Monday, March 1, 2010

Instituted Acolyte

Today, thirty five men in the Archdiocese of Newark will be installed as "Instituted" Acolytes. Please pray for them.

Here is some history about the Instituted Acolytes in the Roman Catholic Church.

Before August 15, 1972 (with the issuing of Pope Paul VI's moto proprio, suppressing the minor orders) the acolyte was the highest of the minor orders, having as duties the lighting of the altar-candles, carrying the candles in procession, assisting the subdeacon and deacon, and the ministering of water and wine to the priest at Mass. Acolytes wore the cassock and surplice. While acolytes did not receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, they were considered part of the clergy, and were considered a step on the way to Holy Orders. In the Latin Rite, they still do exist licitly in some capacity in traditional Catholic groups.

Paul's change was intended to replace the antique titles with two which recognized and encouraged the laity in the work of the Church. The Pope's intention was to have laymen thus able to participate more fully in this. The current Code of Canon Law has incorporated this ministry as one open to all baptized laymen. The Pope expressed the wish that these ministries would not be limited to seminarians. At present, though, this is the usual situation.

More information to follow.....

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