Receiving the Book of the Gospels


When a seminarian is ordained as a deacon, he receives the Book of the Gospels from the Bishop.
Please explain the symbolism of the receiving of the Book of the Gospels.



While lay people can read the Old Testament and Epistles at Mass, only an ordained clergyman (deacon or priest) can read the Gospel).

I’m pretty sure this is what it signifies.


Did you hear what the bishop says when he hands the Book of the Gospels to the deacon?

*Receive the Book of the Gospels.

Believe what you read.

Teach what you believe.

Practice what you teach.*

That’s what it symbolizes.

In the Church only the ordained can preach. The deacon, first major order, receives by that gesture authority to preach. But preaching involves more than teaching - it requires faith in the Gospel we preach, and practice of our faith.

This is also referred to in the ancient saying: *lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi *- the way we pray is the way we believe and the way we live.


Priest and deacons do not just read the gospel, they proclaim the gospel!


Deacons are ministers of the gospel in that their role is one of service - which the gospel calls us to do. When a deacon is present at mass he should be the one to proclaim the gospel and not the presider - even if the principal celebrant is a bishop


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