Restore the minor orders!
#21
Generally speaking the Minor Orders, as defined in Trent, were 'steps' in progression to the Priesthood, given to clerics.  So, these first four minor orders were received after the clerical tonsure, but before the vow of celibacy.  Therefore, I'm somewhat against this proposition to be honest because I'm not sure that the Minor Orders have a place in the diocesan Parish.  Altarboys already are meant to groom prospective candidates for the Priesthood, so I'm not too sure of the point of having Lectors and such.  I believe that Altar servers should act within the ministry as Acolytes, but formal institution of Minor Orders among the laity seems only to shift the focus from Altarboys to adults.  My Parish has 45 altar boys and 2 deacons and we do quite fine the way we are.

I suppose over in America what with the big Priest shortage and such you could use some stimulation, but maybe if you had Altar servers actually doing something other than dressing up in those ugly little albs and prancing about for the Sunday bash then it might help.
Reply
#22
(12-31-2010, 12:37 AM)InNomineDomini Wrote: Therefore, I'm somewhat against this proposition to be honest because I'm not sure that the Minor Orders have a place in the diocesan Parish.  Altarboys already are meant to groom prospective candidates for the Priesthood, so I'm not too sure of the point of having Lectors and such.  I believe that Altar servers should act within the ministry as Acolytes, but formal institution of Minor Orders among the laity seems only to shift the focus from Altarboys to adults.  My Parish has 45 altar boys and 2 deacons and we do quite fine the way we are.

This post illustrates part of the problem. The issue of minor orders isn't just about the liturgy, though that's certainly the most important thing. What I'm saying is that using laymen to serve at Mass is fine for the time being, but it's a band-aid to a bigger problem.

In the medieval Church, most men who worked in the church at all were clerks (men in any sort of holy orders). Not all were priests, by any means. Clerks to keep the records, clerks to manage the business and properties, clerks to collect taxes and tithes, and of course, clerks to teach religious education to the laity. I'm proposing that traditional Catholics reject the current model of old lady secretaries and teaching nuns in favor of a proper clerical hierarchy in all levels of the Church, not just priests.

Also, I disagree with the notion that altar servers must be "boys" rather than men. Adult men should serve the altar, at least for the more complex degrees of service. There is no requirement that servers must have intentions or prospects of going to priesthood. Many of their functions aren't even "priestly" in any meaningful sense; being rather to fill the role of deacons and subdeacons when those are absent.

Quote:Generally speaking the Minor Orders, as defined in Trent, were 'steps' in progression to the Priesthood, given to clerics.

I don't see that as necessarily being the case, based on my reading of the Council decrees. What I do see is the exact opposite of what you said with regard to minor orders having a place in parishes:

Council of Trent, 23rd Session Wrote:CHAPTER XVII. In what manner the exercise of the minor orders is to be restored.

That the functions of holy orders, from the deacon to the janitor,-which functions have been laudably received in the Church from the times of the apostles, and which have been for some time interrupted in very many places,-may be again brought into use in accordance with the sacred canons; and that they may not be traduced by heretics as useless; the holy Synod, burning with the desire of restoring the pristine usage, ordains that, for the future, such functions shall not be exercised but by those who are actually in the said orders; and It exhorts in the Lord all and each of the prelates of the churches, and commands them, that it be their care to restore the said functions, as far as it can be conveniently done, in the cathedral, collegiate, and parochial churches of their dioceses, where the number of the people and the revenues of the church can support it; and, to those who exercise those functions, they shall assign salaries out of some part of the revenues of any simple benefices, or those of the fabric of the church,-if the funds allow of it,-or out of the revenues of both together, of which stipends they may, if negligent, be mulcted in a part, or be wholly deprived thereof, according to the judgment of the Ordinary. And if there should not be unmarried clerics at hand to exercise the functions of the four minor orders, their place may be supplied by married clerics of approved life; provided they have not been twice married, be competent to discharge the said duties, and wear the tonsure and the clerical dress in church.

The Council clearly desired for the minor orders to be restored at the parish level and for lay substitutes to be phased out. You can also see provision for married men to be lower clerics in the absence of unmarried ones.
Reply
#23
Yes, it encouraged this.  But again, it is all about prioritizing these issues, is it not?  Indeed, Holy Mother Church has more pressing issues.  Shouldn't we seek to restore due reverence and solemnity to the Holy Sacrifice before we restore the Minor Orders? Or am I wrong?
Reply
#24
(12-31-2010, 01:02 AM)InNomineDomini Wrote: Yes, it encouraged this.  But again, it is all about prioritizing these issues, is it not?  Indeed, Holy Mother Church has more pressing issues.  Shouldn't we seek to restore due reverence and solemnity to the Holy Sacrifice before we restore the Minor Orders? Or am I wrong?

Sure. I agree with that. But there are many trad chapels and parishes where everything is already in order on that front. Why not strive for excellence, then? My local diocesan TLM still uses female sacristans, for example, and women to manage altar servers' training schedules and such. Many places which have the old Mass see no problem with women being involved in every level of church service as long as they're not within the rails during a Mass. This is really compartmentalizing.

