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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 08 Oct 2001

Deacons Kneeling at the Consecration QUESTION from Rev. Mr. Larry Lottier January 15, 2000
Dear John, Back in December of '98 you provided me with a response to the question of the deacons kneeling and the seemingly conflicting information between the GIRM and the COB. Your response indicated that the COB took precidence over the GIRM in that the rubrics in the GIRM and liturgical books remain in force UNLESS the COB corrects them. (Page 9 in the Cerimonial of Bishops) Your recent answer of 1/5/00 refered to the deacon's position quoted in the GIRM and the COB as standing behind and to the right of the celebrant. Further on page 57 of the COB #155 states, The deacons remain kneeling from the epiclesis to the elevation of the cup. However, just because that is the correct position of the deacon - as you mentioned so the deacon is not confused with a concelebrant - doesn't meant the priest will allow the deacon to assume this position of kneeling. Why should the deacon kneel when in too many places the people aren't allowed to kneel? Continued blessings on your work, Deacon Larry Lottier ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on January 15, 2000
Dear Deacon Lottier, Thank you very much for the input and for your blessing. I'm truly grateful to God that good men like you continue to respond to His call. You're correct in saying that the Ceremonial of Bishops supercedes the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. It carries the full force of liturgical law. Why should the deacon kneel when in too many places the people aren't allowed to kneel? I realize that your question is rhetorical and spiced with a bit of frustration. Obedience is an important theme in Scripture and in the documents of the Church. Let me give our readers a number of good reasons for us obey the liturgical laws of the Church. 1. Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. [James 4:17] 2. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. [Proverbs 21:3, NIV] 3. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; [Isaiah 1:19] 4. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. [Acts 6:7] 5. The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. [2 Corinthians 2:9] 6. And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling. [2 Corinthians 7:15] 7. Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work, [Titus 3:1] 8. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, [1 Peter 1:14] 9. For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. [Hosea 6:6, NASB] 10. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. [Romans 13:5] 11. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority. [1 Peter 2:13] 12. . . . If you want to enter life, obey the commandments. [Matthew 19:17] 13. Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. [Luke 11:28] 14. If you love me, you will obey what I command. [John 14:15] 15. If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. [John 14:23-24] 16. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. [John 15:10] 17. Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. [John 15:20] 18. As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. [Acts 16:4] 19. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. [Romans 2:13] 20. Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? [Romans 6:16] 21. He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me. [Luke 10:16] 22. CCC 2197 . . . We are obliged to honor and respect all those whom God, for our good, has vested with his authority. And finally, a solemn pronouncement from the Church. This is a dogmatic statement which must be held by the faithful;. Decrees of the First Vatican Council Chapter 3. On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman pontiff. Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the church throughout the world. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema. God bless, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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