OCF 371: Presider and Other Ministers

Lay people can preside at the office for the dead, but the OCF encourages a priest or deacon as the ordinary leader:

371. A priest or deacon should normally preside whenever the office for the dead is celebrated with a congregation; other ministers ( reader, a cantor, an acolyte) should exercise their proper ministries. In the absence of a priest or deacon, a layperson presides.

Whenever possible, ministers should involve the family of the deceased in the planning of the hour and in the designation of ministers.

The minister vests according to local custom. If morning prayer or evening prayer is celebrated in the church, a priest or a deacon who presides wears an alb of surplice with stole (a cope may also be worn).

In many parishes, lay people actually have more experience presiding at the Liturgy of the Hours; it doesn’t seem to be a priority for clergy everywhere. The pastoral presence of the clergy, especially if they are engaged in the pastoral ministry to the dying, will always be appreciated by the mourners and the faith community as a whole.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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