Monday, August 10, 2009

Laity Giving Blessings During Mass (and other no-nos)

As a 'vent' of sorts, I would like to revisit the subject of Laity Conferring Blessings at Mass. They may not. This includes Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Which raises another topic.

If you do not know what exactly an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is, you are not alone. The laypersons who assist the priest with the distribution of the Eucharist at Mass are NOT Eucharistic Ministers. The ONLY Eucharistic Minister is an ordained priest.

And yet another vent: the appointed EMHCs ARE NOT to approach the altar until the Priest has already received Communion himself.

If extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are required by pastoral need, they should not approach the altar before the priest has received Communion. After the priest has concluded his own Communion, he distributes Communion to the extraordinary ministers, assisted by the deacon, and then hands the sacred vessels to them for distribution of Holy Communion to the people. SOURCE USCCB

For further study on the topics mentioned, read Redemptionis Sacramentionis. Some highlights of the document:

Chapter VII


1. The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

[154.] As has already been recalled, “the only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest”.[254] Hence the name “minister of the Eucharist” belongs properly to the Priest alone. Moreover, also by reason of their sacred Ordination, the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are the Bishop, the Priest and the Deacon,[255] to whom it belongs therefore to administer Holy Communion to the lay members of Christ’s faithful during the celebration of Mass. In this way their ministerial office in the Church is fully and accurately brought to light, and the sign value of the Sacrament is made complete.

[156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.


Other suggested items for study:

Canon Law at Vatican website
More Canon Law Information

There. Now I feel better. Perhaps an upcoming entry on the topic of addressing liturgical abuse would be appropriate. Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But the "Spirit of Vatican II" said this is ok, so these priests do not care what the law has to say concerning this, or any matter with which they disagree.

~Dr. K