Gemma Animae (177-179): Exorcists, Acolytes, Subdeacons

Royal 19 C I f. 165vChapter 177
On Exorcists
[Salomon’s Demon-Busters]

Royal 19 CI f.165v
Breviari d’Amor, Royal 19 C I f. 165v (Source)


Exorcist
means one who adjures. Salomon instructed these men to adjure demons and expel them from possessed people, just as the seven sons of the priest Sceva did [1]. But in the Church their duty is to catechize the young and exorcise through the words of God–i.e. to forbid the demons access to the bodies of the baptized, and to cast the demons out from possessed and obsessed bodies by performing exorcisms. The bishop gives them a codex at their ordination, teaching them to fulfill the warnings contained in books, so that they may be strong enough to expel demons from others.

[1] Cf. Acts 19:14.

CAP. CLXXVII. – De exorcistis.

Exorcista dicitur adiurator: hi, Salomone docente, daemones adiurabant, et eos de obsessis hominibus expellebant, ut septem filii Scene sacerdotis faciebant. In Ecclesia autem habent officium infantes catechizandos, exorcizare et per verba Dei, id est baptizandorum corpora daemonibus interdicere, ac de energumenis, ideo de obsessis corporibus per exorcismos daemonia arcere. Et his codex ab episcopo traditur, dum ordinantur, ut videlicet monita librorum impleant, quo daemones ab aliis expellere valeant.

Exorcism 2 (Guthlac)

Chapter 178
On Acolytes
[Lamp-Lighters]

The men who were called tenders of the lights in the Law [1], are now called acolytes, or sometimes chandlers (cerarii) from “candle” (cera). They used to light and extinguish the lights of the Temple, restock them with oil, and feed the lanterns. Nadab and Abihu were of this number (Exodus 24). In the Church their duty is to carry the candle or incensor before the priest at Mass and during the Gospel, and to help dress the altar in its cloths. The bishop gives them a candelabra and a jug or cruet, and by this they are admonished to keep alive the lantern of good works, and keep the vessel of their heart full with the oil of a good conscience [2].

[1] Cf. Du Cange:

CONCINNARE, Concinnatio, voces in luminaribus Ecclesiæ præsertim usurpatæ, apud Interpretem Biblior. non semel :
Ad luminaria Concinnanda, ad Concinnandas lucernas,
Exod. cap. 25. 35. Levit. 24. numero 4. Ἒλαιον εἰς τὴν φαῦσιν, Græco Interpreti. S. Hieronym. Epist. 26. cap. 6 :
Vel lucernas Concinant, vel succendunt focum, pavimenta verrunt, etc.

[2] From the Pontificale Romanum:

Suscepturi, filii charissimi, officium Acolythorum, pensate quod suscipitis.  Acolythum etenim oportet ceroferarium ferre: luminaria Ecclesiae accendere; vinum et aquam ad Eucharistiam ministrare.  Studete igitur susceptum officium digne implere.  Non enim Deo placere poteritis, si lucem Deo manibus praeferentes, operibus tenebrarum inserviatis, et per hoc aliis exempla perfidiae praebeatis.  Sed sicut Veritas dicit: Luceat lux vestra coram hominibus, ut videant opera vestra bona, et glorificent Patrem vestrum, qui in caelis est.  Et sicut Apostolus Paulus ait: In medio nationis pravae et perversae, lucete sicut luminaria in mundo, verbum vitae continentes.  Sint ergo lumbi vestri praecincti, et lucernae ardentes in manibus vestris, ut filii lucis sitis. Abjiciatis opera tenebrarum, et induamini arma lucis.  Eratis enim aliquando tenebrae, nunc autem lux in Domino. Ut filii lucis ambulate. Quae sit vero ista lux, quam tantopere inculcat Apostolus, ipse demonstrat subdens: Fructus enim lucis est, in omni bonitate, et justitia, et veritate.  Estote igitur solliciti in omni justitia, bonitate, et veritate, ut et vos, et alios, et Dei Ecclesiam illuminetis. Tunc etenim in Dei sacrificio digne vinum suggeretis et aquam, si vos ipsi Deo sacrificium, per castam vitam, et bona opera, oblati fueritis.  Quod vobis Dominus concedat per misericordiam suam.

CAP. CLXXVIII. – De acolythis.

