Can a deacon peform EF baptism?


#1

We are having our child baptized and a friend of our parents has so kindly offered to baptize our child. I haven’t asked him yet because I wanted to know if it was permissible first, but can a deacon baptize using the extradorinary form? From what I’ve read briefly it seems likely, so long as the salt and water is exercised and blessed by the priest beforehand.

Also, I’m not sure how to ask this delicately. Honestly I’d rather have the priest baptize my child and maybe I’m being scrupulously, but I just wish it could be this way. It seems my only other option is to have an ordinary baptism done at the mass by the priest.

And if a deacon can not excoriate the salt and water how can he carry out the exorcism at the baptism itself?

Another issue is I’m not even sure if this Deacon knows the extraordinary form but I suppose he could learn : )


#2

Yes, in theory, a deacon can baptize in the EF provided the water is blessed and exorcized as well as the salt exorcized beforehand by the priest. The part where you may run into issues is whether or not the deacon knows how to baptize in the EF. With regards to the other exorcism, traditionally that wasn’t done by a priest. It was done by someone who received the minor order of exorcist, which isn’t the same as an exorcist priest. I don’t really know how to explain it. Every deacon prior to Vatican II had received minor orders as they were part of the road to the Priesthood. After Vatican II minor orders, as well as the subdeaconate were suppressed, as well as the permanent deaconate restored. By virtue of their ordination to the deaconate, permanent deacons have in essence received what they needed to receive from minor orders.


#3

Thank you for your response.

So the deacon should already know that the salt and water need to be exorcised and blessed by a priest and not himself? This is not something I need to insist upon? I don’t want to offend anyone. I doubt this Deacon has done any EF but I could be wrong but if it’s a matter of just learning I know he would do it for our family.

What about the oils? Does the priest bless those too?


#4

It would be quite logical that the salt and water need to be exorcised and blessed by a priest, but I would make sure to mention it just in case, in the manner of “you probably are aware that…” or similar.

If the deacon has no experience in the EF, but is willing to learn for the sake of your baptism, I’m sure he will also tolerate (or more probably, be grateful for) gentle guidance.

What about the oils? Does the priest bless those too?

The oils are blessed by the bishop of your diocese during the Chrism mass on (ideally, but sometimes moved for practical reasons) Maundy Thursday.


#5

I thought that the Deacon ‘could’ bless the water/salt and whaterver necessary to administer this Sacrament. Wouldn’t it be pretty much the same asking the Deacon to Bless any object. I would have no prlbm having the Deacon Baptise my child. Holy Orders right ?


#6

That’s right duh! I should have known that seeing as how we attended the chrism mass.

Thanks!


#7

I believe we are all obliged to perform baptism ourselves in dire circumstances. With this in mind it would appear on the surface perfectly logical that a baptism by a deacon would be no problem.

"1. Baptism. As has been discussed so many times before in this space, anybody can baptize, as ordination is not required for the valid conferral of this sacrament (see “Sacraments and Personal Identity,” and “Inclusive Language and Baptismal Validity” for more in-depth discussions of this). It goes without saying, then, that a deacon can baptize too!

In a non-emergency situation, however, a deacon doesn’t merely baptize validly: canon 861.1 notes that he is also an ordinary minister of baptism, as is a priest or bishop. What does the term ordinary minister mean here? Since a deacon is a cleric, administering the sacrament of baptism is an action that is proper to him. In other words, a lay-person should only be administering baptism in extraordinary situations (when an unbaptized person is dying, or perhaps in some war-torn region where there are no clergy available to do it); but a deacon lawfully baptizes in ordinary, non-emergency circumstances, just like any other member of the clergy."


#8

Just to clarify I know a deacon performing a baptism is fine. That’s not the question at hand. I am asking specifically about the EF form and the details regarding the exorcism of the salt and water.

I prefer a priest out of personal presence not because I don’t think a deacon can do a valid baptism.


#9

I think maybe the deacon can bless but not exorcise but I’m not sure that’s why I’m asking : )


#10

A bit on the side, but this had me wondering: When the Latin Church suppressed the subdeaconate, it was also stated that:

[quote="Ministeria quaedam]There is, however, no reason why the acolyte cannot be called a subdeacon in some places, at the discretion of the conference of bishops.
[/quote]

Does this mean that a “modern” acolyte could be permitted to read the exorcism in question? Not that I see the point of doing so, but as nitpicking goes, it’s kind of interesting.

Holy Orders is actually irrelevant to the validity of baptism, since even a non-Christian can baptize validly as long as their intent is to “baptize as the Church does”.

When it comes to licitity, as of today, you’re right, any deacon can baptize, they are now ordinary ministers of Baptism. Before the reforms, however, they were extraordinary ministers - they needed permission from the local ordinary (or in some cases the local pastor, i think) to licitly baptize.

