Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

Update: Rethinking Liturgical Roles

Marie asked yesterday for a clarification. She wrote:

“If the exposition is to be interrupted, the deacon (or in his absence, a priest, even the presiding minister) immediately removes the blessed sacrament from the monstrance and places it in the tabernacle.”

This states an exception but not the rule.  I agree with you on the role of a deacon, but I would like to see documentation of the rule not the exception in regards to this.  Can you research more?

No problem and thanks for requesting the clarification! Since  I have the Ordo (Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist) sitting right here in front of me, here we go. In paragraphs 31 (within the liturgy) and 120 (outside of the liturgy), the Ordo reads:

Immediately after the distribution of communion, the monstrance is placed on the altar. The deacon (or, in his absence, a priest, even the celebrant himself) places the host in the monstrance. If desired, the monstrance may be placed on a throne.

The instruction is similar in paragraph 39 (Exposition outside of Mass at the beginning of the Divine Office):

If the blessed sacrament is not exposed, the deacon (or, in his absence, a priest, even the presiding minister) brings it to the altar and places it in the monstrance.

Again, the instruction repeats itself and is consistent, using the same language i.e.” …the deacon (or, in his absence, a priest, even the presiding minister) brings it to the altar and places it in the monstrance.” The positive instruction for Reposition can also be found in paragraphs 131 (Closing inside of Mass) and 149 (outside of Mass), using the same language, which states:

The deacon (or, in his absence, a priest, even the celebrant himself) removes the blessed sacrament from the monstrance and places it in the tabernacle.

Conclusion: Deacons expose and repose even when they are not the presiding minister or a priest is present. Hopefully this fulfills your request for the positive instruction.

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