John Lilburne's journal about an ordination, instituted lectors, Isaiah 2:1-5, swords into ploughshares and Advent.
1443 L Sun 2 Dec 2001
The Catholic Church begins a new liturgical year today. It is the first Sunday of Advent and changes from Year C to Year A. Instead of Mass at the Cathedral I went to Oakleigh for the ordination to the Diaconate of Joseph Tran Thanh Giang.
By being ordained Giang has a specific role in the Mass: reading the Gospel. This is taken seriously as it should be. He also stops being an instituted lector. Unfortunately this role was not taken seriously at the Mass. As for the ordination last Saturday, there were instituted lectors available, in the sanctuary as altar servers. But instead of using them, readers who had not been instituted by a ceremony were used.
The first reading was Isaiah 2:1-5
The expression "swords into ploughshares" is often used. It is wonderful when there is peace rather than war. But these "days to come" have not yet arrived. There is still training for war. The Church waits for the second coming of Christ. This is what Advent is about. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Before the deacon read the Gospel at Mass there should have been the singing of the Alleluia verse. For some reason it did not happen. It definitely should have: it was printed in the booklets everyone had. People expected it, because that it their cue to stand for the Gospel. But I suppose there was a mix up about who was singing it or perhaps the Choir leader was distracted.
When it did not happen, should someone else have started the singing? The archbishop, the Master of Ceremonies, the deacon? No one did. I suppose its difficult to fix liturgical errors and it would be an unpopular role for someone to take responsibility for. Someone made a decision to stand without the singing, but I don't know who.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 2 December 2001.