Thursday, January 14, 2016

The rite for acolytes

In the rite of institution of acolytes, the bishop to called to admonish those called to the ministry:
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."
“One body with them.”

To be an instituted acolyte is not to be called above others but to recall that I am one with them. The ministry of acolyte is a service to the community, not an honor. It is a call to be more at the service of God who becomes present on the altar in the Eucharist and to bear Jesus to those who cannot come to the table.

It is a call to share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ, a call to be one with the Body of Christ in all his manifestations.

It is a call to remember that we are all God’s Holy People – and many of them are really quite holier than I.

“a love for the weak and the sick”

I recall some of the ministers of Communion here in the parish who will travel long distances, sometimes on foot, to lead a day of prayer in another part of the parish. They will regularly visit the sick and elderly, bringing them the Bread of Life. It will be almost impossible for me to live up to their example, though God's grace will help, sustain, and encourage me.

"a life of service"

When the bishop hands the chalice and paten to the acolyte, he says:
Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of his Church. May my life be made worthy – by the grace of God – to serve at the table of the Lord and of His Church.
May my life truly be one of service, especially of those most in need.


This is the second in a series of blog posts on the ministry of acolytes, in preparation for my institution in the ministry on Sunday, January 17, 2016.

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