In the apostolic letter Spiritus Domini, the pope modified the Code of Canon Law, which previously limited the ministries to lay men.
A lector is a person who reads Scripture — other than the Gospel, which is only proclaimed by deacons and priests — to the congregation at Mass.
After abolishing the minor orders, Pope Paul VI wrote that an acolyte was a ministry in the Church with the “duty to take care of the service of the altar, to help the deacon and the priest in liturgical actions, especially in the celebration of the Holy Mass.”
Potential responsibilities for an acolyte include distributing Holy Communion as an extraordinary minister if such ministers are not present, publicly exposing the Eucharist for adoration in extraordinary circumstances, and “the instruction of the other faithful, who, on a temporary basis, help the deacon and the priest in liturgical services by carrying the missal, cross, candles, etc.”
Due to travel restrictions related to the outbreak of the omicron variant of COVID-19, candidates from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda will not be able to take part in the Mass, as originally planned. Attendance in St. Peter’s Basilica will also be limited to only 2,000 people as a precaution.
The Mass will be broadcast live by EWTN at 9:30 a.m. Rome time (1:30 a.m. MDT).
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.