What does a deacon wear under his alb?

Now it can be shown.

Here’s a first for “The Deacon’s Bench”:

The  men about to be ordained deacons earlier this month for the Archdiocese of Atlanta show off some equipment they used to help get them through all the kneeling the ceremony entails.

More on the 16 new deacons — and what else they bring to their ministry, besides kneepads — from the Georgia Bulletin:

A selfless attitude, a servant’s heart, and a love for the poor are prerequisites for the diaconate, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory told the 2011 class of men ordained Feb. 5 at the Cathedral of Christ the King.

Sixteen men were ordained to the permanent diaconate, adding another large class to serve the growing church of North Georgia. At a Mass witnessed by their spouses, family members and friends, the deacons were welcomed with great enthusiasm and excitement.

The new deacons are: Fernando Barrueta, William Bohn, Leonard Chambliss Jr., Robert Grimaldi, Richard Kaszycki, Norman Keller, Kenneth Lampert, Curtis Marsh, Scott Medine, Jose Trinidad Merlo-Quintero, Bill O’Donoghue, Gary Schantz, Steven Shawcross, Mark Sholander, Dave Thomasberger and Lawrence Welsh.

The people who filled the Cathedral came equipped with cameras and tissues. A reverent procession began the Mass with the wives of the deacon candidates leading the way, highlighting the role family plays in the deacon’s journey. It was also a moment of realization for the men.

“It was a surreal moment, almost like a dream unfolding before me,” Deacon Medine said. “Seeing an army of priests and deacons present and in procession with the bishops was extremely moving, but even more so was the gathering of family and friends in the Cathedral for the celebration of the sacrament.”

“We were sequestered. It was a good thing to help us pass through the anxiety,” Deacon Chambliss said about the moments right before the line of candidates came down the center aisle.

Deacon Chambliss is one of two members of the class who joined the Catholic Church as adults. He and his wife, Rhonda, and their son and daughter entered the church at St. Jude Church, Sandy Springs, in the early 1980s. He ranks his ordination up there with his wedding day and the birth of his children.

“That’s the impact it has had,” said Deacon Chambliss.

Read more at the link.   There’s also a wonderful photo gallery by Michael Alexander (who took the clever shot above.)

Ad multos annos, one and all!

  • Joe

    No canes to help get up ?

  • oldestof9

    Might as well use walkers too………

  • dymphna

    Good grief if theyneed pads to kneel then how much utility is the church going to get out of these guys?

  • Meggan

    I’ve often thought that this would be a great idea.

  • Atlantan

    @dymphna You’ll get more utility out of them if they still have their knees. The marble floor at Christ the King Cathedral doesn’t really tickle one’s patella. If you ever have the joy of being ordained you too will try to preserve this moment rather than be distracted by a throbbing knee.

    Judgmental snark and criticisms aside… I think this picture is a riot. Furthermore congrats to the new Deacons!

  • Deacon Norb

    On being a Deacon and kneeling.

    –Until I saw the photo on this blog, I never even thought about wearing knee-pads. What a marvelous idea!

    –Don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods but of the seven deacons in our county, the youngest is 62. Pain in the knees is just part of the problem — getting back up is more difficult the older you get. I am 67 and do have some bone issues so I know what I speak.

    –Rubrics call for the deacon to kneel for that portion of the Eucharistic Canon from the “hands-over-the-offering” to the rising of the genuflected presider after the raising of the chalice. Our bishop has let it be known that no deacon over 60 needs to feel obligated to kneel at that time if he is the only deacon on the altar at any given Mass.

    –Our bishop, however, has decided that all deacons working the same mass use the same rubrical decision here. SO, if I am “on-ceremony” at our local cathedral at some future point in time, I may just try out that knee pad idea.

  • deaconnecessary

    Thankfully, this is not an issue in my diocese. Our bishop allows his deacons to stand during the entire Liturgy of the Eucharist since so many of our deacons are older and have problems kneeling.


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