There were11 students installed as Acolytes at the Beda College, three of whom arestudying for East Anglia – Michael Brookes, Paul Spellman and Alan Hodgson. The Mass was concelebrated by Canon David Bagstaff, Vicar General, on behalf of the Bishop of East Anglia.
Alan explained: "The Acolyte Mass is generally carried out by a bishop in the seminary and is a significant stage that we complete during our studies. We receive Acolyte after being installed as lectors (last year) and before becoming candidates and then deacons (next year).
"Before Vatican II the office was referred to as "sub-deacon'. During the service the bishop hands the candidate a patten filled with bread and says the words, ‘Take this vessel with breadfor the celebration of the eucharist.Make your life worthy of your serviceat the table of the Lord and of his Church'.
"Theministry is apermanent one and can only be received once by an individual. It allows us, as students, to serve at the altar during Holy Mass,distribute Holy Communion and to purify the sacred vessels. It is anexciting stage for usbecause we get to work closer to the priests during the Mass as well as to draw closer to the Blessed Sacrament.
"At the Beda College we arealso candle bearers during the Mass and we generally do all the serving at Masses either in the college or if we are invited tocelebrate Mass in other venues," said Alan.
Pictured top is Michael Brookes being installed as an Acolyte and, above, Michael, Paul and Alan with Canon David after the Mass.