Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Presider Confusion

January 10th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

We have often written in these pages about how lay and deacon administrators in the Diocese of Rochester have so assumed the duties and appearance of the priest that the two are barely distinguishable anymore. It appears that people across the diocese are beginning to notice this trend as well. From the Saving Our Parish blog in Corning:

“Is it a usual and normal thing to have a deacon do virtually everything at mass, except the consecration? Yesterday, at the 9:30 mass, I noticed that the deacon–as is often the case in our parish–presided at virtually all aspects of the mass except for the actual consecration.

I ask this because it seems as if there is a purposeful de-emphasis of the priest’s role. Instead of presiding at the mass, it is as if the priest is merely assisting and not vice versa. In fact, I don’t think the welcome included the usualĀ  announcement of who our presider would be.

I remember when we first came to All Saints Parish four years ago we thought the deacon was a priest. We’re not the only ones who have made that mistake, either.

If the priest’s role in the liturgy is so altered, doesn’t that cross over to a sense of diminishing of the Eucharist, too? Doesn’t minimizing the priest’s role as an active presence in the mass put him, in persona Christi, somewhere in the background, of secondary importance? And isn’t that same as putting Christ Jesus in the background?”

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2 Responses to “Presider Confusion”

  1. deaconator says:

    The exceptions (Corning deacons)do not make the rule. Many more of us take our vow of obedience seriously and by extension follow the GIRM to the best of our ability. It is more often in my experience that the Presider abdicates or does not insist on fulfilling his role. The outcome has been ordained and non-ordained inserting themselves into the vacuum of liturgical roles that are not in their domain. Because those who should know better have not taken responsibility for their charge of fidelity to the authority of Holy Mother Church, ignorance combined with parish customs evolve and result in this “Mass Confusion”.
    In Christ,

  2. Dr. K says:

    Very well stated, Deacon.

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