But these rules are not in the liturgical rubrics, they’re separately governed. So when current law gives deacons blanket permission to baptize, this is true for any form of the Roman Rite unless the Church states otherwise (which would, to be honest, be weird). However, blessings is a different matter.

While deacons are allowed to bless Holy Water in the modern form, the traditional form also includes a priestly exorcism (not to be confused with the exorcism of the baptizand mentioned above), which can not be done by a deacon. The same goes for the salt. This is why this has to be done by a priest for an EF baptism. Though if I understand correctly, this could be done beforehand.

Well, it happens :wink:

Thanks!

You’re welcome. Congratulations with your child, by the way, and good luck with the baptism! I’ve only participated in Baptism in this form once, and it is indeed extraordinary.


#11

You are confusing the minor exorcisms performed within baptism and the blessings of sacramentals with ritual exorcism. Yes deacons can use the “old rite” of blessing water which includes exorcism of the water and salt. He can also use the blessing prescribed for Benedictine medals and items which also includes minor exorcism. For those who will argue with me on these statements you will have to argue with one of the canonist for our diocese, our Judicial Vicar.

As another poster stated, unordained men on their way to ordination were once used for these rituals. But do not confuse these rituals with the rite of exorcism which must be done by a priest, duly instituted for this, with the consent of Rome for the individual case involving demonic possession. These are worlds apart and completely different uses of the same title of “exorcism”.

I would like to ask you though, why do you feel it necessary to have your child baptized in the Extraordinary Form? Why would you even ask the deacon to do something he is not trained for, if this is indeed the case? If you have any doubts, just tell him, “thanks but out pastor will be performing the baptism. We would love you to join him if you can.” Case closed, he’ll probably say no and all of your doubts would be removed. If he accepts, he will learn the EF baptism by choice, his choice.

If you were to approach me with the questions and implications which you have brought here, you may not like my response. It would probably be a teaching moment you would reject. Baptism is valid no matter what form is used as long as it is done properly, Trinitarian formula. The blessing is valid by the priest and/or the deacon because of the authority granted through his ordination, not by his title. A rosary blessed by your deacon is equally as blessed if done so by your bishop. A child baptized by your deacon is equally baptized as if done by a priest. To think otherwise is just wrong.


#12

Show me where this is stated. I don’t mean that in a challenging way, but in a practical sense. I’ve never found where this statement is worded in that way, except for the simple fact that there were no permanent deacons present when these pre-Vat II rituals were used. What is the specific difference in the baptismal exorcism, exorcism of water and salt in the EF blessing, and/or the blessing of sacramentals like the Benedictine medals which can be blessed with the ritual proper to them by any validly ordained priest or deacon?

To say that the deacon cannot use the EF blessing of water and salt but he can in the new, all of which are taking place in the here and now with the authority granted now to the ordained, you are saying that the result of the two blessings are not equal. The result of the EF blessing is different than the result of the modern form of blessing of salt and water. That makes no more sense than the point made of a valid baptism or an invalid baptism dependent upon the form, EF or not, and whether a deacon or a priest performed the baptism.

Again, I’ll stick with my Judicial Vicar and my Bishop.


#13

Of course it’s valid, it’s a personal preference as previously stated. The issue is not nor has ever been whether it’s valid or not. The question at hand has always been a personal preference and inquiring what is required for the EF form. Not quite sure how you misunderstood, but it happens.

The deacon is a close family friend, he will do whatever I ask him to do, but out of respect I wanted to make sure it was something he is authorized to do before even asking.

Thankfully I’m not asking you, but rather a loving friend : )

Peace


#14

Had to laugh at that one. I didn’t mean my words to be taken as an insult or an argument. I understand your points and I know it is your preference. But to ask as you have stated you will to me would be offensive. But hey, that is my opinion.

I mean you no harm nor ill will. I just simply added my firsthand experience as a deacon to the conversation and also added some answers to some of the questions you had.

Furthermore, I explained my response to your line of questioning would be a teaching response. My comment of you not accepting that teaching was my opinion as well and I can see it may have not appeared fair to you and I can understand how you saw that as inappropriate; but that was not my intent.

Anyway, I wish you luck with your endeavor.

PS. I am also your loving friend and brother in Christ.


#15

From Rituale Romanum about the preparation and introductory rites to the blessing of baptismal water: “Tum Sacerdos cum suis Clericis, vel etiam aliis Presbyteris (…)”

Throughout the rite, there is only (and very specific) mention of priests. Remember that while the faculties of a deacon to baptize under ordinary circumstances is given through law, who can bless what is stated in De Benedictionibus for the newer blessings. In the same way, it is reasonable to believe that instructions regarding blessings in the Rituale are still in place, unless specifically said otherwise by Rome.

There’s more commentary here (I don’t exactly like this blog, but it has sound liturgical commentary, for the most part): wdtprs.com/blog/2011/03/quaeritur-deacons-and-blessings-with-the-traditional-roman-ritual/

I’ve never found where this statement is worded in that way, except for the simple fact that there were no permanent deacons present when these pre-Vat II rituals were used.

