Sunday Homilies : On reserving the purifying of sacred vessels to the ordained

from Father Kevin Laughery, Troy St. Jerome and St. Jacob St. James Parishes, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Note: Comments from this page do not reach me; instead, email:

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If you desire a break from American politics, try Church politics.  We now have an order from on high regarding a perceived need to keep lay people from purifying sacred vessels.  As of January 1, an ordained person must do it.  (So can an acolyte, but in practice such officially-installed acolytes are not to be found; women cannot be acolytes, so we refrain from making acolytes.  The official acolyte is a "lay ministry," supposedly; but in practice it is treated as the minor order it once was.) 

This reminds me of something I once said when at Mass a seminarian and I were struggling with getting incense to burn: "This is why we spend eight years in the seminary: to learn to light charcoal!"  More to the point, we as the Catholic Church are experiencing a rollback of the great liturgical progress we were making following the Second Vatican Council.  The Council taught us that each believer (not just the ordained) has an active role in the liturgy.  Further, we learned that the sign-value of each sacrament must be used to the fullest.  Cardinal Arinze's comments on intinction, on the other hand, belittle the importance of actual eating and drinking in the sacrament of the Eucharist.  We will comply, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

Category:Fr. Kevin's Blog -- posted at: 3:53pm CST