Ordination Rites: Ordination of a Deacon 1-5

Chapter II of the treats the ordination of a deacon. A reminder that many liturgists neglect reading the rites, especially the introductions and the texts that precede the actual “red and black.” These tell us as much or more about the Church’s theology behind the rites as the constitutions and other documents.

First, an ordination is a cause for a celebration of a “large number” of believers:

1. The ordination of a deacon should take place on a Sunday or holyday, when a large number of the faithful can attend, unless pastoral reasons suggest another day.

The public commitment to celibacy by the candidate for ordi­nation as a priest and by an unmarried candidate for the diaconate, including a religious, must be made before the rite of ordination of a deacon (see no. 14 below).

The cathedra may be moved for the actual ordination:

2. The ordination should take place ordinarily at the cathedra or bishop’s chair; or, to enable the faithful to participate more fully, a chair for the bishop may be placed before the altar or elsewhere. A seat for the one to be ordained should be placed so that the faithful may have a complete view of the liturgical rites.

Liturgical clothing for the ordinands:

3. The one to be ordained wears an alb (with amice and cincture unless other provisions are made).

Sacristan duties:

4. In addition to what is needed for the celebration of Mass, there should be ready: (a) the Roman Pontifical; (b) stole and dalmatic for the candidate.

The beginning of Mass:

5. When everything is ready, the procession moves through the church to the altar in the usual way. A deacon carries the Book of the Gospels; he is followed by the candidate and finally by the bishop between two deacons.

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Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to Ordination Rites: Ordination of a Deacon 1-5

  1. Chase says:

    It’s interesting that the amice is specifically mentioned here, especially as it doesn’t even show up in the GIRM. Any ideas as to why this is?

  2. Liam says:

    It sure is discussed in the GIRM: it’s only required if the alb doesn’t cover the neck (most modern albs do, obviating the need for an amice):

    336. The sacred garment common to ordained and instituted ministers of any rank is the alb, to be tied at the waist with a cincture unless it is made so as to fit even without such. Before the alb is put on, should this not completely cover the ordinary clothing at the neck, an amice should be put on. The alb may not be replaced by a surplice, not even over a cassock, on occasions when a chasuble or dalmatic is to be worn or when, according to the norms, only a stole is worn without a chasuble or dalmatic.

  3. Chase says:

    This is true. I’m not much into liturgical fashion, but I just thought it was interesting.

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