For the last three years, 16 men have been in a formation programme preparing them for service as deacons in the Archdiocese. Their training has included courses in Scripture, theology, parish management, worship, human development, among others.
Before they are ordained deacons, there are two steps they must go through—they receive the Ministry of Lector and then Ministry of Acolyte. The former they received December 6, 2020, at a Mass presided over by the Archbishop, and on Sunday, October 3, they received the Ministry of Acolyte.
We sometimes refer to altar servers as ‘acolytes’ but this is not correct. An ‘acolyte’ is one who is officially instituted in the role and usually on the way to ordination as a deacon.
The reception of the Ministry of Acolyte means that the person can now assist the priest at Mass. He may carry the cross in procession; prepare the altar for the Preparation of Gifts; help the priest receive the gifts of bread and wine if there is a procession. If incense is used, he may also receive it from the altar server to give to the priest and then incense the priest and people.
He may also function as an extraordinary Minister of Communion and can purify the vessels after Communion.
After some months in this ministry, the candidates move forward through the rite of candidacy to ordination as deacons and service to the people of God. Let us keep them in our prayers. —Msgr Michael de Verteuil, Chair, Liturgical Commission