duties of the installed acolyte at most Masses.
 
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Crusader:
Porter, Subdeacon and Exorcist were minor orders. They were supressed with Vatican Council II.

Exorcisms are now carried out only by specially trained and approved priests at the diocescan (or above) level.
The Subdeacon is a major order and any man who becomes a subdeacon must take a vow of celebacy.

The subdeaconate was not suppressed, I talked to a seminarian from the Institute Christ the King, and he said that it is still possible to ordain people to the subdeaconate. He told me that Cardinal Stickler himself ordained subdeacons. Doesn’t the FSSP ordain still ordain subdeacons?
 
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Iohannes:
The Subdeacon is a major order and any man who becomes a subdeacon must take a vow of celebacy.

The subdeaconate was not suppressed, I talked to a seminarian from the Institute Christ the King, and he said that it is still possible to ordain people to the subdeaconate. He told me that Cardinal Stickler himself ordained subdeacons. Doesn’t the FSSP ordain still ordain subdeacons?
He’s wrong, at least within the Latin Rite. Subdeacons are niether a major nor a minor order.

During the celerbation of the Tridentine Mass, an acolyte, deacon or priest fills the role of the subdeacon, but they are obviously not ordained as subdeacons any longer.
 
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Crusader:
He’s wrong, at least within the Latin Rite. Subdeacons are niether a major nor a minor order.

During the celerbation of the Tridentine Mass, an acolyte, deacon or priest fills the role of the subdeacon, but they are obviously not ordained as subdeacons any longer.
Number one he has been a seminarian for 3 years, he fills the role of a subdeacon, but since he is not ordained a subdeacon, he cannot do everything a subdeacon does.

Well in my New Marian Missal by Fr. Juergens, the Subdeaconate is listed as a Major Order.

newadvent.org/cathen/14320a.htm
The subdiaconate is the lowest of the sacred or major orders in the Latin Church.
 
Iohannes,

Your info is dated. I believe your “New Marian Missal” was published in 1958. And, in 1909, when the 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia was written, there was a subdeacon. However, according to Pope Paul VI, in 1972, that changed.

According to James Akin:
Lector and acolyte are two historically important offices. They were formerly ranked as “minor orders” and were typically reserved for those in preparation for the reception of sacred orders (cf. Documents on the Liturgy, 2922)

That changed in 1972, when Pope Paul VI issued a motu proprio called Ministeria Quaedam on first tonsure, minor orders, and the subdiaconate (DOL 2922-2938). This document simplified the ministires below that of deacon …

… What are up to now called minor orders are henceforth to be called ministries.

… The functions heretofore assigned to the subdeacon are entrusted to the reader and the acolyte … subdiaconate no longer exists in the Latin church

[James Akin, *Mass Confusion
, 2nd Ed., (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 1999), 40-41]
**Paul VI, Motu Propiro Ministeria quaedam, **15 August 1972
romanrite.com/Churchdoc.html
There is, however, no reason why the acolyte cannot be called a subdeacon in some places, at the discretion of the conference of bishops.
God bless,

Dave
 
According to the Ceremony of Bishops, cited by James Akin in the reference I cited above…
In the ministry of the altar acolytes have their own proper functions and should exercise these even though minsters of a higher rank may be present [CB 27]
Certainly if an acolyte’s function ought to be exercised even if higher ranking minsters are present, then if EMHC’s (lower ranking) are present that ought to not keep you from your ministry.

According to the Holy See’s 1973 instruction Immensae Caritatis:
The faithful, whether religious or lay, who are authorized as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist can distribute Communion ONLY when there is no priest, deacon or acolyte …
It seems to me that your parish is either inadvertently or defiantly violating this instruction.

If I were an acolyte, I would simply do as our deacon does and take the place of one of the scheduled EMHCs at the Mass. Bypass the scheduler altogether. In my parish, no EMHC would have a problem with that.

However, it sounds like in your parish, it may be better that you square this with the pastor, showing him the Holy See’s 1973 instruction if necessary, and ask that the pastor to direct the person training/scheduling the EMHC that this is the pastor’s policy.

God bless,

Dave
 
I wish an installed acolyte would come and take my place as an EMHC! I was “guilted” into being one, by my pastor, even though I think it is an “office” that is used in an abusive manner. I guess I could be persuaded at Sunday Mass that there is a need for all the chalices for the distribution of the Precious Blood. However, I think it leads folks to regard Communion as a McDonald’s get it quick burger!
I really dislike the processing up the aisle at the beginning of Mass, as well as entering the sanctuary at all! I am not worthy, and don’t like to have folks think that I think I’m worthy–if that makes any sense. I am a lady, and feel that if we do have to have EMHC that at least they ought to be gentlemen. I think it is terrible to have 2 or 3 EMHC at a daily Mass with less than 30 in the pews! That is why I now sit in the very rear of the church at daily Mass, so the “sacristan” lady will not ask me to volunteer!
God Bless you all,
Margaret Ellen 😦
 
Margaret Ellen:
I wish an installed acolyte would come and take my place as an EMHC! I was “guilted” into being one, by my pastor, even though I think it is an “office” that is used in an abusive manner. I guess I could be persuaded at Sunday Mass that there is a need for all the chalices for the distribution of the Precious Blood. However, I think it leads folks to regard Communion as a McDonald’s get it quick burger!
I really dislike the processing up the aisle at the beginning of Mass, as well as entering the sanctuary at all! I am not worthy, and don’t like to have folks think that I think I’m worthy–if that makes any sense. I am a lady, and feel that if we do have to have EMHC that at least they ought to be gentlemen. I think it is terrible to have 2 or 3 EMHC at a daily Mass with less than 30 in the pews! That is why I now sit in the very rear of the church at daily Mass, so the “sacristan” lady will not ask me to volunteer!
God Bless you all,
Margaret Ellen 😦
If more EMHCs shared your wonderful values, we would probably have fewer liturgical abuses and fewer EMHCs…
 
After reading through this thread and the thread concerning the challenge to resign as an EMHC, I went before the Blessed Sacrament during my Holy Hour time. I prayerfully considered all the pros and cons of my asking to resign. The very next morning, I told our pastoral assistant of my intentions. He agreed with my reasons, which I knew he would, and so I have resigned.
I feel thankful for being able to pick the brains and souls of all of you on this thread.
God bless you all! 🙂
 
Margaret Ellen:
After reading through this thread and the thread concerning the challenge to resign as an EMHC, I went before the Blessed Sacrament during my Holy Hour time. I prayerfully considered all the pros and cons of my asking to resign. The very next morning, I told our pastoral assistant of my intentions. He agreed with my reasons, which I knew he would, and so I have resigned.
I feel thankful for being able to pick the brains and souls of all of you on this thread.
God bless you all! 🙂
May God bless you…
 
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