Restore the minor orders!
#1
Since my liturgical posts of late tend to go back to this topic, allow me to proclaim it for all the world to see:

Restore the minor orders to the parishes!

The best way to get rid of altar girls is to get rid of the practice of using laymen at all in the sanctuary. Ordain faithful Catholic men as porters, lectors, exorcists and acolytes. Also, have choir stalls built in every sanctuary and ordain the choristers, too. Let's have true ecclesiastical choirs as Pius X said in Tra le sollecitudini.

Then, ordain the leaders of these men to the subdiaconate and diaconate so we may have solemn Masses every Sunday. Let there not be merely "priest" and "everyone else", but a definite hierarchy of the clergy as there was meant to be. I believe this would solve a lot of the confusion out there: the kind neo-Caths have about the clergy and laity in general, and the kind trads have about priests vs. lower clergy.

There, I said it.
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#2
The King approves of these images, with their proper use of lower ministers:

Illustration of the minor and major orders:
[Image: holy-orders-steps.jpg]

A well-ordered Mass with acolytes mostly out of sight:
[Image: Mass.jpg]

I believe this is the Merton College chapel at Oxford:
[Image: 2713537040_c26859c138.jpg]

Sarum Mass reconstruction:
[Image: pictured12.jpg]
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#3
First things first.....the NO has got to go.
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#4
Could married men receive minor orders?  I don't think so, but figured I should ask.

Installed Lectors sure would be nice.
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#5
(12-29-2010, 07:00 AM)Stubborn Wrote: First things first.....the NO has got to go.

Yo Stub, on the "do-ability index", I think restoring the minor orders is a smidge more likely than scrapping the NO for 2011.

HK, where do I sign up?

I brought my 6 year old to his first TLM this past Sunday and it was celebrated with priest - deacon - sub-deacon. I love it.
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#6
(12-29-2010, 11:03 AM)WhollyRoaminCatholic Wrote: Could married men receive minor orders?  I don't think so, but figured I should ask.

Installed Lectors sure would be nice.

This is a good question.  What about all of these permanent deacons? 

The reason the low mass became so prominent, I believe, is that insufficient number of clergy in most places outside of the seminary for the Solemn Mass.  It seems you would have to ordain married men to the minor orders in order for this to be done.
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#7
Even Abp. Lefebvre said he thought the permanent diaconate was a good idea.
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#8
(12-29-2010, 12:06 PM)Atomagenesis Wrote: Even Abp. Lefebvre said he thought the permanent diaconate was a good idea.

Perhaps these married convert ministers could then be made deacons and not priests.  The priesthood would be reserved to celibate men.

The ironic thing about the restoration of the permanent diaconate in Vatican II, is that it was rendered completely meaningless by the New Mass and the "active participation" of the laity.  If permanent deacons could serve Solemn High Masses, this would make the office worthwhile.  As it stands now, deacons are largely useless and no one seems to know what the point of their existence is.
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#9
(12-29-2010, 11:03 AM)WhollyRoaminCatholic Wrote: Could married men receive minor orders?  I don't think so, but figured I should ask.

Installed Lectors sure would be nice.

Good question. In the previous Code of Canon Law, minor orders had to be celibate at the time of ordination but weren't bound to it. If they married, they simply forfeited the office. This is basically what happens today when a seminarian in a trad seminary quits (prior to subdiaconate).

In prior historical practices, married men could have minor orders. I recall Chaucer's Canterbury Tales describing some clerks who were married, such as one of the Wife of Bath's husbands. The Catholic Encyclopedia states:

Catholic Encyclopedia, Minor Orders Wrote:Clerics in minor orders enjoy all ecclesiastical privileges. They may be nominated to all benefices not major, but must receive within a year the major orders necessary for certain benefices. On the other hand, they are not bound to celibacy, and may lawfully marry. Marriage, however, causes them at once to forfeit every benefice. Formerly it did not exclude them from the ranks of the clergy, and they retained all clerical privileges, provided they contracted only one marriage and that with a virgin, and wore clerical costume and the tonsure (c.unic., "de cler. conjug." in VI); they might even be appointed to the service of a church by the bishop (Conc. Trid., Sess. XXIII, c. vi). This earlier discipline, however, is no longer in accordance with modern custom and law. A minor cleric who marries is regarded as having forfeited his clerical privileges.


As Pope, I would absolutely have married men in minor orders, subdiaconate and diaconate. Either way, though, restoring them to celibate men is far better than not having them at all.


Having installed lectors as in the Novus Ordo practice is also better than nothing, but I'd prefer just using the classical minor orders.
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#10
(12-29-2010, 12:09 PM)Christus Imperat Wrote: Perhaps these married convert ministers could then be made deacons and not priests.  The priesthood would be reserved to celibate men.

That's surely a possibility. I'm used to married ex-Anglican ministers being priests because I have two of those at my home parish so the idea doesn't bother me in the slightest, but I know deacons are more than useful enough.

Quote:The ironic thing about the restoration of the permanent diaconate in Vatican II, is that it was rendered completely meaningless by the New Mass and the "active participation" of the laity.  If permanent deacons could serve Solemn High Masses, this would make the office worthwhile.  As it stands now, deacons are largely useless and no one seems to know what the point of their existence is.

This is true. Of course, in a "proper" Novus Ordo Mass, deacons actually have a lot of work to do in the liturgy. In addition to all the roles they have in the traditional rites, the deacons are solely responsible for the ablutions, for leading the bidding prayers (the intercessions of the faithful), and for a few other things. But that's beside the point, I suppose.


For permanent deacons in general, like I said above, I'm all for them. Require tham to wear cassocks on church grounds, too. In fact, I hope to be a permanent deacon myself in the future, though the age limit in the United States is 35 whether you're celibate or married; and that, of course, is utterly stupid in light of the fact that priesthood may be obtained at 24, or perhaps even younger. As Pope, I'd drop that down to 22 as one of my first acts.

:edited to add: Oh, you know what else would be awesome? If all these lower clerics could get together every week to lead Sunday Vespers.
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