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Author Topic: Acolytes, Readers and Subdeacons in the Western-rite  (Read 1784 times) Average Rating: 0
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SubdeaconDavid
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« on: June 27, 2011, 11:01:09 AM »

Do the Byzantine rite rules for minor clerics apply to WR readers and subdeacons?  Do they wear cassocks like their Byzantine-rite counterparts and do the disciplines and rules of the Byzantine-rite apply such as subdeacons not being allowed to marry after ordination? Do the WR Vicariates (AWRV and RWRV) impose their own norms on these clerics?
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 12:11:16 PM »

Do the Byzantine rite rules for minor clerics apply to WR readers and subdeacons?  Do they wear cassocks like their Byzantine-rite counterparts and do the disciplines and rules of the Byzantine-rite apply such as subdeacons not being allowed to marry after ordination? Do the WR Vicariates (AWRV and RWRV) impose their own norms on these clerics?
I could swear I've known subdeacons in the Constantinopolitan rite (Russian usage) who married.  Not deacons, though.
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2011, 12:29:12 PM »

Do the Byzantine rite rules for minor clerics apply to WR readers and subdeacons?  Do they wear cassocks like their Byzantine-rite counterparts and do the disciplines and rules of the Byzantine-rite apply such as subdeacons not being allowed to marry after ordination? Do the WR Vicariates (AWRV and RWRV) impose their own norms on these clerics?

There are other who can go more in depth on this but as a quick answer I know that subdeacons do things in the WR that they would never do in the BR like censing.

Subdeacons in many traditions are allowed to marry. I would actually make the argument that in current practice all subdeacons are allowed to marry; either by tradition or by the fact that most subdeacons are not subdeacons at all but rather readers blessed to function as subdeacons.
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 01:26:15 PM »

Western-rite subdeacons perform certain functions at a solemn high mass (a mass celebrated by a priest assisted by a deacon and a subdeacon).  The subdeacon chants the epistle, holds the gospel book while the deacon chants the gospel, brings the veiled chalice and paten to the altar for the offertory, and holds the paten during the consecration.  He also performs specific functions at the Holy Week liturgies.  The subdeacon vests in a cassock, amice, alb, cincture, maniple, and tunicle.  In the absence of a subdeacon, a reader can perform the subdeacon's functions at solemn mass.
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SubdeaconDavid
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 06:48:30 AM »

Do the Byzantine rite rules for minor clerics apply to WR readers and subdeacons?  Do they wear cassocks like their Byzantine-rite counterparts and do the disciplines and rules of the Byzantine-rite apply such as subdeacons not being allowed to marry after ordination? Do the WR Vicariates (AWRV and RWRV) impose their own norms on these clerics?

There are other who can go more in depth on this but as a quick answer I know that subdeacons do things in the WR that they would never do in the BR like censing.

Subdeacons in many traditions are allowed to marry. I would actually make the argument that in current practice all subdeacons are allowed to marry; either by tradition or by the fact that most subdeacons are not subdeacons at all but rather readers blessed to function as subdeacons.

In the Russian tradition readers or acolytes do not do the work of a subdeacon in the absence of one.  I asked our Dean and Vicar-General and he said in ROCOR as in the MP subdeacons are not allowed to marry after ordination and that this rule is strictly adhered to. Maybe the Greek churches should be seeking to foster the vocation of married men to the subdiaconate?
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 10:50:00 AM »

Quote
There are other who can go more in depth on this but as a quick answer I know that subdeacons do things in the WR that they would never do in the BR like censing.

Subdeacons in many traditions are allowed to marry. I would actually make the argument that in current practice all subdeacons are allowed to marry; either by tradition or by the fact that most subdeacons are not subdeacons at all but rather readers blessed to function as subdeacons.

Traditionally in the west, subdeacons were considered the first step of the "major" clergy. IIRC, the Tridentine Catechism listed the three major ranks as subdeacon, deacon, and bishop/priest (the latter being a deputy of the former). Hence the prohibition on marrying (or in the west, the beginning of enforced celibacy).

James2 listed most of the liturgical functions of the subdeacon. It has a much bigger role in the WR than in the east. Censing, though, in the WR, was never limited to clerics. Acolytes or even just untonsured altar servers are able to cense the people at the offertory, and the Body/Blood at the elevation.
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 02:45:01 PM »

In the Russian tradition readers or acolytes do not do the work of a subdeacon in the absence of one.

I know at least 5 who do or used to do.
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SubdeaconDavid
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 06:57:10 AM »

Which Russian jurisdiction?  Paris-Constantinople?
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SubdeaconDavid
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 06:58:36 AM »

Quote
There are other who can go more in depth on this but as a quick answer I know that subdeacons do things in the WR that they would never do in the BR like censing.

Subdeacons in many traditions are allowed to marry. I would actually make the argument that in current practice all subdeacons are allowed to marry; either by tradition or by the fact that most subdeacons are not subdeacons at all but rather readers blessed to function as subdeacons.

