Diaconate Ministry

A special thanks to Joseph Delka, a seminarian for the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah, for putting these videos together and working on this short project.  It is our hope
that deacons will enjoy learning about their role in the Eucharist, and those discerning the vocation of permanent deacon will enjoy getting a sneak-peek preview of this most valuable vocation.

Please pray for our parish that we raise the funds to build the church building that we desperately need.



  1. In procession with the Gospel, the deacon precedes the celebrant priest, after all the others in the procession.
  2. Arriving at the sanctuary, the deacon does not make any sign of reverence due to the fact that he is hold the Book of the Gospels, the Word of God.  Symbolically Christ the Word of God does not reverence himself.
  3. Sometimes there may be a holder for the Book of the Gospels or a stand.  If used, always place the book facing outward toward the people.
  4. When reverencing the altar, there may be additional ministers, if so the deacon reverence the altar with the main celebrant.  The priest celebrant will normally reverence the altar in the middle of the altar, regardless of how many are at the altar.
  5. If there is not procession of the Gospel, the deacon simply walks beside the priest, normally on his right.  He then genuflects (if the Blessed Sacrament is present in the tabernacle) or bows reverencing the altar (if the Blessed Sacrament is not present).
  6. In either case of a procession with the Book of the Gospels are not, after reverencing the altar, incense may be optionally used and if so, the deacon assists the priest by holding the boat in preparation.  He then assists the priest in the incensing of the altar and cross.  The deacon may gently pull back the chasuble of the priest on the arm used for incensing and then walk with him as he incenses.  However, it is far more common that the deacon simply walk with him or even stay behind without holding on to the priest's vestments.  It is best to ask the celebrant what they prefer.  For practical reasons of space, it is sometimes impossible for the deacon to join the priest, or there may be other considerations.



  1. Before the Gospel, if no other suitable lectors are present, the deacon is to do all the readings. (GIRM 176)
  2. Procession with the Book of the Gospel for proclamation may be simple as seen in the video, or may very elaborate.  For example, the acolytes may lead the way with incense and candles.  The deacon may assist the celebrant if incense is brought forward by holding the boat for the priest.  Preparation of the thurible happens before all else whenever used, then after the deacon requests his blessing for the proclamation of the Gospel.
  3. Before picking up the Book of the Gospels, in reverence, bow to the altar (not seen in this video).
  4. When arriving at the ambo and incense is to be used, greet the people as normal ("The Lord be with you.").  After their response, "And with your spirit.", turn and take the thurible and incense the Book of the Gospels.  Then continue by announcing the Gospel, "A reading from the holy Gospel of N.", and continue as normal.
  5. The triple sign of the Cross signifies that the Gospel would be in our mind, on our lips, and in our heart.  It is our silent prayer for the Gospel to permeate our life and that we would evangelize the world through God's holy Word.
  6. At the end, the Book of the Gospel is to be venerated by the deacon or bishop if present.  It is normative in the United States that the whenever a bishop is celebrating he will be the one to venerate, but the GIRM (175) indicates that even with a Bishop present it can be the deacon who venerates.  So whenever a visiting Bishop is celebrating it is always best to ask for their preference and to be aware that this is possible.
Prayers of the Faithful
  1. On Solemnities and Sundays the Creed is professed by all.  After the introduction of the Prayers of the Faithful by the priest, it is the deacon himself who announces the intentions of the Universal Prayer, usually form the ambo.  If the people do not stand, you may invited them to do so with word or gesture.  Sometimes others will be asked to announce the intentions, e.g. multi-lingual liturgies.  The priest will then conclude with a prayer to God.
  2. Sometimes the Prayers of the Faithful are not prepared for the priest or deacon, they are spontaneously announced.  They should be universal in nature, i.e. not for "a special intention" that is unknown and private.  The Prayers of the Faithful are call to Body of Christ to pray together for their good and the good of their neighbor.  The normative format is that recommended (GIRM 70) is: for the needs of the Church, for public authorities and the salvation of the whole world; for those burdened by any kind of difficulty; for the local community.  However, additional intentions may be added, or substituted, especially for particular ceremonies, e.g. weddings, funerals, etc.






Under Construction 9-10-2013

If you would like to learn more about the permanent diaconate or inquire about becoming a deacon for the Diocese of Salt Lake City (entire state of Utah), please visit these links:

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