Midnight Mass from St Peter's

Any one catch the Midnight Mass last night?

One thing troubled me. The use of laity as readers. I think this is the basis for the abuse of lay people (mainly women) reading the Gospel.

I can see this extension. You can not tell me that in Rome they could not find enough ordained people to do the readings. The Gospel was read by a priest, why? Why not a deacon? Why not have deacons do all the reading or re-institute the office of lector. I know many parishes call their readers lectors but in reality a lector is ordained. It is a minor holy order.

I was glad that the man who read the epistle was identifed by Archbishop Foley as a second year seminarian but why was he not in some sort of vestments or clerics or even a cassock? You should be able to tell a seminarian apart from the laity.

I know some people here seem to have gotten the idea that I do not care for the Latin rite, but those people could not be father from the truth. They seem to think that because I prefer the Liturgy in the vernacular and that I have a preferance for the current Mass over the old rite, that I am against tradition. Again, couldn’t be father from the truth as it is part of tradition to follow what the Church, the Magisterium, the Holy Father teaches. Which at this time is the current Mass and the vernacular. Yes there should be some Latin, as well as Greek, in the Mass but I do not think it should be totally in Latin.

Hope that clears somethings up.

OK David - a few points need to be made

  1. Seminarians in Rome are more than likely at home at present - on a well earned wee break - I know the Gregorian Uni does not start again till January end of first week ? ]

  2. Lay people are normally used as readers at the Papal Masses - whether you and I consider it correct is beside the point here - that’s what has happened for a good many years.

  3. Seminarians in Rome do not normally wear cassocks outwith their Seminaries - unless doing something officially with their colleges - then they wear the College ones. Also until they are accepted as Candidates usually for the Diaconate , during their 5th year for the UK students ] they are not in clerics ie wearing the collar] After their Candidacy then yes - when in Rome they are expected to be in clerics - even going to Uni. Until they are accepted as Candidates they are regarded as laity.

Other than that I agree with your observations . :smiley:

[quote=wannabee]OK David - a few points need to be made

  1. Seminarians in Rome are more than likely at home at present - on a well earned wee break - I know the Gregorian Uni does not start again till January end of first week ? ]

[/quote]

I can see this but there was at least one seminarian to do the Epistle reading and all the servers at the Midnight Mass were seminarians of the Legion of Christ so there were at least some seminarians in Rome.

  1. Lay people are normally used as readers at the Papal Masses - whether you and I consider it correct is beside the point here - that’s what has happened for a good many years.

I know this. But as I said, I can see the extension of lay readers of the Gosple coming from this. There used to be ordained lectors, when that was done away with the doors were opened.

  1. Seminarians in Rome do not normally wear cassocks outwith their Seminaries - unless doing something officially with their colleges - then they wear the College ones. Also until they are accepted as Candidates usually for the Diaconate , during their 5th year for the UK students ] they are not in clerics ie wearing the collar] After their Candidacy then yes - when in Rome they are expected to be in clerics - even going to Uni. Until they are accepted as Candidates they are regarded as laity.

Actually I do believe that many seminarians do wear clerics and cassocks. The clerical collar has nothnig to do with ordination. Every member of the Legion of Christ wears clerics.

I also do believe that in Vatican City seminarians are required to wear either cassocks or clerics. I believe this becuase a few years ago the Queen traveled to visit the Holy Father. At this time I was on another forum and there were complaints that the English seminarians in Rome could not greet the Queen in Vatican City becuase they were not allowed to wear cassocks or clerics.

Other than that I agree with your observations . :smiley:

Thanks! Up to this point I though you had it out for me! :stuck_out_tongue:

I started a thought in my original post but then lost it by the end.

About deacons. The Church wishes to restore the permanent diaconate but I have yet to see a deacon at any Papal Mass.

Pope John Paul II used eastern deacons to do one of the two readings at his Papal Masses, at least the ones I saw.

I guess Pope Benedict has decided not to do this.

But why not use deacons for at least one of the readings if not all of them.

Picky…picky…picky…

Merry Christmas everyone. Blessings in the New Year! :cool:

[quote=Teresa]Picky…picky…picky…

[/quote]

Not at all.
I have to agree with Byzcath on this one…with ALL the ordained and seminarians in Rome there should have been NO layreaders.

[quote=contemplative]Not at all.
I have to agree with Byzcath on this one…with ALL the ordained and seminarians in Rome there should have been NO layreaders.
[/quote]

Well, technically, a seminarian is a lay person but IMHO they are different.

