About John Lilburne


Motu Propiro Ministeria quaedam


Catholic Leader articles

This week's edition of the Brisbane newspaper The Catholic Leader has several articles on Catholic liturgy. One of them, on Peter Bugden's page 4, is about instituted lectors:

On way to permanent diaconate

CALOUNDRA parishioner, Gary Curtis, who is in formation to become a permanent deacon, was inducted as an acolyte and lector at Kawana on November 30.

Auxiliary Bishop Brian Finnigan inducted Mr Curtis into these ministries at a Mass on the day. ...

I am pleased to see any publicity being given to instituted lectors and acolytes. But it is disappointing that both ministries were given on the same day. This is clearly forbidden in the Motu Propiro Ministeria quaedam:

"10. An interval, determined by the Holy See or the conferences of bishops, shall be observed between the conferring of the ministries of reader and acolyte whenever more than one ministry is conferred on the same person."

Both the bishop and the lector should have been aware of this, since it is in the liturgical book before the ceremony. The description of the lector is also slightly incorrect: "A lector is a reader who proclaims the first or second reading from Scripture, other than the Gospel." In fact an instituted lector should proclaim both the first and second readings (other than the Gospel), unless there is another instituted lector available for the second reading.

Page 6 of the Catholic Leader reports on John Paul II's letter for the 40th anniversary of Vatican II's document on the liturgy:

"... Pope John Paul said the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council was one of God's greatest gifts to the Church in the 20th  century.

A lack of respect for the norms, and not the reform itself, has led to some "serious abuses" that cast a shadow over the mystery being celebrated and cause concern and tensions among Catholics, he said. ..."

The issue of authority is highlighted by Fr John Fitz-Herbert, reported in the article How liturgy has changed:

"It is no exaggeration to claim that the issue of authority, especially its practical expression between the local and universal Church, lay at the heart of the liturgy debate.

"The tensions voiced and unvoiced during the council over the respective responsibilities and competencies of the bishop, the bishops' conference, and the Apostolic See can now be seen as accurate indicators of what lay ahead for the Church after Sacrosanctum Concilium was proclaimed."

Elizabeth Harrington, the education officer with the Brisbane Liturgical Commission, has a persuasive article about how hosts consecrated in a Mass should be used in that Mass. She concludes by quoting the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal, n. 85:

"It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord's Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass ..."
I wish it were also taken as the authority in educating people about when to stand and the role of instituted lectors.

By J.R. Lilburne, 15 December 2003. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain. 

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