So this last Sunday, a few “family complications came up” as we were driving to Church, and, to make a long, unimportant story short, my family and I had to go to a Roman Rite church for Mass.
Now, I grew up in the Byzantine Rite, so the few experiences I’ve had with the Roman Rite were on odd Sundays like this. Well, I was under the impression that a priest was the only one who could generally preform the Rite of Baptism, unless in dire circumstances. At the Mass, there was a deacon and a priest, and there was going to be a Baptism that day. When it came time for the Baptism to take place, the deacon came down and started saying some things. My first thought was “Oh, this is normal. The deacon always says introductory prayers or litanies or something”. But after a few minutes, I realized that he was just going to do the whole thing. And he did. And I was very confused. And kinda worried.
So, my question is, is that a legitimate thing to do in the West?
Also, because this brings up the differences between the East and the West, can anyone tell me why the priest faces the people and barely says anything? And why there are so many extra people “handing out” the Eucharist? And why a layperson can just walk right up to the tabernacle and take out the Eucharist, proceeding to touch It with his bare hands, seeming to prepare the Gifts?
There are so many more questions I have about the differences between the Rites, but if someone can either answer those or send me to another source for the answer, that would be much appreciated.