I must also stress the issue of the diaconate.

We in the Byzantine Churches are spoiled. That is if our parish is lucky enough to have a deacon.

To me, the role of the deacon in the Mass appears to be an after thought. They need to work on this a bit more. The deacon should have a greater role in the Mass. If you have ever been to a Divine Liturgy in a Byzantine Church with a deacon you will understand what I mean.

After attending a Divine Liturgy with a deacon you will feel cheated when you attend one with out.

There are actually a handful of prayers that only the deacon says, so if no deacon is present they are not said.

Do the rubrics have anything to say on this topic? If there are multiple deacons at a Mass, does a deacon “bump” a lay reader?

C’mon guys, it’s a Papal Mass, meaning it’s being celebrated by the Pope. He’s the POPE! If he wants to allow lay people to read at a Mass he’s celebrating (and the rubrics allow it) then lay people can read the readings at the Mass. Period. End of discussion.

Goodness gracious, if someone came in here and said, “The Pope is wrong, the Chuch can and should ordain women,” people would go nuts on here defending the Pope. Why is that we get to question his judgement on these little matters?

[quote=MusicMan]Do the rubrics have anything to say on this topic? If there are multiple deacons at a Mass, does a deacon “bump” a lay reader?

C’mon guys, it’s a Papal Mass, meaning it’s being celebrated by the Pope. He’s the POPE! If he wants to allow lay people to read at a Mass he’s celebrating (and the rubrics allow it) then lay people can read the readings at the Mass. Period. End of discussion.

Goodness gracious, if someone came in here and said, “The Pope is wrong, the Chuch can and should ordain women,” people would go nuts on here defending the Pope. Why is that we get to question his judgement on these little matters?
[/quote]

Actually you are wrong here. There are places where it is acceptable to have disagreements and other were we can not.

The ordination of women is one area where we can not. The issue of who does the readings is one where we can.

I question his judgement on this matter becuase I believe it is just this sort of thing that leads others to abuse the rubrics.

I believe that it clouds the diference between the clergy and the laity. There is a minor holy order that was displaced, lector, by lay readers. Yes, parishes may call their lay readers lectors but they are not.

Actually, the order of Lector is still around and available. Seminarians and Diaconate Candidates get instituted into this order as part of their formation. Also, the Diocese of Lincoln, NE, continues to institute male “readers” into this order. There are “real” Lectors in the Lincoln Diocese who stop at the order of Lector.

As for the clouding of the laity vs. the clergy, I disagree with you that allowing lay readers anywhere clouds this. It is very clear to me by watching the Papal Masses who is who and who does which jobs. Also, those of us who are younger than Vatican II have no problems being confused by lay readers reading because we’ve never had it any other way – we’ve always seen lay people read the readings at Mass.

I think the envelope is being pushed not because the Pope (or anyone else for that matter) allows lay readers, but because of the priest shortage and the handy-dandy little liturgical fix known as “Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest.” Also known as a “Word and Communion Service.” If I, as a layman, can be deputed by my pastor to “preside” over one of these, function during the Liturgy of the Word like a priest does, then why can’t I read the Gospel at Mass? This is where the line has become blurred.

It started with lay people handling a Word and Communion Service on Sunday when Father was sick, out of town, unavailable, or otherwise indisposed with no priestly replacement available.

Then priests started deputing lay people to run a Word and Communion Service in place of Daily Mass when Father was sick, out of town, unavailable, or otherwise indisposed with no priestly replacement available, and the “regulars” got upset because a service wasn’t available.

Then parishes started offering these in place of the Daily Mass on, say, Saturday mornings, to allow the lay people a chance to “preach” or conduct a service… a Vatican II lay people empowerment exercise.

Granted, we’ve probably gotten a few Permanent Married Deacons and a few “Priesthood as a Second Career” Priests in the deal, but this, my friend, is where the abuse of lay people (male or female) reading the gospel at Mass has come from.

[quote=ByzCath]I started a thought in my original post but then lost it by the end.

About deacons. The Church wishes to restore the permanent diaconate but I have yet to see a deacon at any Papal Mass.

Pope John Paul II used eastern deacons to do one of the two readings at his Papal Masses, at least the ones I saw.

I guess Pope Benedict has decided not to do this.

But why not use deacons for at least one of the readings if not all of them.
[/quote]

The Vatican does use Deacons… a Deacon chanted the Gospel at the Solemn Mass of the Immaculate Conception.

