Seminarians Abilities

I am genuinally curious as to what a seminarian can and can’t do…

Our Seminarian did Stations tonight, and I have no objection to that at all. However I noticed a couple things that he “missed” and it could be that he is not allowed or that he simply didn’t remember to do them.

1st - and this was kinda funny…he started at Station 2 - but read for station 1 and followed 1 station off the whole way around the church until he got to the 14th station. While I was giggling inside, there was another part of me that was annoyed thinking - how hard is it to look up and realize you are on the wrong station.

2nd - we have exposition and benediction during stations. upon placing the eucharist in the monstrace(sp?) and taking it out, he did not raise the monstrance and make the sign of the cross…is that reserved for a Priest or Deacon only?

3rd - he omitted the incensing. I love the smell of the incense so I was disappointed but again I thought, well maybe he is not allowed.

again…not really complaining, but genuinally curious if anyone can tell me what he is and isn’t allowed to do in the context of Stations of the Cross

In this thread in post #4, Br. Rich says:
"A Lay person may Expose and Repose the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration if a Deacon or Priest is not available, with the Pastors permission. He may NEVER offer a Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament. He may NEVER put on priestly vestments and act in a priestly function. A Deacon cannot offer Benediction either, it is a priestly function only. "

As for incensing, I have seen that an altar server can incense the people during a Mass, so a layperson can incense. It may be, however, that incensing can only be done as part of Benediction.

As for being one station off, give the seminarian a break. Have you ever lead Stations, or a publicly prayed Rosary, or something similar? It’s more taxing than it appears to be. He is inexperienced at it. Be charitable.

Incensing is optional. The Chapel at my university had weekly spiritual talks/reflections followed by short adoration and benediction, and there was never incense used. It’s not mandatory.

Br Rich is wrong on one point. A Deacon may do benediction

…The smoke symbolizes the prayers of the faithful drifting up to heaven: the Psalmist prays, “Let my prayer come like incense before you; the lifting up of my hands, like the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141). Incense also creates the ambiance of heaven: The Book of Revelation describes the heavenly worship as follows: “Another angel came in holding a censer of gold. He took his place at the altar of incense and was given large amounts of incense to deposit on the altar of gold in front of the throne, together with the prayers of all God’s holy ones. From the angel’s hand, the smoke of the incense went up before God, and with it the prayers of God’s people.”

ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/INCENSE.htm

Yes we all see. I don’t see the words “mandatory” or “must” anywhere though.

My Deacon never does the 15th station…which I know was added in and not part of the orginal stations…my Priest does and the Seminarian did…I had asked last week about this because I was wondering if only a Priest could read that particular station, but that seemed odd.

Basically the answer I was given is that the Deacon is older and traditional and only does the original 14 stations. Again, I wasn’t complaining, I was just curious.

I wanted to ask our Seminarian but he went directly into the back where as our Priest comes down the center aisle to greet us at the exit as we leave.

Thanks for the info. I figured it was just something he couldn’t do. Also, no alter server showed up to night to prep things, so I thought that might have been part of it too. Since it wasn’t set up for him

Thanks for the link to the old thread but really…that thread is 6yrs old and I am not going to go searching that far back for an answer. Also, I don’t consider a Seminarian to be a “Lay Person” although I guess by defination they are.

Maureen, it sounds to me like you’re used to praying the so-called “traditional stations,” which are occasionally prayed with an optional 15th station observing Jesus’s resurrection. You may also be familiar with Pope John Paul II’s Scriptural Way of the Cross.

You may be interested to know that there are many, many more versions than these two. According to **Bro. JR **in the thread “JPII Version of Stations of the Cross?” over in the Traditional Catholicism forum, St. Francis composed over 15 different versions of the Stations and that other Franciscans have written around 100 more.

Probably your seminarian is acolyte, on his way to the priesthood. Acolyte can touch the Eucharist, take it to the monstrance or set it aside. He cannot give blessing with the Eucharist, neither bless the frankincense which is necessary before incensing. (If there is priest who blessed the frankincense, even the serve can incense).

I for seeing mistakes, I was formed that the first reaction shall be the question: could I do better?

  1. so what, he made a mistake
    any lay person can lead a private devotion like stations or the rosary, it is not liturgy
    for that matter, they can also lead liturgy of the Word even with distribution of communion if so delegated in the absence of an ordained minister.

  2. benediction is reserved to the ordained minister

  3. no benediction, no incense

Seminarians are laymen until they have been ordained as traditional deacons and can do any role proper to lay Catholics upon proper delegation

No. There is this growing consideration as well.

Yes, we are definitely laymen until diaconal ordination. The seminarian might be the layman most often designated to perform a function proper to the laity, but a layman nevertheless.

I did one search and that thread was one of the results returned. That is why threads are archived, so we can access the benefit of past discussions. So, its not a matter of “searching back that far”; the computer does all the work! :smiley:

Yes, by definition, seminarians are lay people, as it is ordination that removes a man from the lay state and puts him in the clerical state, and a seminarian has not been ordained yet. And that distinction is essential to the Church, as only the ordained can perform certain liturgical functions.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.