On Saturday, May 30, 2015, we continued our third of five years journey in diaconate formation as a part of the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton class. This class was held at Bishop Alemany High School. This was our last class to be held here for this year.
One of the items discussed during this class was an article from “The Deacon Reader” which was edited by James Keating. The article “The Contemporary Renewal of the Diaconate” was written by Deacon William T. Ditewig. The article covered how the Permanent Diaconate was discussed during Vatican II. One of the reasons for the restoration of the Diaconate was the shortage of priests, partly because of World War II, many Catholic Clergy were imprisoned in Germany and Italy. The majority were imprisoned, man were executed in the German Concentration Camp of Dachau.
We discussed the article at great length and agreed that it was good to have knowledge of how the Diaconate was formed during Vatican II. It was also agreed that this book would be an excellent resource for an individual or couple considering the Diaconate.
We will be assisting with the presentation of the gifts at the Diaconate Ordination on June 6th. Nineteen Deacons will be ordained. We have completed our two quizzes for the year and will have our oral exam for this year on June 13th.
Our last class will be held at St. Louis of France in La Puente on June 20th and we will officially have completed our third year of formation and have only two years remaining.
In the fall of next year, those who received the rite of reader last year will receive the rite of acolyte. This is the last rite received prior to ordination. Ordination for the Elizabeth Ann Seaton class would occur at the end of their fifth year of formation, June 2017.
Below is some additional information about an acolyte from the General Instructions of the Roman Missal (GIRM). :
GIRM 187-193: The Functions of the Acolyte
- The functions that the acolyte may carry out are of various kinds and several may occur at the same moment. Hence, it is desirable that these duties be suitably distributed among several acolytes. If, in fact, only one acolyte is present, he should perform the more important duties while the rest are to be distributed among several ministers.
Duties during the Introductory Rites:
- In the procession to the altar, the acolyte may carry the cross, walking between two ministers with lighted candles. Upon reaching the altar, however, the acolyte places the cross upright near the altar so that it may serve as the altar cross; otherwise, he puts it away in a dignified place. Then he takes his place in the sanctuary.
- Through the entire celebration, it is for the acolyte to approach the Priest or the Deacon, whenever necessary, in order to present the book to them and to assist them in any other way required. Thus it is appropriate that, in so far as possible, the acolyte should occupy a place from which he can easily carry out his ministry either at the chair or at the altar.
Regarding the Liturgy of the Eucharist …
- In the absence of a Deacon, after the Universal Prayer and while the Priest remains at the chair, the acolyte places the corporal, the purificator, the chalice, the pall, and the Missal on the altar. Then, if necessary, the acolyte assists the Priest in receiving the gifts of the people and, if appropriate, brings the bread and wine to the altar and hands them to the Priest. If incense is being used, the acolyte presents the thurible to the Priest and assists him while he incenses the offerings, the cross, and the altar. Then the acolyte incenses the Priest and the people.
- A duly instituted acolyte, as an extraordinary minister, may, if necessary, assist the Priest in distributing Communion to the people.[Ministeria quaedam 6] If Communion is given under both kinds, in the absence of a Deacon, the acolyte administers the chalice to the communicants or holds the chalice if Communion is given by intinction.
- Likewise, after the distribution of Communion is complete, a duly instituted acolyte helps the Priest or Deacon to purify and arrange the sacred vessels. In the absence of a Deacon, a duly instituted acolyte carries the sacred vessels to the credence table and there purifies them, wipes them, and arranges them as usual.
- After the celebration of Mass, the acolyte and other ministers return together with the Deacon and the Priest in procession to the sacristy, in the same manner and in the same order in which they entered.
Your continued prayers and support during this process are greatly appreciated. We are sure that we would not be able to continue without them.
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:
3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241
Candy & Jay Krueger,
Candidacy Year II, Diaconate Formation year III,
Holy Family Church, South Pasadena, CA