On March 25, 2017 we met at Alemany High School. We will be at Alemany High School for our next class on the 9th of April.
Today we reviewed all of the items that a Deacon can do during Mass. The reason for this is that it will comprise our last practicum as part of our formation process. The focus of this practicum is to perform all possible duties including the use of incense. It will be a rehearsal for our Mass of Thanksgiving and will include the Gospel for June 11th and a chance to practice the homily each candidate will be providing. Jay is one of the three whose practicum will occur on April 9th.
Here are all the items that a Deacon can perform during a Mass (This information is from the United States Conference of Bishops “The Deacon at Mass”. The numbers in parenthesis reference the General Instruction for the Roman Missal (GIRM).) :
- Vested and carrying the Book of the Gospels slightly elevated, the deacon precedes the priest on the way to the altar or else walks at the priest’s side if the Book of the Gospels is already enshrined on the altar (172).
- Upon arriving at the altar, if he is carrying the Book of the Gospels, the deacon omits the reverence and goes up to the altar. After placing the Book of the Gospels on it, along with the priest, he venerates the altar with a kiss.
- However, if he is not carrying the Book of the Gospels, he customarily makes a profound bow to the altar with the priest alone, and then with him venerates the altar with a kiss (no. 274). (If, however, the tabernacle is located in the sanctuary, all the ministers genuflect to it only when they first approach the altar and when they leave the sanctuary, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.)
- Finally, if incense is used, he assists the priest in putting some in the censer and incensing the cross and the altar (no. 173). After the incensation, the deacon goes to the chair with the priest, sits next to him, and assists him as required (no. 174).
Liturgy of the Word
- If incense is used, the deacon assists the priest when he puts incense in the censer during the singing of the Alleluia or other chant.
- Then he makes a profound bow before the priest and asks for the blessing, saying in a low voice: “Your blessing, Father.” The priest blesses him: “May the Lord be in your heart….” The deacon signs himself with the sign of the cross and responds: Amen.
- Then he takes the Book of the Gospels which was fittingly laid on the altar and, with a bow to the altar, processes to the ambo, slightly elevating the book, with the censer bearer preceding him, while the censer is smoking, and with ministers holding lighted candles.
- There he greets the people, saying, with his hands joined: “The Lord be with you,” and then, ” A reading from the Holy Gospel…” signing the book with his thumb and afterwards, himself on his forehead, mouth and breast. He incenses the book and proclaims the Gospel reading.
- After the reading, he acclaims without raising the Book of the Gospels: “The Gospel of the Lord,” to which all respond: “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.” Then he venerates the book with a kiss and the deacon says inaudibly: “Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.” He then returns the book to the priest or places it in another suitable place.
- When the deacon is assisting a Bishop, he may carry the book to him to be kissed. In more solemn celebrations, as circumstances allow, the Bishop may impart a blessing to the people with the Book of the Gospels. Then the deacon carries the Book of the Gospels to the side table or another dignified and appropriate place (no. 175).
- If there is no other qualified reader present, then the deacon may deliver the other readings as well (no. 176). However, every effort should be made to insure the presence of lectors for the celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy.
- After the priest introduces the Universal Prayer, the deacon announces the intentions from the ambo or another suitable place (no. 177). He remains at the ambo while the priest concludes the Universal Prayer with a prayer.
- At the conclusion of this prayer, the deacon begins the preparation of the altar.
Liturgy of the Eucharist
- After the Universal Prayer, while the priest remains at the chair, the deacon prepares the altar, assisted by the acolyte(s), but the care of the sacred vessels belongs to the deacon. He assists the priest in receiving the people’s gifts in a suitable place.
- Next, he hands the priest the paten with the bread to be consecrated, pours wine and a little water into the chalice saying inaudibly: “By the mystery of this water and wine…,” then passes the chalice to the priest. He may also make this preparation of the chalice at the side table.
- If incense is used, the deacon assists the priest with the incensation of the gifts, the cross and the altar; afterward he, or the acolyte, incenses the priest and the people (no. 178).
- During the Eucharistic Prayer, the deacon stands near but slightly behind the priest, so that when needed he may assist the priest with the chalice or the Roman Missal.
- As a general rule, from the epiclesis until the elevation of the chalice the deacon remains kneeling. If there are several deacons present, one of them goes to place incense in the censer for the consecration and then incenses at the elevation of the host and the chalice (no. 179).
- At the final doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer, the deacon stands next to the priest, and after the priest (or Bishop) hands him the chalice, he elevates the chalice as the priest raises the paten with the Eucharistic bread, until the people have responded with the acclamation Amen (no. 180).
- After the priest has said the prayer for peace and the greeting “The peace of the Lord be with you always” and the people have made the response “And with your spirit,” the deacon may invite all to exchange the sign of peace, saying, with hands joined and facing the people: “Let us offer each other the sign of peace.” He himself receives the sign of peace from the priest and may offer it to the other ministers near him (no. 181).
- After the priest’s communion, the deacon receives under both kinds from the priest himself and then assists the priest in giving communion to the people. But if communion is given under both kinds, the deacon ministers the chalice.
- When the distribution is completed, the deacon immediately and reverently consumes at the altar all of the Blood of Christ which remains; he may be assisted, if needs dictate, by other deacons and priests (no. 182) or, in their absence, by extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America, no. 37).
- After communion, the deacon returns to the altar with the priest and collects any remaining fragments. He then takes the chalice and other vessels to the side table, where he cleanses them and arranges them in the usual way; the priest returns to the chair. But it is permissible to leave the vessels to be cleansed, suitably covered and at a side table on a corporal, immediately after Mass following the dismissal of the people (no. 183).
- Following the Prayer after Communion, if there are any brief announcements, the deacon may make them, unless the priest prefers to do so himself (no. 184).
- If a more solemn formula for the blessing is used, or even a prayer over the people, the deacon says: “Bow down for the blessing.”
- After the priest’s blessing, the deacon, with hands joined and facing the people, dismisses them, saying: “Go forth, the Mass is ended” or using one of the other formulas of the Roman Missal (no. 185).
- Along with the priest, the deacon venerates the altar with a kiss, makes a profound bow, and leaves in the manner prescribed for the entrance procession (no. 186).
If there two Deacons at Mass, one would be the Deacon of the Word and the other the Deacon at the Altar. For the practicum, Jay will be performing both functions.
As of March 25th there are 76 days till ordination.
Please remember those in the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Diaconate class in your prayers we enter into our last few months of formation.
And our Diaconate Journey continues…
If you have any questions about what we have experienced in the diaconate (aka “that deacon thing”), please ask us or send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in becoming a Deacon or a Deacon Couple for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, please contact:
Diaconate Formation Office Archdiocese of Los Angeles
3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241 213-637-7383
Upcoming Diaconate Information Days:
Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at St. Andrew Parish School, 42 Chestnut St. Pasadena, 91103
Sunday, July 23, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at St. Dominic Savio Parish, 13400 Bellflower Blvd. Bellflower, 90706
Candy & Jay Krueger, Diaconate Formation, Year V,
Holy Family Church, South Pasadena, CA