Monday, June 30, 2008

Of things Canterbury

...from Taylor Marshall's Canterbury Tales.

Bring back the subdeacon:
We need to re-institute the subdiaconate. The subdiaconate would be similar to the permanent diaconate. Subdeacons would be male and would vest in cassock and surplice or tunicle for special occasions. They would administer Holy Communion when there are not enough priests and deacons. They would not receive Holy Orders (obviously) but these trained men would add dignity to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. They would essentially be adult altar servers who have been authorized by the bishop to administer Holy Communion.

This solution would naturally prohibit several abuses and insulate the space around the altar from men in jeans and ladies in miniskirts. 
Not to mention tube tops and spaghetti strapped blouses....
Why Purgatory?
If one has faith, hope, and charity (i.e. is in a state of grace) at the moment of death he is saved from hell, which is the state eternal punishment. However, our attachment to lesser sins falls under the paternal judgment of God who requires us to be holy as he is holy. Thus, we must undergo chastisement worthy of our status as sons of the Father (either in this world or the next) so that we are like Him and can therefore see Him. Romans 8:28 says that we have been predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. This conformity must be actual and not merely imputed. This paternal discipline relates to temporal punishment. If we living a penitent life on earth and perform acts of love, then we need less purgation. If we trust Christ but conform our lives to a lesser extent to His cross, then we need more discipline in the world to come.
On Capuchin Beards
The constitutions of the early Capuchin Franciscans describe the beard as something "severe, austere, manly, natural, and despised."
The comments are worth reading. Of course, being of the female persuasion, I view the discussion from the sidelines.


TerryC said...

I agree on principle, but bishops can already institute acolytes who can act as ministers of communion, lectors, even assisting the priest and deacon in purifications of the vessels. In the United States, except for seminarians who are instituted as acolytes in, I believe, their second year, the only ordinary I know of who has appointed any is the estimable Archbishop Burke.
Since the bishops haven't seen fit to appoint acolytes I do not believe they would appoint subdeacons either.

frival said...

I have to agree with terryc. I've even made a not-so-subtle suggestion that we ought to have some accolytes in my Diocese but that was pretty well ignored. Sadly we don't seem too nimble on the uptake for good ideas around here.