Consecration to the Office of Acolyte in Historical Perspective
Author: Van Slyke, Daniel G
Source: Usus Antiquior, Volume 2, Number 2, July 2011 , pp. 89-128(40)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:The first part of this study thoroughly examines the historical development of the Latin rites of consecrating, ordaining, or blessing acolytes. The author pinpoints the ancient witnesses to the origins of the gestures — especially the traditio instrumentorum — and the distinct verbal formulae that comprise an integral and largely unchanged rite for ordaining acolytes that emerges complete in the late thirteenth-century pontifical of William Durandus and remains in use in the Pontificale Romanum of 1962. The second part begins by examining the office of acolyte in Roman legislative and liturgical texts beginning with Pope Paul VI's Ministeria quaedam in 1972. The author closes with a thorough critical analysis of the rite for instituting acolytes promulgated also in 1972. The study suggests that the texts and formulae of the 1972 rite depart dramatically from the Latin tradition of consecratory orations for acolytes, ignore the acolytes' ancient and continuous role of caring for lights, and incongruently stress a function of acolytes that is canonically extraordinary and historically aberrant: the distribution of Holy Communion.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-07-01