17 February 2009

New Acolytes for the Church

Since I will have little time to blog tomorrow, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Phil Bowen, David Doran and Michael Glover, who will be instituted as Acolytes at a Mass celebrated by Bishop Philip Pargeter this evening.
All three are training for the catholic priesthood at Oscott, and are for the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Acolytes are mentioned as a minor order (along with porters, lectors, and exorcists) as early as a letter of Pope Cornelius to Fabius of Antioch in 252. They were also mentioned in Cyprian's writings. They assisted deacons or subdeacons at the preparation of the table. Later they carried candles in processions. In Rome they carried fragments of the bread consecrated at the papal Mass to other churches. In the late middle ages, when candles began to appear upon altars, they lighted the altar candles. Eventually lay servers or sacristans performed duties earlier associated with acolytes, and the order of acolyte was normally conferred upon a candidate for priesthood in the course of his training.

Pope Paul VI issued a Motu Proprio, Ministeria Quaedam, in 1972 in which he said the minor orders were now to be called ministries and two, namely reader and acolyte, were to be preserved in the Latin Church. The acolyte is appointed in order to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest, to attend to the service of the altar. Additionally, his role is to distribute communion as a special minister when the ordinary ministers (deacon and priest) are not able to do so.

An acolyte has, in the past, been described as being like an angel, so I like to think we now have three new angels in our midst.

Well done, lads. We are all proud of you.


  1. The Priest Training funders (and all our parishioners too!)in the parish will be delighted with the progress of those who are being prayed for on a daily basis!

    Hope that all goes well with your own preparations for Priesthood.

    You mention special minsters in your report...after much explaining I was able recently to get those in the parish to see them selves as Extraordinary Minsisters of Communion! And ween them of the special bit!

    Prayers and good wishes for you on the road to the priesthood.

  2. Please excuse my spelling! Where is word check when you need it! Minsisters should read ministers! I am not promoting a feminist agenda!!!

    God Bless

  3. Am enjoying your posts immensely. God bless your ministry and may your ordination be filled with graces for all.

  4. Pat, thanks for your prayers. I'll pass on your comments.
    PlainCatholic, thank you for your comments.



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