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John Hogan wrote:

Hi, guys —

At a Mass, during the Eucharistic Prayer (consecration of bread/wine) is it correct/allowed that an assisting Deacon (non-priest) also extend his hand with an open palm in tandem with the priest?

I thought his physical action was only reserved for a priest via the rubrics of the Order of the Mass.

P.S. I have witnessed this movement done when more than one priest is celebrating the Mass, still, this individual is also an ordained priest, thus his actions would make perfect sense.

Most respectfully,


  { At a Mass, during the consecration, is an assisting Deacon also allowed to do what the priest does? }

A good friend, Anonymous Andrew replied:

Hi, John:

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal gives directions for the posture of the deacon during the Eucharistic Prayer. For most of the prayer, he stands behind the priest, to his side. During the Consecration, he should be kneeling.

. . . 179. During the Eucharistic Prayer, the Deacon stands near the Priest, but slightly behind him, so that when necessary he may assist the Priest with the chalice or the Missal. From the epiclesis until the Priest shows the chalice, the Deacon usually remains kneeling. If several Deacons are present, . . .

Throughout the Mass, ministers other than the celebrant keep their hands joined when they are not holding something. For example, this is stated in the Ceremonial of Bishops at paragraph 107.

I hope this helps.

— Andrew

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