From a reader…
Father, last year we began attending a more traditional parish in our diocese. It struck me just today that I’ve never seen our deacon at Mass without a dalmatic, whereas we saw the deacon frequently without a dalmatic at our previous parishes. Is the deacon required to wear the dalmatic at Mass in the same way that the priest is required to wear the chasuble?
In 2009, the USCCB promulgated the Directory for the Formation, Life and Ministry of Permanent Deacons, which is largely drawn from the 1998 Directory issued by the Congregation for the Clergy. (It has several unfortunate statements that defy logic and tradition…. but I digress…)
The Directory states,
“For the Sacred Liturgy they should vest worthily and with dignity, in accordance with the prescribed liturgical norms. The dalmatic, in its appropriate liturgical colors, together with the alb, cincture and stole, ‘constitutes the liturgical dress proper to deacons.” (83)
The proper liturgical vestment of the deacon is the dalmatic. Parishes which have the service of deacons should also have the proper vestments for deacons. And deacons should put them on.
This isn’t hard.