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Institution of an Acolyte During Mass
January 27, 1989
(1970 Missal)


1. The bishop or the major superior of a clerical religious institute carries out the institution of acolytes, within Mass.

Liturgy of the Word

2. The readings are taken in whole or in part from the liturgy of the day or, alternatively, from the texts listed in Chapter III


Calling of the Candidates

3. After the gospel, the bishop, wearing his miter, sits, and the appointed deacon or priest calls the candidates:

Those to be instituted in the ministry of acolyte please come forward.

The candidates are called by name, and each one answers: Present, and goes to the bishop, before whom he makes a sign of reverence.


4. Then all sit, and the bishop gives the homily, which he concludes by speaking to the candidates in these or similar words:

Dear sons in Christ, as people chosen for the ministry of acolyte, you will have a special role in the Church's ministry. The summit and source of the Church's life is the eucharist, which builds up the Christian community and makes it grow. It is your responsibility to assist priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry, and as special ministers to give holy communion to the faithful at the liturgy and to the sick. Because you are specially called to this ministry, you should strive to live more fully by the Lord's sacrifice and to be molded more perfectly in its likeness. You should seek to understand the deep spiritual meaning of what you do, so that you may offer yourselves daily to God as spiritual saalfices acceptable to him through Jesus Christ.

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."

Invitiation to Prayer

5. Then all stand, and the bishop, without his miter, invites the people to pray:

Brothers and sisters, let us pray to the Lord for those chosen by him to serve in the ministry of acolyte. Let us ask him to fill them with his blessing and strengthen them for faithful service in his Church.

All pray in silence for a brief period.


6. Then the bishop, with hands joined, continues:

God of mercy
through your only Son
you entrusted the bread of life to your Church.
Bless + our brothers
who have been chosen for the ministry of acolyte.
Grant that they may be faithful
in the service of your altar
and in giving to others the bread of life;
may they grow always in faith and love,
and so build up your Church.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


7. Each candidate goes to the bishop, who gives him a vessel with the bread or wine to be consecrated, saying:

Take this vessel with bread (wine)
for the celebration of the eucharist.
Make your life worthy of your service
at the table of the Lord and of his Church.

The acolyte answers: Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

8. At the preparation of the gifts, the acolytes (or some of them, if the number is large) present the patens with the bread and the chalice with the wine.

9. The acolytes receive communion immediately after the deacons.

10. In the Mass of institution the bishop may direct the acolyte as a special minister to help in giving communion to the faithful.

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All contents © copyright, 1998-2019
The Catholic Liturgical Library