Still there were deacons, and they were allowed to baptize on specific occasions, but could not bless and exorcize water and salt.

In addition, remember that there were permanent deacons up until sometime in the 20th century, albeit very rare. The EF is older than that.

What is the specific difference in the baptismal exorcism, exorcism of water and salt in the EF blessing, and/or the blessing of sacramentals like the Benedictine medals which can be blessed with the ritual proper to them by any validly ordained priest or deacon?

I have no good answer for that, but I’m sure there is one, since the baptismal exorcism only required the Minor Order of Exorcist, while the exorcism of water and salt is reserved to priests, even when deacons baptized.

To say that the deacon cannot use the EF blessing of water and salt but he can in the new, all of which are taking place in the here and now with the authority granted now to the ordained, you are saying that the result of the two blessings are not equal. The result of the EF blessing is different than the result of the modern form of blessing of salt and water. That makes no more sense than the point made of a valid baptism or an invalid baptism dependent upon the form, EF or not, and whether a deacon or a priest performed the baptism.

A blessing does what it proclaims to do in the text. The two rituals say different things. Holy Water is not a sacrament, so there is no heresy in saying there is a difference between Holy Water blessed in the new rite and the old. Neither is it absurd.

For that reason, there is also nothing wrong about refusing to use Holy Water blessed in the new form when baptizing in the older form. It wouldn’t even be to disapprove of the “new” water; they are both blessed, but differently. And the Roman Ritual describes what blessing to use very specifically, so using baptismal water blessed in the new form would actually be violation of the rubrics. However, refusing to mix Hosts from the two forms when distributing Communion during EF Mass would be heretical; there is no difference between the two, since the Sacrament is the same.

Seeing blessings that say completely different things as different simply can’t be compared to saying the Sacrament as such is different or invalid due to the different form. In addition, changing the formula of Baptism would invalidate it. On the other hand, changing the content of a blessing (as long as it still constitutes a blessing) would not invalidate it, the item (or water) would still be blessed, but differently. There is a reason we use different blessings for different things.

Again, I’ll stick with my Judicial Vicar and my Bishop.

As a deacon, you are obviously in the clear as long as your Judicial Vicar and Bishop give permission, but to be honest, when dealing with the EF, I would, despite being a mere lay person (however with a degree in Theology, but still), recommend following the liturgical books to the letter except where Rome has specified something different (like the fact that all deacons can baptize as ordinary ministers). All come all, they liturgical books and Rome are the authority here, and the older liturgy doesn’t have as many openings for “local custom” and “pastoral considerations” as the newer one does.

(Lastly, I’m sorry if this seems arrogant - it is not my intention. I’m simply stating my view, which has been formed especially through seeing how important it is for any priest or deacon to stick to the books when it comes to the EF, or OF for that matter.)


#16

I’m sorry about the double post; I hit the reply button too fast…

If the question is simply whether you can baptize a child in the Extraordinary Form, it would not only not be offensive, it would be their right to ask for it. And it would be your duty to at the very least forward the request.


#17

This issue is actually addressed in the rite itself.

In the Extraordinary Form, the deacon does not bless the salt for baptism, but instead uses the salt previously blessed by a priest. That’s not opinion, it’s simply what is stated in the rubrics.

Also, in the EF, the water used was the water from the Easter Vigil. There was no blessing of water in the Rite of Baptism (see further). Again, not opinion, but the actual rubrics.

Here are the general rules for baptism in the Extraordinary Form
sanctamissa.org/en/resources/books-1962/rituale-romanum/07-the-sacrament-of-baptism-general-rules.html

And here is the actual rite of Baptism
sanctamissa.org/en/resources/books-1962/rituale-romanum/09-baptism-of-children.html

Note that there is no blessing of water—not by a deacon, and not by a priest either.

There is a blessing of Baptismal water in Chapter VIII but this is not within the printing of the rite itself. It does say that it can be done within the Rite.

Since a deacon is an extraordinary minister of baptism in the EF (with delegation from the pastor), as I see it, he can likewise bless the water because if he’s been delegated for the whole, he has delegation for every part of the whole.

The salt is an exception though, because the deacon specifically does not bless the salt in the EF.


#18

Strange that none of this is in Latin.


#19

There are printed versions (or at least a version) of the Rituale only in English I think - a priest friend of mine has one. He uses it mainly for blessings and such, since he (and “many” priests with him) dislikes the blessings in De Benedictionibus.

I have no idea if the English texts were approved for use for baptisms and other sacraments, though I suspect they may have been in the sixties (given the “temporary” vernacular Mass etc.). Does anyone know?


#20

Why?

It’s an online re-print of the Roman Ritual in English. The physical book itself (printed in 1964) was in English, with no Latin, so I don’t see how it’s strange that the online version would be the same.

I suppose one might be able to find the Roman Ritual in Latin online—I’ve simply never looked.


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