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Next Sunday, 1 June, Shane O’Neill from Knockanore who spent several months with us here in Tramore as part of his pastoral studies last year, will be ordained Deacon in St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, along with 14 other men.
The diaconate for Shane is the, final step along the course to ordination to the priesthood. The ministry of the deacon in the Roman Catholic Church is described as one of service in three areas: the Word, the Liturgy and Charity.
The deacon’s ministry of the Word at Mass is the ordinary minister of the proclamation of the Gospel (in fact, a priest, bishop, or even the Pope should not proclaim the Gospel if a deacon is present!)
The deacon’s liturgical ministry includes various parts of the Mass proper to the deacon, including being an ordinary minister of Holy Communion.
As clerics, deacons are required to recite the Liturgy of the Hours. Deacons, like priests and bishops, are ordinary ministers of the sacrament of Baptism and can serve as the church’s witness at the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, which the bride and groom administer to each other.
Deacons may preside at funeral rites not involving a Mass (e.g., the final commendation at the gravesite or the reception of the body at a service in the funeral home), and may assist the priest at the Requiem Mass. They can preside over various services such as Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and they may give certain blessings. They cannot hear confession and give absolution, anoint the sick, or celebrate Mass.
The vestments most particularly associated with the deacon are the alb, stole and dalmatic. Deacons, like priests and bishops, must wear their albs and stoles; deacons place the stole over their left shoulder and it hangs across to their right side, while priests and bishops wear it around their necks. The dalmatic, a vestment especially associated with the deacon, is worn during the celebration of the Mass and other liturgical functions.
This will be a day of great rejoicing in our parish and diocese and for Shane and his family.
To celebrate the ordination, and to pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life, a Mass for Vocations will be celebrated in Holy Cross Church Tramore, on Thursday evening, 5th June at 7.30pm. Shane will assist at the Mass in his role as Deacon, and will proclaim the Gospel and deliver the homily. Everyone is most welcome to come and celebrate Shane’s ordination at this Mass and to congratulate him afterwards.