Last Wednesday, November 7th, some of our seminarians were instituted as Lectors and others as Acolytes during a Mass in the Main Chapel celebrated by Most Rev. Robert F. Christian O.P., Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco. Our new lectors and acolytes are from the Archdioceses of Agaña and San Francisco, the Dioceses of Fresno, Honolulu, Oakland, Portland, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, and Spokane, and The Contemplatives of Saint Joseph.
Our new Lectors are responsible for proclaiming the readings of Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the gospel reading. He also announces the intentions for the general intercessions and, when there is no psalmist available, will sing or read the psalm between the readings.
Our new Acolytes assists the deacon and the priest at seminary liturgies by preparing the altar and the sacred vessels and, when necessary, acts as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. The acolyte also has other important functions, such as carrying the cross during the procession to the alter in the Introductory Rites.
There is a beautiful prose that is recited before conferring the ministry of the acolyte:
“Dear sons in Christ, as people chosen for the ministry of acolyte, you will have a special role in the Church’s ministry. The summit and source of the Church’s life is the eucharist, which builds up the Christian community and makes it grow. It is your responsibility to assist priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry, and as special ministers to give holy communion to the faithful at the liturgy and to the sick. Because you are specially called to this ministry, you should strive to live more fully by the Lord’s sacrifice and to be molded more perfectly in its likeness. You should seek to understand the deep spiritual meaning of what you do, so that you may offer yourselves daily to God as spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Jesus Christ.
“In performing your ministry bear in mind that, as you share the one bread with your brothers and sisters, so you form one body with them. Show a sincere love for Christ’s Mystical Body, God’s holy people, and especially for the weak and the sick. Be obedient to the commandment which the Lord gave to his apostles at the Last Supper: ‘Love one another as I also have loved you.’”
It is a life challenge that all Catholics should strive to achieve whether or not you serve as an acolyte. There is a slideshow below of the beautiful Mass and ceremony. Please pray for these men and for our mission to form courageous men of reflection and action who live joyous lives as priests.