Homily [from the Roman Pontifical] for the rite of ordination for deacons

This man your relative and friend is now to be raised to the order of deacons. Consider carefully the ministry to which he is to be promoted. He will draw new strength from the gift of the Holy Spirit. He will help the bishop and his body of priests as a minister of the word, of the altar and of charity. He will make himself the servant to all. As a minister of the altar he will proclaim the Gospel, prepare the sacrifice, and give the Lord's body and blood to the community of believers. It will also be his duty at the bishops discretion, to bring God's word to believer and unbeliever alike, to preside over public prayer, to baptise, to assist at marriages and bless them; to give viaticum to the dying, and to lead the rites of burial. Once he is consecrated by the laying on of hands that comes to us from the apostles and is bound more closely to the altar, he will perform works of charity in the name of the bishop or pastor. From the way he goes about these duties may you recognise him as a disciple of Jesus, who came to be serve, not to be served .

To candidate............. My son you are being raised to the order of deacons. The Lord has set an example for you to follow. As a deacon you will serve Jesus, who was known among his disciples as the one who served others. Do the will of God generously. Serve God and mankind in love and joy. Look upon all unchastity and avarice as worship of false gods, for no man can serve two masters. Like the men the apostles chose for works of charity, you should be a man of good reputation, be filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit. Show before God and mankind that you are above every suspicion of blame, a true minister of Christ and of God's mysteries, a man firmly rooted in faith. Never turn away from the hope which the Gospel offers; now you must not only listen to God's word but also preach it. Hold the mystery of faith with a clear conscience. Express in action what you proclaim by Word of mouth. Then the people of Christ brought to life by the Spirit, will be an offering that God accepts. Finally, on the last day, when you go to meet the Lord you will hear him say "well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord."