QUAERITUR: Can a deacon preach at a TLM?

From a reader:

A priest who speaks very little English has volunteered to say the TLM
on Sundays. Is it OK for a deacon to deliver the homily in his place?


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  1. Gail F says:

    Not all deacons have faculties to preach. But if one does, I don’t think the form of the mass makes a difference.

  2. Fr. Basil says:

    I’ve seen it happen at the Extraordinary Form.

    You’re quite right, Gail F. For a deacon–or for that matter, a priest–to preach requires faculties from the diocesan bishop.

  3. Dr. Eric says:

    Wasn’t this why they forced St. Francis of Assisi into ordination to the Diaconate?

  4. Supertradmum says:

    Would the deacons then read the Gospel as well, or is this done only in the Byzantine Church?

  5. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    Of course, not having a homily of more than a few words can also be a great solution.

  6. Dr. Erich,

    No that is not the reason that Francis was ordained. He already had recognition as a lay preacher of penance from the time of his visit to Pope Innocent III in 1206. Actually, the comission to preach came during a period when Innocent was approving lay preaching groups, some reconciled Waldensian and Albigensian heretics right and left. There is evidence for at least 20 or so of these groups. Contrary to legend, lay preaching was extremely common in the 1100s and 1200s. I might add that lay preachers did not preach at Mass, but even priests tended to preach after Mass. That they not be confused with heretical preachers is the probable reason that Innocent had Cardinal Colonna tonsure Francis and his followers.

  7. Ed the Roman says:

    I recall an image here of the old hierarchy of (sub-episcopal) orders, showing the Porter, Lector, Exorcist, Acolyte, Subdeacon (with Epistolarium), Deacon (with Evangelarium) and Priest with Host and Chalice. So I’m pretty sure that means Deacons can read the Gospel.

    One thing that tickles my curiosity is whether a Subdeacon could sing the whole Exsultet.

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