Jump to content
Gabriela

Canon Law on Lectors

Recommended Posts

Gabriela

I'm reading Christifideles Laici and the Holy Father references (in paragraph 23) Ministeria Quaedam, saying that at present Canon Law forbids female lectors and altar servers. Is this still so? Please cite sources.

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
truthfinder
3 hours ago, Gabriela said:

I'm reading Christifideles Laici and the Holy Father references (in paragraph 23) Ministeria Quaedam, saying that at present Canon Law forbids female lectors and altar servers. Is this still so? Please cite sources.

Thank you!

Up until 1993, female altar server were banned.  They are permitted at the discretion of the local ordinary and the individual priest.  The current understanding as well is that they are not permitted in the EF because they were not permitted in the 1962 missal. 

Female lectors are still not permitted because it is a quasi-ordained ministry.  That being said, there is nothing against female readers at Mass. 

And sorry, I don't have the sources.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LittleWaySoul
22 hours ago, truthfinder said:

Up until 1993, female altar server were banned.  They are permitted at the discretion of the local ordinary and the individual priest.  The current understanding as well is that they are not permitted in the EF because they were not permitted in the 1962 missal. 

Female lectors are still not permitted because it is a quasi-ordained ministry.  That being said, there is nothing against female readers at Mass. 

And sorry, I don't have the sources.  

Sources in Canon Law on Lectors vs Readers:

Canon 230 §1. "Lay men who possess the age and qualifications established by decree of the conference of bishops can be admitted on a stable basis through the prescribed liturgical rite to the ministries of lector and acolyte."

Canon 230 §3. "When the need of the Church warrants it and ministers are lacking, lay persons, even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply certain of their duties, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside offer liturgical prayers, to confer baptism, and to distribute Holy Communion, according to the prescripts of the law."

In summary:

The position of lector is, as @truthfinder put it, a "quasi-ordained" ministry. It's still open to laity, but only men. The position of reader, on the other hand, is open to anyone. People use the terms interchangeably, but they're technically different ministries.

The difference between acolyte and altar server is the same, though people don't tend to confuse these terms as much (in my experience anyway).

Edited by LittleWaySoul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×