Whose herald you now are

At ordination, the Bishop places the Book of the Gospels into a Deacon’s hands and says “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you now are: Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” A Deacon is called upon to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to everyone, but especially to the poor and marginalized.

In the celebration of the Mass, the Deacon, carrying the Book of the Gospels, precedes the Priest as they approach the altar. During the singing of the Alleluia, the Deacon bows profoundly before the Priest and asks for his blessing. The Priest blesses the Deacon with “The Lord be in your heart and on your lips that you may worthily proclaim his gospel.” The Deacon signs himself with the Sign of the Cross, proceeds to the altar, bows, and takes up the Book of the Gospels, and with it elevated, proceeds to the ambo.

At the ambo the Deacon introduces the gospel to the faithful with the words, “The Lord be with you.” These words are a Deacon’s prayer to the faithful that his proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ be instilled in the lives of all who hear it. As he was commanded by the Bishop at ordination, the Deacon must sincerely believe, teach, and practice the words he proclaims to the faithful in order for them to be treasured in the hearts of all who hear them.

An important ministry of a Deacon is preaching and there are four aspects to it. First, the Deacon preaches through the conduct of his life. St. Francis of Assisi taught, “Preach the Gospel always, Use words if necessary.” Second, the Deacon preaches through the homily. Third, the Deacon preaches through catechesis and exhortation. Fourth, the Deacon preaches through evangelization, speaking to all he meets. The bringing of the Gospel to the professional world is one of the primary tasks of evangelization entrusted to deacons.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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