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Minor Orders, 2017

March 31, 2017

On March 31, Bishop Bernard Fellay conferred the Minor Orders of Porter and Lector upon seven seminarians and the Orders of Exorcist and Acolyte upon another seven.

The ordinations are made up of three parts: an admonition or instruction on the functions which will fall to the ordinands, the tradition of the attributes of the order, and finally a special prayer for the newly ordained, asking God for the grace and the necessary virtues to acquit themselves in a holy manner of the functions of the order received.

The first of the minor orders is that of Porter. It confers the charge of opening and closing the church, of keeping from it any unworthy persons, and of guarding the sacred vessels, vestments, and so on. The special virtue which is required of the Porter is zeal for the house of God and for souls.

During the ordination ceremony, the Porter receives the keys from the bishop, as a symbol of the house of God and of all which it contains, for he is the guardian of the house of God. By ringing the church bells he calls the faithful to the Church. That is his function in the Mystical Body.

The second minor order is that of Lector. The role of the Lector is to read the holy books, particularly at the office of Matins, and to teach the catechism. He may also bless bread and new fruits. His special virtues are the love and the study of Holy Scripture, as well as zeal for the sanctification of the faithful. A profound faith is necessary to fulfill his role in a holy manner. During ordination, the Lector is given the book of the divine readings as a sign of his new mission.

The third order is that of Exorcist. It gives notably the power of chasing devils from the bodies of the possessed, but also the power of keeping the devil away from the faithful. His particular virtues are purity of heart and the mortification of the passions. The Exorcist is handed the book of exorcisms, symbol of his function.

The fourth minor order is that of Acolyte. The Acolyte is to bring light to the faithful, both by carrying lighted candles for the chanting of the Holy Gospel, as well as by his conduct, which should enlighten the faithful and bring them always closer to God. The Acolyte also brings water and wine to the sacred ministers at the altar, which will - during the Concecration be turned into the Blood of Christ. Even more than before should he apply himself to a life of chastity.