Buried among the prefaces in the English translation of the Roman Missal Second Edition is what appears to be another independent composition. Before I get to it, I want to reproduce the rubric that accompanied it:
This preface is used at Masses when readers or acolytes are instituted, or when other ministers are blessed, and the Ritual Mass, when permitted, is also used. It may also be used then bishops, presbyters, or deacons are ordained, and on other appropriate occasions.
In the current Missal, there is no preface listed for the institution of readers or acolytes, only a reference to the eighth Mass in the section for “Various Needs and Occasions.” And there, we find no preface, as blogged upon here some four years ago.
So we have another MR2 “orphan,” which reads:
- Starting with the rubric, the Church of the 80s and 90s clearly intended this text as a useful addition for a wide variety of ritual or special Masses beyond Holy Orders but not excluding those celebrations.
- The inclusion for use in the conferral of Holy Orders is interesting, in that this text is far more strongly emphatic in the notion of service. The surviving preface for Holy Orders in the MR3 stresses anointing, leadership, and Church leaders’ association with Christ as High Priest. That’s not a wrong or incorrect thing–just noticeable.
- That phrase “other appropriate occasions” looks intentionally vague. What do you suppose those Masses might be, if not for an ordination, institution, or blessing? A conference? Ministry gathering on a regional or local level?
- Here, the first mention is the Baptism of the Lord. From there, the teaching and example of Jesus in his public life, and the consequent importance of service as he preached to and affirmed in all his disciples, regardless of status, sex, or standing.
- The purpose of ministry in the Church is emphasized, namely the building up of the Body and the glory of the Father.
Thoughts or comments?