David, at St. Josaphat’s they have laity doing the Epistle, the Tropars, and all the other congregation parts of the Divine Liturgy, so it isn’t just the Latin Church… at least not in Rochacha. The UGCC has lay lectors as well.

[quote=MusicMan]Actually, the order of Lector is still around and available. Seminarians and Diaconate Candidates get instituted into this order as part of their formation. Also, the Diocese of Lincoln, NE, continues to institute male “readers” into this order. There are “real” Lectors in the Lincoln Diocese who stop at the order of Lector.

As for the clouding of the laity vs. the clergy, I disagree with you that allowing lay readers anywhere clouds this.

[/quote]

You sort of prove my point about the clouding of the laity vs. the clergy. You admit that there is a minor holy order of lector whose role is to do the readings at the Mass. You even say that it is in use in at least one diocese. Then you go on about lay readers.

Up until the use of lectors was stopped in most dioceses, if not all of them, clergy did the readings. Yes, lectors are a member of the clergy. So most places have replaced a member of the clergy with a lay person. Please tell me how this does not cloud the roles of laity and clergy.

[quote=BillyT92679]The Vatican does use Deacons… a Deacon chanted the Gospel at the Solemn Mass of the Immaculate Conception.

[/quote]

A deacon chanting the Gospel is not using a deacon in the Liturgy. It is using a deacon to do one of the readings as deacons have more of a role in the Liturgy than just doing one of the readings.

David, at St. Josaphat’s they have laity doing the Epistle, the Tropars, and all the other congregation parts of the Divine Liturgy, so it isn’t just the Latin Church… at least not in Rochacha. The UGCC has lay lectors as well.

No such thing as a lay lector as a lector is a member of the clergy having recieved the minor holy order of lector. They are lay readers and we use them at St Nicholas Melkite Greek Catholic Church also. This is one of the latinizations our Churches suffer from. The aboslishment of the minor orders of acolyte, cantor, and lector.

[quote=MusicMan]Do the rubrics have anything to say on this topic? If there are multiple deacons at a Mass, does a deacon “bump” a lay reader?

C’mon guys, it’s a Papal Mass, meaning it’s being celebrated by the Pope. He’s the POPE! If he wants to allow lay people to read at a Mass he’s celebrating (and the rubrics allow it) then lay people can read the readings at the Mass. Period. End of discussion.

Goodness gracious, if someone came in here and said, “The Pope is wrong, the Chuch can and should ordain women,” people would go nuts on here defending the Pope. Why is that we get to question his judgement on these little matters?
[/quote]

:clapping:

                      ~ Kathy ~

David

Correction here

The various Seminaries / Colleges in Rome DO provide Deacons for the Papal Masses - did you see the Mass for the end of the Eucharistic Year oh and it was a Canonisation Mass too :smiley: ] there were Deacons a plenty there - not just the Greek Deacon in green very easy to spot him in the sea of white Vestments :smiley: ]

It was a Latin Deacon from the Scots College who Chanted the Gospel in Latin and was at the altar during the Eucharistic prayer , and gave the Dismissal - and there were other Deacons there too - though I have to admit that I did not like their Dalmatics - you really had to look hard to see that they were Dalmatics.

Honest - the various Colleges are asked if they have Deacons for these Masses - those who can sing are asked to Chant the Gospel , those who cannot are used at the Altar .

[quote=ByzCath]You sort of prove my point about the clouding of the laity vs. the clergy. You admit that there is a minor holy order of lector whose role is to do the readings at the Mass. You even say that it is in use in at least one diocese. Then you go on about lay readers.

Up until the use of lectors was stopped in most dioceses, if not all of them, clergy did the readings. Yes, lectors are a member of the clergy. So most places have replaced a member of the clergy with a lay person. Please tell me how this does not cloud the roles of laity and clergy.

A deacon chanting the Gospel is not using a deacon in the Liturgy. It is using a deacon to do one of the readings as deacons have more of a role in the Liturgy than just doing one of the readings.

No such thing as a lay lector as a lector is a member of the clergy having recieved the minor holy order of lector. They are lay readers and we use them at St Nicholas Melkite Greek Catholic Church also. This is one of the latinizations our Churches suffer from. The aboslishment of the minor orders of acolyte, cantor, and lector.
[/quote]

Of course, there are no lay porters or lay exorcists either, but you know what I was driving at. I wish we had minor orders again, throughout the Universal Church (the Subdeacon would help eliminate the need for extraneous EMHCs). But we have what we have. I’d rather have acolytes serve the altar, but altar boys are perfectly acceptable. I’d rather have at the very least readers who are male and male Sacristans do EMHC, in order not to confuse the issue too much with gender vis-a-vis minsterial roles, but the Church has decided on this and we have to follow her. You can say it’s a Latinization in your Church, I am sure it is, but I don’t see any Eastern Church going out of its way to abolish the use of laity in terms of reading… I see it more as a cultural paradigmatic shift.