At least, I think people should be thinking about it.
Reply
#25
People should be thinking about it.  No problems with that.
Reply
#26
I was browsing through comments on Father Z's blog (specifically, his posts on diaconal subjects) and was droven nuts by the ignorance among Catholics on the diaconate, subdiaconate and minor orders. There are apparently even traditional Catholics who think deacons shouldn't wear clericals because it would confuse the laity into thinking they're priests.... despite the fact that it's called "clerical dress", and deacons are clerics.

Education on the orders below priesthood is sorely needed, I'd say.
Reply
#27
(01-11-2011, 04:21 AM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: I was browsing through comments on Father Z's blog (specifically, his posts on diaconal subjects) and was droven nuts by the ignorance among Catholics on the diaconate, subdiaconate and minor orders. There are apparently even traditional Catholics who think deacons shouldn't wear clericals because it would confuse the laity into thinking they're priests.... despite the fact that it's called "clerical dress", and deacons are clerics.

Education on the orders below priesthood is sorely needed, I'd say.

I think we have a problem in the West with devaluing the minor orders.  In the East, they call Deacons and Monks "Father" even though they are not priests.  They simply have a more expansive use of "Father."  I think the Institute has tried to correct this in some way by using "Abbe" for minor clerics. 

I think the fact that lay men may serve the Mass also devalues second order clergy.  If any men can do it, what is the point in being a lay brother or an oblate?  This is not the right way of thinking about it, but it is a natural result of our praxis.

It has made me personally uneasy about serving Mass.  I don't want to "play cleric" when I am not a real cleric.  At the very least, it is something to think about carefully. 
Reply
#28
(01-11-2011, 12:29 PM)Christus Imperat Wrote: I think we have a problem in the West with devaluing the minor orders.  In the East, they call Deacons and Monks "Father" even though they are not priests.  They simply have a more expansive use of "Father."  I think the Institute has tried to correct this in some way by using "Abbe" for minor clerics. 

There was one commenter who was outright indignant about the Eastern practice of calling deacons "Father" and refused to address an Eastern deacon in the thread as such. Of course, the same guy thought it was wrong for deacons to elevate the chalice during the minor elevation at the end of the Canon, even though this is also done in the Tridentine Mass. He seemed to actually have an axe to grind against the diaconate in general and considered the order worthless, despite it being one of the three orders established by Christ Himself. It was strange.

There seems to be a fear that giving dignity to deacons (such as by having them wear cassocks or collars) somehow reduces the dignity of the priesthood, or that emphasizing the importance of the diaconate in any way will reduce priestly vocations. Even if that were true, I would argue that just as there are far more priests than there are bishops, there ought to be far more deacons than there are priests.

Another way to put it: the Church hierarchy has too many doctors, not enough nurses. Or too many captains, not enough lieutenants. Or [insert appropriate analogy here].
Reply
#29
(01-11-2011, 02:37 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote:
(01-11-2011, 12:29 PM)Christus Imperat Wrote: I think we have a problem in the West with devaluing the minor orders.  In the East, they call Deacons and Monks "Father" even though they are not priests.  They simply have a more expansive use of "Father."  I think the Institute has tried to correct this in some way by using "Abbe" for minor clerics. 

There was one commenter who was outright indignant about the Eastern practice of calling deacons "Father" and refused to address an Eastern deacon in the thread as such. Of course, the same guy thought it was wrong for deacons to elevate the chalice during the minor elevation at the end of the Canon, even though this is also done in the Tridentine Mass. He seemed to actually have an axe to grind against the diaconate in general and considered the order worthless, despite it being one of the three orders established by Christ Himself. It was strange.

There seems to be a fear that giving dignity to deacons (such as by having them wear cassocks or collars) somehow reduces the dignity of the priesthood, or that emphasizing the importance of the diaconate in any way will reduce priestly vocations. Even if that were true, I would argue that just as there are far more priests than there are bishops, there ought to be far more deacons than there are priests.

Another way to put it: the Church hierarchy has too many doctors, not enough nurses. Or too many captains, not enough lieutenants. Or [insert appropriate analogy here].

I have been really convinced by your posts on this topic.  Although, what originally got me thinking about this is the fact that with a permanent diaconate, it would be much easier to have Solemn High Mass on a consistent basis.

Perhaps some traditionalists have a reactionary stance on the issue because the permanent diaconate was restored by Vatican II, ergo it must be bad. 

Again, I think the irony is that when the liturgical reform flooded the sanctuary with lay people, the restoration of the diaconate became completely meaningless.  In the NO, it is really difficult to see what purpose deacons have at all.
Reply
#30
Quote:Perhaps some traditionalists have a reactionary stance on the issue because the permanent diaconate was restored by Vatican II, ergo it must be bad.

So when was there a tradition of a married permanent diaconate in the Church that somehow so needed to be restored by V2, while V2 simultaneously trashed the minor orders leading to the priesthood?

In most NO parishes I've been involved with in the past, the 'deacon' pretty much supplanted most functions of the priest, other than at the consecration.

I think the real irony is that, with these 'permanent deacons' combined with the flood of laity, it's pretty difficult to see what purpose priests themselves have at all these days!!

And maybe, just maybe, that was part of the plan all along. Luther's 'priesthood of the people' and all that rot, to go along with his 'table'. Married ministers, just like the protties.

Yes, yes, the Easterns have married clergy. This is Latin. Married 'deacons' just greases the skids.

If you feel the need to jab trads as 'reactionaries' who cast a jaundiced eye at this whole sordid concoction, then by all means knock yourself out.

Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)