In the e-mail: on vesting a deacon for his funeral

The following e-mail arrived Tuesday afternoon:

On July 31, 2012 one of our deacons, Deacon Thomas Bates died of cancer after a brief illness. Deacon Bates was 63 years old and was ordained on May 24, 2007.

I had recently purchased “Ordained to Serve”, Prayers and Blessings for Permanent Deacons, edited by Denis Robinson, OSB. On page 214-215 are “Prayers for Vesting a Deacon after Death”. Deacon John Devlin and I, along with Deacon Bates’s wife, Lois, her mother and Tom’s sister gathered at the funeral home on the afternoon of the public visitation, before the viewing. Deacon Devlin and I vested Deacon Bates using the Prayers in the book. For me as Deacon Bates’s Formation Director and Deacon Devlin as one of his classmates, it was a very sacred moment and it was meaningful to share it with Lois and her family.

I would strongly encourage deacons and their families to use this rite if they are going to bury the deacon in his vestments. This is beneficial for the funeral directors as well because many of them have never placed vestments before.

Deacon Roger R Heidt, Diocese of Sioux Falls

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…

You can find the book “Ordained to Serve” at this link or at

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