Friday, December 06, 2019

Minor Orders and Tonsure Ceremonies at FSSP Seminary

On November 23rd, the feast of Pope St Clement I, His Excellency Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop Emeritus of Lincoln, Nebraska, celebrated a solemn Pontifical Mass at the FSSP’s North American seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, during which he conferred the Minor Orders on several of the seminarians. Our thanks to the OLGS Photography Dept., for sharing these photos with us; below, we have photos of the tonsure ceremony which was celebrated on October 19th by His Excellency Robert Finn, Bishop Emeritus of Kansas City.

The ordination rites for the minor orders involve touching the instruments by which the proper duties of that order are exercized; during the Ordination of the Porters, they touch the keys of the church...
and are then accompanied by the assistant priest (Fr Joseph Bisig, founding Superior General of the FSSP, and now rector of the seminary) to the doors of the church, which they close and open...
after which, they ring the church’s bell.
The lectors touch a lectionary,
the acolytes a candle
and a set of cruets.
The prayer of blessing at the end of the ordination of acolytes.
The Minor Orders are traditionally given after the Kyrie of the Mass, which then procedes as normal.
The bishop reads an admonition to the newly ordained at the end of the ceremony. “Most beloved sons, diligently consider the Order which you have received, and the burden laid upon your shoulders. Strive to live holy and devout lives, and please Almighty God, that you may be able to obtain His grace; which may He also deign to grant you through His mercy. All you that have been promoted to the first tonsure or to the four minor Orders, say one time the Seven Penitential Psalms with the Litanies, versicles and prayers.” When subdeacons and deacons are ordained, they are enjoined to say the nocturn from Matins of that day; priests are enjoined to say, after their first Mass, three votive Masses, one of the Holy Spirit, one of the Virgin Mary, and one for the dead, and to pray for the bishop himself. 
Tonsure ceremony on October 19th
The assistant priest, Fr Michael Stinson, District Superior for North America, reads the names of those called to receive the tonsure.
After leaving the church to dress in the cassock, the men return... 
and kneel before the bishop. They are then blessed by the bishop.
As the choir sings an antiphon from Psalm 15, “It is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me”, and the verses of the Psalm, they come forward, and the bishop cuts their hair in four places. (It is thought that this derives from an ancient Roman adoption rite, thereby placing the members of the clegy under the bishop’s fatherly protection.)
After another antiphon, psalm and prayer, the bishop clothes them in the surplice, after which they are entitled to formally sit in choir.

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