From a reader…
I was wondering if you know the rubrics or know where the rubrics for lay instituted acolytes in the EF can be found?
At my parish, we try and do a lot of things in the extraordinary form, and I am trying to find some authoritative/knowledgeable source on what an instituted acolyte can/ cannot do/wear (in terms of the biretta) for liturgical celebrations (mainly outside of Mass). Thank you!
Once upon a time, Paul VI suppressed the “minor orders” with a document called Ministeria quaedam. In that document the Pope said that, henceforth, the functions of the subdeacon would be assumed by lectors and acolytes. Along came the 1983 Code for the Latin Church which supplanted Mq to a degree. It has canons on the lector and acolyte and established that the clerical state, which once began with tonsure and minor orders, now begins with diaconate.
Technically, cleric choir dress should apply to clerics. However, it also pertains to servers who fill the roles in liturgical service that clerics would ideally serve.
To my mind, the instituted lector/acolyte can wear the tunic and function as the subdeacon in the Usus Antiquior. Some don’t like this suggestion, but they can do so even if they left seminary and married. They are still lectors/acolytes. Some would not vest this liturgical critter in a maniple. Lana caprina.
To my mind, the instituted lector/acolyte can wear clerical choir dress (cassock, collar, surplice, biretta) when in choir, as the subdeacon of yore would. Some might disagree. Fluctus in simpulo.
Otherwise, the acolyte can function in the EF as… acolyte! He can take other roles, too. Be flexible.