GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, July 22, 2016 – In the same way anyone prepares well before meeting their beloved, Mass servers are exhorted to prepare well physically and spiritually before assisting at the Eucharistic celebration.
During nine seminarians’ Institution to the Ministry of Lectors and 8 seminarians’ installation as acolytes on July 15 at the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary (ICMAS), Malolos Bishop
Jose F. Oliveros, D.D. reminded the faithful about special preparations Mass servers are encouraged to make.
‘Living signs of faith’
The prelate stressed the importance of the service brought by both lectors and acolytes to the Church. Oliveros reminded the lectors about the value of Sacred Scriptures in forming the faithful to recognize God’s love for humanity. He also reminded them to practice reading Bible passages at least a night before in preparation of proclaiming the Word of God during Mass.
To the acolytes, the prelate stressed the value of the Eucharist as the sure sign of the presence of Christ in the Church. Oliveros also reminded them to be prepared to assist at Mass and to serve as “living signs of the faith”, as examples to the people of God. He also said these ministries become important examples of valuing the two parts of the Eucharistic celebration: the Liturgy of the Word during which lectors proclaim the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist during which acolytes assist in celebrating the “mystery of faith.”
The Seminary Formation Team from the Dioceses of Malolos, Balanga, Antipolo, and Iba also attended the Mass, which was held at the Immaculate Conception Theologate Chapel of the seminary.
In his thanksgiving address, the Beadle of the Cycle Class, composed of the batches of lectors (Theology II) and acolytes (Theology III) offered thanks with the words of St. Bonaventure, the Franciscan Cardinal and Doctor of the Church, whose memorial was celebrated that day: “Soli Deo honor et gloria!” (To God alone be the honor and glory!) The batch of lectors and acolytes instituted at ICMAS are composed of seminarians from the Dioceses of Malolos (Bulacan and Valenzuela City), Balanga (Bataan), Cabanatuan (Nueva Ecija), Antipolo (Rizal and Marikina City), and Iba (Zambales).
Since the reform of the minor orders to ministries by Pope Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1972 through the instruction (motu proprio) Ministeria Quaedam, the Ministries of Lectors and Acolytes have been conferred upon seminarians in their theological studies in preparation for the Sacred Ordination to the Priesthood. Through these ministries, seminarians are called to serve in the celebrations of the liturgy as part of their spiritual and pastoral formation in becoming dedicated ministers to the Church. (Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban / CBCP News)