Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: LITURGY
LITURGY QUESTION from DEACON GERALD FOLEY July 21, 2001
According to Church Teaching, is it correct that only an ordained minister has the fasculty, right to read the Gospel at the Eucharist!
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on July 27, 2001
Dear Rev. Mr. Foley,
Yes, only a deacon or priest is permitted to proclaim the Gospel. The general instruction states:
34. The readings lay the table of God's word for the faithful and open up the riches of the Bible to them. Since by tradition the reading of the Scriptures is a ministerial, not a presidential function, it is proper that as a rule a deacon or, in his absence, a priest other than the one presiding read the gospel. A reader proclaims the other readings. In the absence of a deacon or another priest, the celebrant reads the gospel. and:
66. The reader is instituted to proclaim the readings from Scripture, with the exception of the gospel. If anyone who is not a deacon or priest dares to proclaim the Gospel, they are in violation of liturgical law.
I would like to make a clarification in vocabulary here: The rule that only deacons and priests may proclaim the Gospel is NOT Church Teaching with a capital T. Examples of Church Teaching would be that God is three and God is one, the Trinity, and that abortion is immoral.
Rather what we are dealing with here is liturgical LAW: a set number of rules which may be changed (only by the proper authorities, of course), unlike Church Teaching which cannot be changed.(although It can be developed and better understood)
Liturgical law would be found in liturgical law books, while Church Teaching would be found in catechisms.
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