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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: May 17, 2023
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor preached the following homily during the Installation of Acolyte Mass at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. During the Mass, diocesan seminarians Joel Brackett and Duwan Booker were installed, allowing him to serve at the altar during Mass, assist in the purification of Communion vessels and take holy Communion to the sick.
The responsorial psalm that you just heard is one of the great liturgical psalms of praise, the 148th psalm, and so quite appropriate for this ceremony in which we will be installing Duwan Booker and Joel Brackett formally as acolytes for the service of the Lord in our liturgy.
Joel and Duwan, as an installed acolyte, you will have a permanent role in the Church’s eucharistic ministry. The summit and source of the Church’s life is the Eucharist, which builds up the community and makes it grow.
You will now have the special responsibility of assisting the priests and deacons in their ministry at Mass and as a special minister to give holy Communion to the faithful at the liturgy and bringing it to the sick in their homes and the hospital.
... You should strive to live more fully by the Lord’s sacrifice and be molded more perfectly in its likeness, thereby offering yourself daily to God in union with our offering of Jesus to the Father from this altar, you yourself becoming also a spiritual sacrifice offered to God in union with Jesus our Savior.
Because you will now be assuming this sacred ministry, which is one more important step in your path to the priesthood, you should seek all the more to live in a way that corresponds fully to this high calling.
And especially as we are participating in a three year process of National Eucharistic Revival, you should strive to live more fully by the Lord’s sacrifice and to be molded more perfectly in its likeness, thereby offering yourself daily to God in union with our offering of Jesus to the Father from this altar, you yourself becoming also a spiritual sacrifice offered to God in union with Jesus our Savior.
Moreover, in carrying out your ministry as an acolyte, bear in mind that as you share the one bread with your brothers and sisters, you also become one body with them.
So be sure to show a sincere love for Christ’s Mystical Body, God’s holy people, and especially for the weak and the sick. This will come easy to you if just take to heart the Lord’s great commandment, which he gave to his apostles at the Last Supper: “Love one another as I have loved you.”