Gary May, from the Parish of Ryde, will be ordained to the permanent Diaconate on Saturday, 10th January at St. John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth. This is the first permanent Deacon that Ryde has produced, so it is a time of joy and celebration for Gary and the parish and the whole Island.
Fr. Glaysher, parish priest of St. Mary’s, Ryde, welcomes Deacon Gary to this ministry and he is delighted that he will be assisting him in his parish ministry.
The ministry of the deacon in the Catholic Church is described as one of service in three areas: the Word, the Liturgy and Charity. The deacon’s ministry of the Word includes proclaiming the Gospel during the Mass, preaching and teaching. The deacon’s liturgical ministry includes various parts of the Mass proper to the deacon, including being an ordinary minister of Holy Communion and the proper minister of the chalice when Holy Communion is administered under both kinds. The ministry of charity involves service to the poor and marginalized and working with parishioners to help them become more involved in such ministry. 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 (though if the exchange of vows takes place in a wedding Mass, or Nuptial Mass, the Mass is celebrated by the priest and the deacon acts as another witness). 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. However, they cannot hear Confession and give absolution, anoint the sick, or celebrate Mass.
At Mass, the deacon 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); and of the distribution of Holy Communion or the Precious Blood. As ordained clerics, and if granted faculties by their bishops, deacons may preach the homily at a 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.
Please remember to pray for Gary and his family and to ask for God’s blessing on his vocation and his ministry.