I think you readers can help flesh out a discussion of this interesting topic.
Can a layman substitute for a "subdeacon" at celebrations of the TLM and also in the Novus Ordo.
Keep in mind that Paul VI’s Ministeria quaedam says that the instituted acolyte assumes the liturgical roles of the subdeacon and that the 1983 Code of Canon Law says that instituted acolytes can be substituted by others who are not so instituted.
I have lot of practical experience with this issue. However, having a discussion from several points of view could bring greater clarity.
Here is an e-mail which sparked this entry (edited).
You may be the only man in the world who can settle a dispute I’m having at the moment with a friend of mine. We live in ____ where the is one Mass in the Ordinary form celebrated by the ‘Latin Mass Chaplain’ each day. Most Sundays are Missa Cantatas but since New Year we have been fortunate to have a old parishoner back visiting who has just been ordained a deacon. I have been acting as subdeacon. I’m only a ‘lay clerk’ with no minor orders to speak off.
The discussion came up as to whether I should/could act as a subdeacon. I said I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so and the conversation moved to whether a married man who acted as subdeacon (whether as a ‘lay clerk’ or a lector) in the past could act as subdeacon if only a priest and deacon were available.
So, there are a few issues.
It seems entirely proper that an instituted acolyte can substitute for a subdeacon at a TLM and also fill the similar roles in the Novus Ordo.
The law says that others can substitute for the instituted acolyte. Supposedly that could include married men, or those who are not either seminarians or have any intention of formation for the priesthood.
We will leave aside the issue of females filling those roles, which would be appalling in the TLM and at least ridiculous in the Novus Ordo.
Let’s shed some light on this question.