Roles in Carthusian liturgy

Thanks for the following information from Paul Feeney who was a Carthusian and now is an Orthodox subdeacon (used with his permission).

The Hebdomadary or Weekly Officers serve based on a scheduled rotation.

Hebdomadary Priest = Celebrant at all Offices and Conventual Masses, who intones the Beginning of the Offices, and offers the preces intercessions and the prayers. All the Professed priests are in this rotation.

Hebdomadary Deacon = Whoever, either a priest or deacon,

Diaconates at the Conventual Masses. There is always a Deacon in the Carthusian Rite for the Conventual High Mass. If a Cloister Monk is a Transitional Deacon, he will do all the Diaconating from the day of his ordination as a Deacon until the day before his ordination as a Priest. If there are two Deacons in a house, a rarity, they will alternate weeks.

Hebdomedary Chanter = A Cloister Monk who intones and Chants the Invitatory Psalm at Matins, any versicles in the Office, and the Responsories at Lauds and Vespers. All the Cloister Monks take their turn in the rotation for this.

Two (2) Permanently Assigned Cantors, one for each choir, intone all the psalms to start them on the correct pitch with the correct psalm tone. If something runs amuck and needs to be rescued or reintoned, the Cantor on the side of the Choir this is happening on, will do that. Occasionally, a novice will need this kind of assistance. The Cantors are monks with better than ordinary chant acumen and usually a strong and steady voice. Ideally, the monks try to listen to the speed, intonation and how the cantors are carrying the chant to take their cues as how to chant the psalms and anything else. [Remember Carthusians do not use musical instruments – there is no organ supporting the chant – added by Bosco Peters]

All Cloister Monks will take their turn in their order of seniority:

a. Intoning the Antiphons of the Offices, and, intoning the Responsories at Matins and singing the versicle of the Responsory they have intoned.

b. Reading the Lessons at the Office.

c. If there are Lectors in the community, the Lectors will read the Lections at Conventual Mass.

Lectors will be either Cloister Monks studying for the Priesthood, or can be a Lay Brother who has volunteered to become a Lector. Lectors have to be "instituted" in this office.

The same is true of the "order" of Acolyte. Cloister Monks studying for the Priesthood are instituted as Acolytes. A Brother who volunteers for this, may also be instituted as an Acolyte. I served only once, on the day of my institution. I presented the gifts to the Celebrant of conventual High Mass, rather than the Deacon, and I minister the Chalice at the Communion. If there were no priests who could Diaconate, then the Acolyte would do this at the Conventual High Mass. Otherwise, it is just another step towards the Diaconate and Priesthood.

Profession in a clerical religious or monastic order admits on to "Candidacy for Holy Orders", which has replace the Rite of Clerical Tonsure, so their is no special celebration of that in the Charterhouse for the Cloister Monks. The Holy See prohibits Brothers in contemplative orders from being ordained to the Permanent Diaconate.
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