Deputing – corrected

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Just a slight suggested modification to your answer on ‘deputing.’  You wrote that only bishops can institute an acolyte. I think the better word would be ‘Ordinary;’ my provincial instituted me an acolyte and a lector before my ordination.


A: Ooooh, you’re right. Either the bishop or the major superior of clerical institutes may institute lectors and acolytes. They may also preside for admission to candidacy for ordination.

Thanks for catching this.


Q: You’ve used the expression “deputing” to describe someone who becomes an extraordinary minister of holy communion in their parish. Is that the same as “commissioning”? And how does this differ from an instituted acolyte?


A: Several documents have been using the word “deputing” as the action that makes someone an extraordinary minister of holy communion: GIRM 28, 100, 101, 107, and 162; Appendix III of the Roman Missal, and On Certain Questions on Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest (various offices of the Vatican 1997), 8 §1. It probably means the same thing as commissioning, but the Vatican has been using the word “deputing.” In the case of communion ministers, they are deputed in the parishes with the ceremony from the Book of Blessings or from Appendix III of the Roman Missal.

Only a bishop may institute an acolyte. Becoming an acolyte is permanent, whereas being deputed a communion minister may be temporary.