ASK FATHER: Can the Novus Ordo be “ad orientem”, in Latin, with Deacons?
From a reader…
Can a Novus Ordo be ad orientem with Latin, chant, a subdeacon and deacon in traditional vestments?
Not only can the Novus Ordo be celebrated ad orientem, it ought to be. The rubrics indicate that this is the standard, the norm. The Roman Church’s tradition calls for it. Permission is not necessary. It can’t be forbidden.
Not only can the Novus Ordo be celebrated in Latin, it ought to be. Latin is the language of the Latin Church. The official books are in Latin. The Second Vatican Council called for Latin to be preserved. The Church’s sacred music is in Latin. Canon Law puts Latin in the first place for the language of Holy Mass. Permission is not necessary. It can’t be forbidden.
Not only can the Novus Ordo be celebrated with deacons, it ought to be. Deacons have a proper liturgical role. I’ll leave aside for now the issue of a subdeacon, which is complicated as far as the Novus Ordo is concerned.
My home parish in St Paul, St. Agnes, always had Mass ad orientem, in Latin, with deacons, one taking the role of reading the Gospel, and the other being at the altar near the priest. So, they swapped roles of deacon and subdeacon, but they were both deacons, properly vested in dalmatics. Yes, this can be done.
Keep in mind that the paradigm for Mass is not the quiet “Low Mass”. Rather, it is the Pontifical and the Solemn Mass that are the paradigm. So, deacons aren’t “add ons”. They are desired in the Roman Rite.
Where there are deacons, permanent or transitional, they should be warmly prompted to serve in their proper roles, in their proper vestments. That means that parishes with deacons shouldn’t vest just one, but two! They should have matching vestments with the priest! C’mon!
Here is a shot of Fr. Philips of the Canons of St. John Cantius saying Mass at St. Agnes as a visiting celebrant. NB: Deacons.