2004 Midnight Mass
At the Pope's Christmas Midnight Mass for 2004 the second reading was proclaimed by an instituted lector. But contrary to the instructions in the liturgical books, he did not wear vestments and the first reading was not read by an instituted lector.
Kenneth St. Hilaire appears in a photo of newly instituted lectors at the website of the North American College in Rome. The link to the photo is "Installation of Lector 2003-04". He is in the back row, 4th from the left.
At the Midnight Mass he wore a suit and tie.
So the 1981 General Instruction to the Lectionary for Mass is not being followed: "54. During the celebration of Mass with a congregation a second priest, a deacon and an instituted reader must wear the distinctive vestment of their office when they go to the lectern to read the word of God. Those who carry out the ministry of reader just for the occasion or even regularly but without institution may go to the lectern in ordinary attire that is in keeping with local custom."
The Pope's Master of Ceremonies, Piero Marini, explained that seminarians were not to wear vestments for the pope's Masses. Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service reported on 3 July 2002:
"While North American College takes very seriously the papal request that seminarians wear clerical dress in Rome, when they read at a papal Mass they are told to wear a suit and tie.
"At a liturgy, everyone must fulfill his or her role," Bishop Marini said. "The readings are read by lay people. Individual seminaries have rules on how their seminarians are to dress, but in liturgy those who have not yet been ordained to the diaconate are laymen, and they are to dress as laymen."
He is not following the liturgical book, that they are to dress as instituted lectors.
The first reading was proclaimed by a woman.
She cannot be an instituted lector, since according to the 1972 Motu Proprio of Paul VI, Ministeria Quaedam: "7. In accordance with the ancient tradition of the Church, institution to the ministries of reader and acolyte is reserved to men."
An instituted lector is clearly present, he proclaimed the second reading. According to the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal:
"101. In the absence of an instituted lector, other laypersons may be commissioned to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture."
So this liturgical book is not being followed either.
So there seems to be little change this year at the Vatican. This is in spite of the documents it has been producing about the importance of following the liturgical books.
By J.R. Lilburne, 27 December, 2004. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.