[quote=ByzCath]You sort of prove my point about the clouding of the laity vs. the clergy. You admit that there is a minor holy order of lector whose role is to do the readings at the Mass. You even say that it is in use in at least one diocese. Then you go on about lay readers.

Up until the use of lectors was stopped in most dioceses, if not all of them, clergy did the readings. Yes, lectors are a member of the clergy. So most places have replaced a member of the clergy with a lay person. Please tell me how this does not cloud the roles of laity and clergy.
[/quote]

I believe that in the Latin Church, one is not ordained into the Order of Lector, but one is instituted, thereby it is no longer a clerical position. The Minor Orders are really only used as stepping stones for priest/deacon candidates now. It is only the Diocese of Lincoln that has brought the Order of Lector back, and even then, the Diocese doesn’t consider them clergy.

We KNOW when a reader is a member of the laity and when they are not. We can probably tell the difference between a Lector and a reader, because in almost all cases, the Lector is someone our parish has sent to the Diocese for Major Orders and he’s exercising his Lector’s ministry as part of his formation. While the average man-on-the-street may not be able to tell the difference between a priest and a deacon, we KNOW that a reader is a lay person. The problem isn’t allowing lay readers to read the First and Second Readings. The problem is priests PERMITTING lay people to read the gospel.

[quote=ByzCath]A deacon chanting the Gospel is not using a deacon in the Liturgy. It is using a deacon to do one of the readings as deacons have more of a role in the Liturgy than just doing one of the readings.
[/quote]

A deacon chanting the Gospel IS using the deacon in the Liturgy, as one of his liturgical roles is to proclaim the Gospel. It’s not just any other reading, but it’s the Gospel, and it’s the one he is both liturgically charged and ordained to proclaim.

I question the good of these forums…the more I read, the more discontent I sense from “both sides of the aisle”…sometimes I think and long for the days when we went to Mass to worship God in the wonderfully awesome mystery of the Eucharist…not to nitpick about every little thing…true there are abuses, I think that the Holy Spirit will guide Pope Benedict to correct them. Things did not change overnight…our church has withstood many, many horrible trials throughout history and we still stand. Pray for those who do not listen to their superior, bishops, etc. More active Lay involvement in worship and other aspects of the church is vital today. Would that we have more vocations to the priesthood, but that is not happening…so we MUST have the laity take an active role in the church, women as well as men. If and when the day comes that we have again an overflowing of men in our seminaries, the laity still should be a vital part of our worship.Let’s pray for an increase in vocations. Let’s be an example to our children and show respect to our clergy and love for our church. Let’s stop a bit of this constant criticism and pray, pray, pray!
Blessings, :cool:

By the way, I thought that the Mass at St.Peter’s was beautiful…I recorded it and watched it twice.
Blessings :cool:

I would like to add a few corrections concerning the topic at hand.

Currently the Stable Ministry of Reader or “Lector” as it is called is received by seminarians usually in their first year of Theology about mid-way through the year (depending on the seminary) or if a Bishop desires to institute Lectors. However, since the moto proprio Quo Primium by Paul VI Lector (and Accolyte) are no longer minor orders as all minor orders have been formally supressed by Papal Decleration for the Western Church. However, even previous to the supression of the minor orders they were not clerical positions and thus they were not ordained into these orders. The only minor order that had an ordination was sub-deacon however the bishop did not lay hands on the sub-deacon.

The Stable Minisrtry of Reader is different than the Extrodinary Readers that are used in most parishes because the Instituted Reader has certain canonical rites associated with his position such as a right of presidence to read the epistle. Even if a person receives this ministery they still retain the value of a lay person and are not elevated to the clerical or some semi-clerical state. I myself received the Stable Ministry of Reader but it is not an issue that people go around pronouncing or flaunting.

FYI, the church may have no choice but to rely more and more on “lay people” in the future. When I went to my communion ministry class last month, they warned us that in a lot of areas where there is not a priest, they may have to rely on lay people. They did not say what they would be doing other than communion that was already blessed by a priest, similar to when the ministers visit those who cannot come to mass. They said all of this is due to the lack of priests, especially in my state. We are not all happy with this but what can we do?

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