On Sunday, January 15th, our parish seminary, Nicholas Fleming made another step toward the priesthood. There are four steps in the journey to the priesthood.
The first is Admission to Candidacy. Candidacy is when a man makes a public declaration before the Bishop of his intention to receive ordination as a Deacon or Priest. At this point, the man officially is accepted by the Bishop to become a seminarian. The seminarian signs a decleration before the Bishop that he is taking this step and journey toward the priesthood of his own free will. Nick made this commitment on June 29, 2011 at Our Lady of Providence Seminary, before heading to Rome for his theological studies.
The second step is called Ministry of Lector. Unlike the reader who assists at weekday and Sunday Masses, the Ministry of Lector is instituted on a man for life. Once received, the Ministry is permanent. The Lector is chosen and installed by the Bishop to read the word of God in the liturgical assembly. It would be his responsibility to read the Sacred Scriptures, except the Gospel at Mass and other sacred celebrations. H would also recite the Psalm between the readings when it is not sung by the cantor and presents the general intercessions when the deacon is not present. It is the Lectors responsibility to instruct laity who are called upon to read at any Liturgical celebration.
The next step that Nick will take is the Ministry of Acolyte. An Acolyte, like Lector is chosen by the Church and instituted by the Bishop. It is a permanent ministry in the life of the Church. The Acolyte is to assist the deacon and minister to the Priest. He would assist in preparing the altar during Mass and may distribute Holy Communion when necessary. Because he is Acolyte, he takes precedence of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion in distributing Holy Communion. The Acolyte may also assist in purifying the sacred vessels following Mass. Both the Ministry of Lector and Acolyte are reserved to men.
The final step before ordination to the Priesthood is ordination to the Transitional Diaconate. Diaconate is the 3rd degree of Holy Orders, leaving an indelible mark upon the soul. The Deacon assists the priest during the Mass, proclaims the Gospel, may on occasion give the homily, and proclaims the General Intercessions. The deacon can also give certain blessings, preside over weddings and funerals outside of Mass and give Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Like the Priesthood, by divine mandate, Diaconate may only be given to men.
To see more pictures of Nick’s installation to the Ministry of Lector, click here.
Nick on the right, holding the Word of God as he is installed Lector.