Is it a usual and normal thing to have a deacon do virtually everything at mass, except the consecration? Yesterday, at the 9:30 mass, I noticed that the deacon--as is often the case in our parish--presided at virtually all aspects of the mass except for the actual consecration.
I ask this because it seems as if there is a purposeful de-emphasis of the priest's role. Instead of presiding at the mass, it is as if the priest is merely assisting and not vice versa. In fact, I don't think the welcome included the usual announcement of who our presider would be.
I remember when we first came to All Saints Parish four years ago we thought the deacon was a priest. We're not the only ones who have made that mistake, either.
If the priest's role in the liturgy is so altered, doesn't that cross over to a sense of diminishing of the Eucharist, too? Doesn't minimizing the priest's role as an active presence in the mass put him, in persona Christi, somewhere in the background, of secondary importance? And isn't that same as putting Christ Jesus in the background?