Traditionally in the west, subdeacons were considered the first step of the "major" clergy. IIRC, the Tridentine Catechism listed the three major ranks as subdeacon, deacon, and bishop/priest (the latter being a deputy of the former). Hence the prohibition on marrying (or in the west, the beginning of enforced celibacy).

James2 listed most of the liturgical functions of the subdeacon. It has a much bigger role in the WR than in the east. Censing, though, in the WR, was never limited to clerics. Acolytes or even just untonsured altar servers are able to cense the people at the offertory, and the Body/Blood at the elevation.

Thanks.  My question though is really about the Western-rite of Orthodoxy - not the Western Latin-rite traditions. I am more interested in the current requirements for readers and subdeacons in the Western-rite.
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 06:58:53 AM »

Which Russian jurisdiction?  Paris-Constantinople?


Poland.
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 06:05:06 PM »

Valuable contributions all 'round. In the Western rite, historically, subdeacons were not allowed to marry.

The statement was made that in the West, traditionally, subdeacons were considered a major order. This is not true at all. The Council of Trent said so, but it is scarcely traditional, but was a modernist subversion of the West's genuine patrimony.

In the traditional Roman rite, the deacon, rather than the subdeacon, brings the gifts to the priest at the altar as the offertory begins. But I could be overlooking some older regional tradition of which I am simply ignorant.

Otherwise, no qualms about the informative posts above. Thank you all.
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 06:23:25 PM »

Do the Byzantine rite rules for minor clerics apply to WR readers and subdeacons?  Do they wear cassocks like their Byzantine-rite counterparts and do the disciplines and rules of the Byzantine-rite apply such as subdeacons not being allowed to marry after ordination? Do the WR Vicariates (AWRV and RWRV) impose their own norms on these clerics?

There are other who can go more in depth on this but as a quick answer I know that subdeacons do things in the WR that they would never do in the BR like censing.

Subdeacons in many traditions are allowed to marry. I would actually make the argument that in current practice all subdeacons are allowed to marry; either by tradition or by the fact that most subdeacons are not subdeacons at all but rather readers blessed to function as subdeacons.

In the Russian tradition readers or acolytes do not do the work of a subdeacon in the absence of one.  I asked our Dean and Vicar-General and he said in ROCOR as in the MP subdeacons are not allowed to marry after ordination and that this rule is strictly adhered to. Maybe the Greek churches should be seeking to foster the vocation of married men to the subdiaconate?

Seriously, why is it the Greeks get picked on so much by their norhtern counterparts?  The Greeks were Orthodox while those of Rus' were still worshipping trees and rocks. 
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 06:27:12 PM »

I know in the 1962 Roman Missal when the Roman Catholics had subdeacons that the subdiaconate was considered a major order.  So in by gone days Roman Catholic subdeacons were not allowed to marry. 

Probably tradition has it that subdeacons today can get married after their subdiaconate ordination.  It's the bishop's decision and I don't see the mother churches in the old country reprimanding the North American bishops for allowing ordained subdeacons to marry.  A subdeacon is more or less an acolyte that can participate in the liturgies to a level non-subdeacons can't.  The primary function is to assist the deacon during a hierarchical liturgy.  Why punish a man and not let him get married after being ordained a subdeacon when he may only get to serve with the bishop three times in his life?
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SubdeaconDavid
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2011, 03:45:57 AM »

I know in the 1962 Roman Missal when the Roman Catholics had subdeacons that the subdiaconate was considered a major order.  So in by gone days Roman Catholic subdeacons were not allowed to marry. 

Probably tradition has it that subdeacons today can get married after their subdiaconate ordination.  It's the bishop's decision and I don't see the mother churches in the old country reprimanding the North American bishops for allowing ordained subdeacons to marry.  A subdeacon is more or less an acolyte that can participate in the liturgies to a level non-subdeacons can't.  The primary function is to assist the deacon during a hierarchical liturgy.  Why punish a man and not let him get married after being ordained a subdeacon when he may only get to serve with the bishop three times in his life?
I thought the Constantinople/Greek Churches got around it by blessing acoloytes to perform the duties of a subdeacon without being one.  I have checked afield and in ROCOR and the Mother Church it is not permitted as an economia to allow subdeacons to marry after ordination.  Of course the other is allowed - to take ordination after marriage.  Divorce and re-marriage are also no-go I am told for subdeacons.  I don't think it appropriate to change tradition or clerical discipline in this regard.  I regard it as part of the requirements that one has to accept when  taking ordination to the subdiaconate.  No different to rules for deacons or priests, and at times for some, onerous, but we are called to obedience to God and the Church - not to ask that the rules be softened for our post-Christian world.  I don't know what happens in some jurisdictions in North America, but I hope and pray that traditional vocations to the subdiaconate are fostered.
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