Qui in lege luminum concinnatores dicebantur, apud nos acolythi, id est a cera cerarii nuncupantur. Hi lumina in templo accendebant vel exstinguebant, oleo reficientes, lucernas nutriebant, ex quibus Nadab et Abiu erant (Exod. XXIV) . In Ecclesia autem habent officium, ut lumine vel thuribulum ante sacerdotem missam vel ad Evangelium deferant, ad ornandum altare vestibus vel palliis inserviant. His ornandis candelabrum et urceus vel ampulla ab episcopo traditur; ut per hoc admoncantur, quatenus lucernae bonorum operum in manibus eorum luceant, et oleum bonae conscientiae in vasis cordis habeant.

Acolyte (Pontifical of Gilles)
Pontifical of Gilles de Luxembourg France, Châlons-sur-Marne, ca. 1503 MS M.1098 fol. 1r (Source)
Acolyte 2 (Missal)
Missal, Italy, MS G.16 fol. 129r (Source)

Chapter 179
On Subdeacons
[Humble Servants]

The men whom the Hebrews call Nachumei, i.e. those who serve with humility, we call subdeacons, which means sub-ministers. In the Law their duty was to receive the sacrifices offered by the people and to carry the water and all other things necessary for the Temple service. Nathaniel is said to have been one of these (John 1). In the Church their duty is to read the Epistle and to carry the chalice, paten, and corporal to the deacon at the altar. Thus they are called hypodiacones, i.e. deacons’ ministers. When they are ordained  they are given sacred vessels, the chalice, paten, and handkerchief, so that they may know that they are the vessels of God, and show that they have purified themselves for this ministry.

[1] Cf. the Latin text with the Pontificale Romanum:

Adepturi filii dilectissimi, officium Subdiaconatus, sedulo attendite quale ministerium vobis traditur: Subdiaconum enim oportet aquam ad ministerium altaris praeparare: Diacono ministrare; pallas altaris, et corporalia abluere; Calicem, et Patenam in usum sacrificii eidem offerre.  Oblationes quae veniunt in altare, panes propositionis vocantur.  De ipsis oblationibus tantum debet in altare poni, quantum populo possit sufficere, ne aliquid putridum in sacrario remaneat.   Pallae, quae sunt in substratorio altaris, in alio vase debent lavari, et in alio corporales pallae.  Ubi autem corporales pallae lotae fuerint, nullum aliud linteamen debet lavari, ipsaque lotionis aqua in baptisterium debet vergi.  Studete itaque, ut ista visibilia ministeria, quae diximus, nitide et diligentissime complentes, invisibilia horum exemplo perficiatis.  Altare quidem sanctae Ecclesiae ipse est Christus, teste Joanne, qui in Apocalypsi sua altare aureum se vidisse perhibet, stans ante thronum, in quo, et per quem, oblationes fidelium Deo Patri consecrantur.  Cujus altaris pallae et corporalia sunt membra Christi, scilicet fideles Dei, quibus Dominus, quasi vestimentis pretiosis circumdatur, ut ait Psalmista: Dominus regnavit, decorem indutus est. Beatus quoque Joannes in Apocalypsi vidit Filium hominis praecinctum zona aurea, id est, sanctorum caterva.  Si itaque humana fragilitate contingat in aliquo fideles maculari, praebenda est a vobis aqua coelestis doctrinae, qua purificati, ad ornamentum altaris, et cultum divini sacrificii redeant. Estote ergo tales, qui sacrificiis divinis, et Ecclesiae Dei, hoc est Corpori Christi, digne servire valeatis, in vera et Catholica fide fundati; quoniam, ut ait Apostolus: Omne quod non est ex fide, peccatum est, schismaticum est, et extra unitatem Ecclesiae est.   Et ideo, si usque nunc fuistis tardi ad Ecclesiam, amodo debetis esse assidui. Si usque nunc somnolenti, amodo vigiles. Si usque nunc ebriosi, amodo sobrii. Si usque nunc inhonesti, amodo casti. Quod ipse vobis praestare dignetur, qui vivit, et regnat Deus in saecula saeculorum.
CAP. CLXXIX. – De subdiaconibus.

Qui apud Hebraeos Nachumei, id est in humilitate servientes scribuntur, apud nos subdiaconi, id est subministri dicuntur. Horum officium in lege erat, oblata sacrificia a populo accipere, et aquam vel quaelibet necessaria in ministeria templi deferre: ex quibus Nathanael dicitur fuisse (Ioan. I) . In Ecclesia autem hoc habent officium ut Epistolam legant, calicem et patenam cum corporali diacono ad altare offerant. Unde et hypodiacones, id est diacono ministrantes dicuntur.  Cum hi ordinantur, vasa sancta, id est calix et patena eis ab episcopo dantur et manutergium, quatenus se vasa Dei sciant, et se huic ministerio mundos exhibeant.

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