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Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Substitute for a Subdeacon at a Solemn Mass

A reader of "A Catholic Life" asked me whether or not a non-ordained male could serve as a subdeacon at a Solemn Mass. After doing some research in "The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal" by Rev. J B O'Connell, I found the following on page 398:

Only a priest may act as a substitute for a deacon but a cleric in minor orders or at least tonsured may, for a reasonable cause (see S.R.C. 4181), act as substitute for a subdeacon (See S.R.C 2002, 2525, 2965, 3525, 3832, 4181). He may wear the alb and tunicle but not the maniple. During the Mass he may do all that a subdeacon does except:

(a) wipe the chalice and pour the water at the Offertory
(b) touch the chalice again after having brought it to the altar, until after the ablutions
(c) uncover and cover the chalice during Mass
(d) wipe the chalice after the ablutions, although he may arrange and veil it, and carry it to the credence (S.R.C 4181)

S.R.C = Decrees of the Congregation of Sacred Rites
Image Source: Unknown, Found via the blog Munda Cor Meum


del_button July 3, 2009 at 10:41 PM
Athanasius said...

It is worth noting that the United States and England there was under Pius XII an indult for a non-tonsured layman to serve as a Subdeacon at a solemn high Mass, under the same conditions as someone who has been tonsured.

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