FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Does a subdeacon need to be ordained?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Who can serve as a sub-deacon at a Solemn High Mass? I am going to a Solemn High Mass tomorrow but a fellow altar server whom I know is going to serve as a sub-deacon. Is this allowed? Can a lay person serve as a sub-deacon? I am just curious
In addition to ordained priests & deacons (who retain lower orders), I believe PCED ruled that one who has been through the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders (basically someone in formation for Diaconate or a major seminarian)  can serve as a straw subdeacon but doesn't wear the maniple (or biretta) and doesn't pour the wine into the chalice or do the ablutions. 

The old "straw subdeacon" decrees of the SRC seem to not be in practice anymore, though I've heard of them used in distant places (Australia) by indult. 
Thanks I don't think this person is a seminarian though.
It may be an abuse but relatively minor in the big scheme of things as long as he doesn't do any priestly functions (ablutions, etc)
Traditionally one who had received the clerical tonsure could substitute as Subdeacon at Mass when sufficient ministers were lacking.

Since present Canon Law does not recognize Tonsure, the minor orders or the Subdiaconate, there was an open question regarding who could serve as Subdeacon if there were no sufficient deacons or priests.

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei solved this in a November 2012 response.

They were asked:

Quote:2. Do the decree of Sacred Congregation of Rites (no. 4184) and the decision of Pontifical Comission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ (no. 24/92), concerning the possibility of serving as a subdeacon during the Mass in forma extraordinaria, apply also to diocesan seminarians (who are not seminarians of the institutes erected by Pontifcial Commision 'Ecclesia Dei') who wear clerical clothing?

The response was "affirmative".

That means that a seminarian (who wears clerical clothing -- probably in theological studies and thus an "Instituted Acolyte") is the only one who can substitute as Subdeacon.

A layman who is no an Instituted Acolyte or seminarian who regularly wears clerical may not act as Subdeacon.
Update, thanks to Rorate Caeli:

Based on the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei's latest response, it seems only seminarians who wear clerical clothing and non-seminarian Instituted Acolytes may perform the role of "straw" Subdeacon.

That is to say, a layman who is not a seminarian or Instituted Acolyte may not.