Seminarians admitted as Lectors and Acolyte
On Saturday 28th November, Bishop Michael McKenna admitted Thao Van Nguyen and Diep Quang Nguyen to the Institute of Lectors. On Sunday 29th November, Dong Van Nguyen was admitted to the Institute of Acolytes by the Bishop.
Bishop McKenna concelebrated the Saturday Mass with Father Danny Meagher, Rector from the Seminary of the Good Shephard, Father Edmond Travers MSC also from the Seminary, Father Pius Khaoya from Kenya and Father Owen Gibbons. On Sunday, Bishop McKenna concelebrated with Fathers Danny and Edmond as well as Fathers Paul Devitt and Joseph Dooley.
This marks a significant milestone in all three seminarians journey as they study the priesthood at the Seminary. Thao and Diep have recently completed their second year of study while Dong has completed his third of the seven years of formation.
Diep, Dong and Thao will now spend the summer holidays in parishes across the Diocese assisting the parish priest and gaining valuable pastoral experience during this time.
What is an instituted acolyte or lector?
The ministries of lector and acolyte are mentioned even in ancient liturgical texts, but our present understanding of them as formal, instituted ministries dates from the 1972 motu proprio of Pope Paul VI entitled Ministeria quaedam (MQ). In this important document, Pope Paul VI instituted a new framework for the sequence of ministries leading to Holy Orders, a structure which is still in place today.
The acolyte is instituted for service at the altar and to assist the Priest and Deacon. It is his place principally to prepare the altar and the sacred vessels and, if necessary, to distribute the Eucharist to the faithful as an extraordinary minister. In the absence of a priest or deacon, he may also be delegated to expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration and replace it in the tabernacle afterward, although he may neither bless the people with the Eucharist.
On a deeper level, through their attentiveness and constant study of the matters of divine worship, acolytes are called to foster “a sincere love for Christ’s Mystical Body, God’s holy people and especially for the weak and the sick" to whom they bring the Holy Eucharist when illness prevents the sick from coming to the Church themselves.
An instituted lector proclaims the readings from Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the Gospel. He may also announce the intentions for the Universal Prayer and, in the absence of a psalmist, recite the Psalm between the readings.