About John Lilburne


Eucharist Synod on Instituted Ministers

It is encouraging that the Synod Fathers have voted for propositons that support instituted lectors and acolytes.

Proposition 38 expresses gratitude to a range of ministers, listing instituted ministers first among the laity.

"Likewise, it is important to thank instituted ministers, consecrated men and women, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, catechists and other collaborators, who help to prepare and celebrate the Eucharist and distribute it with dignity, and especially leaders who communicate the Work of God and give Communion in community celebrations awaiting a priest."

For instituted minsters to be acknowledged ahead of consecrated men and women is unusual. For example the 1988 Christifideles Laici, like many Church documents, was addressed:

To Bishops

To Priests and Deacons

To Women and Men Religious

and to All the Lay Faithful

In the 1987 Synod of bishops, proposition 18 included "the motu proprio Ministeria Quaedam be reconsidered, bearing in mind the present practice of local churches and above all indicating criteria which ought to be used in choosing those destined for each ministery" (as quoted in Christifideles Laici, n. 23). The implication being that instituted ministers were flawed.

But in this 2005 Synod, proposition 18 encourages the use of instiuted lectors:

"Of the two banquets, that of the Word of God and that of the Body of Christ, the Church receives and offers to the faithful the Bread of Life, especially in the sacred liturgy. The Word of God, as the whole Eucharistic mystery, is only accessible in faith. It is appropriate therefore that the readings be proclaimed with care, if possible by instituted readers. "

In proposition 25 the point was specifically made that there should be greater attention given to the roles of deacon, reader and acolyte:

"Dignity of the Celebration

"All participants in the Eucharist are called to live the celebration with the certainty of being People of God, royal priesthood, holy nation (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-5,9). In it, each one expresses his own specific Christian vocation. Those among them who have received an ordained ministry exercise it according to their rank: Bishop, priests and deacons. In particular, the role of deacons and the service of readers and acolytes deserves greater attention.

"Bishops above all, as moderators of the liturgical life, must promote a worthy celebration of the sacraments in their own diocese, correct abuses and propose the worship of the Cathedral Church as example. ..."

By J.R. Lilburne, 20 November 2005. Proposition translations are unofficial ones by Zenit. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.

Other sites:

Synod Bulletins

Final Propositons at Zenit.org: