Deacon Norms

Part One – Universal Order of Deacon

All clergy, by virtue of their sacred ordination and their common mission, namely the building up of the Body of Christ, are to be so united among themselves by the bonds of fraternity and of prayer that they strive for cooperation among themselves in accord with the prescriptions of particular law.

1.1 Pursuit of Holiness

By virtue of their consecration to God in the reception of orders, clerics are especially bound to pursue holiness. In order for them to pursue this state, they are bound, first of all, to fulfill faithfully and untiringly the duties of pastoral ministry; they are to nourish their spiritual life from the twofold table of Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist; deacons are earnestly invited to participate daily in the Eucharist; they are to be conscientious in devoting time regularly to prayer, in approaching the sacrament of penance frequently, in cultivating special devotion to the Sacred Mysteries, and in using other common and particular means for their sanctification. [Canon 276]

1.2. Faculties

Faculties are derived from the Code of Canon law [canon 131, §1], (Appendix A) and are the specific authorization granted by the Archbishop of Baltimore empowering a deacon to perform certain canonical acts in a manner recognized by the law of the Church. Upon ordination, each deacon will receive from the Archbishop a written statement granting him the necessary faculties, following the recommendation of those responsible for his formation. Because faculties are given by the Archbishop of Baltimore, they can also be withdrawn by him or through his delegate for a serious reason. Since faculties are essential for ministry in the Church, the deacon without faculties would no longer be eligible to provide ministry of any kind in the Archdiocese of Baltimore or anywhere else until his faculties are restored.

1.3 Liturgy of Hours

Deacons should know the nature and structure of the Liturgy of the Hours and be able to lead it publicly.Although permanent deacons are not bound by the universal church law to say the whole of this prayer every day, they should not hold themselves lightly excused from the obligation they have to recite morning and evening prayer.

1.4 Canon Law

As a cleric, the deacon is bound by any and all canons that pertain to ‘clerics’ and those specifically that pertain to deacons, particularly Canons 273-293.

Archdiocesan Norms – Part One

Deacons as clerics are expected to build up the bonds of unity and fraternity among the members of their order.

  • Deacons, as clerics, are expected to pursue holiness; participate in daily Mass and frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • Deacons are expected to pray at least Morning and Evening Prayer.
  • Deacons function as deacons only with written faculties from the Ordinary.