This weekend, our “deacon in formation” JOE GIGLIOTTI, is on retreat with his wife Nadia and other deacon candidates.
In the course of the retreat, Joe will receive the Ministry of Acolyte.
The acolyte’s function is to assist the priest and deacon at the altar. This means for the most part that the acolyte does what most of us are used to seeing any altar server do at Mass.
The things which only a duly instituted acolyte may do are:
· Preparing the altar for the Eucharist if there is no deacon present (GIRM 190).
· Purifying the vessels at the credence table after Communion if there is no deacon present (GIRM 192).
· Serve as a preferred extraordinary minister of Holy Communion (GIRM 191).
· Expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration
The GIRM does not specify a particular vestment for the acolyte, but like any liturgical minister assisting at the altar, he should be in choir dress — alb, or cassock and surplice.
Just like the ministry of lector, the ministry of acolyte is a life-long ministry at the service of the Church. It is therefore especially important that the acolyte foster a proper spirit for this ministry in his heart. Just as the lector should have a special devotion to sacred scripture, the acolyte should be devoted especially to the Eucharist. In the words of Pope Paul VI:
He will perform these functions more worthily if he participates in the Holy Eucharist with increasingly fervent devotion, receives nourishment from it, and deepens his knowledge about it. As one set aside in a special way for the service of the altar, the acolyte should learn all matters concerning public divine worship and strive to grasp their inner spiritual meaning: in that way he will be able each day to offer himself entirely to God, be an example to all by his gravity and reverence in church, and have a sincere love for the Mystical Body of Christ, the people of God, especially for the weak and the sick (Ministeria quaedam).
Please pray for Joe and Nadia and the other deacon candidates of our diocese, as they continue formation for the order of deacon to be bestowed, God willing in June of 2020.
This beautiful prayer may be prayed at any time; however, it is particularly
efficacious when prayed just after receiving Holy Communion:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ’s side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints and with Thy angels
Forever and ever