The step of Institution of Ministries is an important one in the annual seminary calendar, presided this year by Arlington’s Bishop Loverde and celebrated with joy on February 9th at Theological College. TC seminarians petitioning for Lector and Acolyte do so in accord with the norms of the Code of Canon Law, the Program of Priestly Formation, and the requirements of Theological College. The following describes their eligibility and responsibilities:

Ministry of Lector (Reader): Lector is one of the ministries adapted to present day needs in the Latin Church, otherwise known as Reader.  Eligible seminarians vary in level from Pre-Theology I to Second Theology.  A lector is appointed to read the Word of God in the liturgical assembly.  Accordingly, he reads the lesson from Sacred Scripture, except the Gospel, in the Mass and in other sacred celebrations; recites the psalms between the readings in the absence of the psalmist; presents the intentions for general intercessions when the deacon or cantor is absent; and may also direct the congregation in song.  If necessary he also assumes the responsibility of instructing any of the faithful called upon to read the Scriptures in any liturgical celebration.

Ministry of Acolyte: Acolyte is a ministry to which a man is specially appointed by the Church to assist the deacon and the priest. Eligible seminarians vary in level from Pre-Theology II to Second Theology.  The acolyte’s duty is to attend to the service of the altar and to assist as needed in the celebration of the Mass.  He may also distribute Holy Communion as an Extra-Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion at Mass and to the sick.  An acolyte may be entrusted with publicly exposing the Blessed Sacrament for adoration but not with giving benediction.  He may also, to the extent needed, take care of instructing other faithful who by appointment assist the priest or deacon by carrying the missal, cross, candles, and similar functions.

Congratulations to all those at Theological College who have reached these important milestones!