Skip to comments.When Lay Ministers Take Holy Communion to the Sick
Posted on 12/02/2005 9:15:56 AM PST by Salvation
|When Lay Ministers Take Holy Communion to the Sick
|The Second Vatican Council, in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, speaks of the Holy Eucharist as the source and the summit of our spiritual life. This means the Holy Eucharist is the source from which all other blessings flow, as well as the summit to which all of our spiritual works are directed.
|In This Article...
Canon Law and the Lay Minister of Holy Communion
Pastoral Principles for Lay Ministers
Ordinary Visits to the Sick, the Elderly, and the Infirm
Canon Law and the Lay Minister of Holy Communion
Pastoral Principles for Lay Ministers
Ordinary Visits to the Sick, the Elderly, and the Infirm
Excellent information here.
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.
I believe that if those lay ministers taking Communion receive the message that the sick person would like to go to Confession, that they immediately notify the priest.
Also the priest is notified if the patient is near death and asks to receive the Annointing of the Sick (what we used to called Extreme Unction.)
The Orthodox have always used the term "Annointing of the Sick". I was aware of the difference in terminology but wasn't aware that the Roman Catholic Church had changed theirs.
Not only was the terminology changed, the whole sacrament was. If I had a loved one in danger of death, I would insist on Extreme Unction, I expect them to do the same for me when I am dying.
A translation of that Latin phrase into modern English vernacular is "anointing of those close to death."
In extremis generally means "in dire circumstances."
My 90 year-old mother gladly receives Communion nearly every week from a wonderful woman who is a Eucharistic minister.
Do Catholic Churches have Antidoron?
It is, however, being abused and is being administered routinely and in non-grave illnesses. That's wrong and bishops should put an end to it. But that's not what was prescribed by the changes in discipline. Nothing has changed doctrinally, only rules and regulations, matters of discipline have changed, and the new discipline is being misused and abused. The translations for the rite can certainly be improved etc. but simply to say that a new sacrament was introduced and you are going to ask for the old one reflects a misunderstanding of what was changed. Do you really think the Church can change her sacraments???
Antidoron (from Greek, meaning "instead of the gifts") is the remaining bread from a loaf of prosphora after the Lamb has been removed for the Holy Eucharist. It is blessed immediately after the epiclesis during the Divine Liturgy and is given by the priest to the faithful after the service.
Prosphora (Greek for "offering") is bread prepared for use in the Divine Liturgy. A portion of it, known as the lamb (or amnon) is cut out during the proskomedia which is consecrated during the Divine Liturgy to be the Eucharist, while the rest is cut up for the antidoron, the blessed bread distributed at the end of the liturgy.
Catholics use unleavend bread. There is no analog to cutting the center "Lamb" out of the bread. Our Eucharistic bread is in the form of flat disks and all is consecrated during the Eucharistic prayer.
Do any of the Catholic churches use actual bread rather than the disks?
I can only speak about the Latin rite, though I understand that the Eastern rites can use leavened bread.
For the Latin rite, only flour and water are allowed to be used to make the bread. If a Latin rite Church used a different bread would certainly be illicit and would very likely invalidate the sacrament.
Found this too:
Not to start a fight but the unleavened hosts used by Catholics is actual bread just as the unleavened bread used by Jews at Passover is actual bread.
I love this opportunity to ask all Extraordinary Ministers to think about one point:
Y'all are wonderful people and it is a blessing to receive the Eucharist when ill and infirm, but I have ask you to remember that lots of the medications and especially big doses of pain medication cause the mouth to dry out badly.
I had one person give me an entire host which I almost couldn't manage because there was no saliva left...the host got stuck..and stuck and stuck....
Is it possible for only a small piece to be given? Or is it permissible to drink some water to get it down?
It's a minor point, but for those who are inpatient from time to time it's one of those facts of life. ( -;
The answer to both question is yes. I would be hesitant, however, to having the extraordinary minister of Communion, rather than a priest, break the host.
Yes, of course. The smallest piece discernable as bread contains the Fullness of the Sacrament.
Or is it permissible to drink some water to get it down?
I would think you could drink some water first to get rid of the dryness, and then take the Host.
Of course, nothing in the Faith requires you to choke to death, so if you need a drink, take one. I think if possible one should drink first, then take Communion, rather than "washing it down" and co-mingling the sacred and the orindary.
When I was living in Valdez (Alaska), I was a Eucharistic Minister, and part of my duties included carrying the Precious Body to the people in the residential care facility in the town. There were about six individuals who were advanced enough mentally to understand and receive. I was always impressed by their deep and simple piety. It was a lovely and moving experience.
Yes. The Byzantine Catholic rite uses homemade leavened bread made with the purest ingredients. I believe the Orthodox also use such a loaf.
The one I recall was the thin/sticky one you mention.
One thing I do like about Orthodox Communion is the wine and bread being given together at once. Though my memory of specifics in Catholic church is hazy at best.
So, an entire Sacrament was changed, huh? Do you even know what a Sacrament is? If you do, please explain to us how the "whole Sacrament" was changed.
It is actual bread.
[cough] Latin Rite Catholics use unleavened bread.
The Byzantine Rite usage is identical to that of the Eastern Orthodox. I have never seen antidoron in a Byzantine Catholic church, but that may be a matter of local custom or celebrant's option.
I've eaten bread, and I've had communion in Roman and Eastern churches. The Roman eucharist I am familiar with feels extremely processed. Manufactured.
I personally far prefer the inconsistency of home made or hand made bread. Leaven or no.
That's nice. I've had lay ministers bring me communion in the hospital or at home when I've had a baby and can't get to Mass (the last time, my three older children were also able to receive, as I couldn't get them to Mass), but it would be wonderful to have the opportunity for Confession as well.
Sure it was.
THE MATTER OF THE SACRAMENT
According to Father Kilker, "the remote matter of Extreme Unction is oil of olives. The "proximate matter" is the oil of olives blessed by the Bishop. This the Council of Trent definitely defined. "Intellexit enim Ecclesia materiam esse oleum ab episcopo benedictum" (Session XIV).
There is no doubt about what St. James meant when he said "oil of olives" (V:14). Initially the oil of the sick could be blessed by priests and even saintly laymen, but ever since the Council of Chalons in 813 canon law requires that it be blessed by a Bishop. In the Eastern Church it is customary for the oil to be blessed by the priest in the house of the sick person.
In the Latin church it has ever been the custom to employ pure unadulterated olive oil, to which a fragrant oleoresin called Balm or Balsam has been added. In some Eastern rites the practice of adding a little water as a symbol of Baptism, or of a little wine in memory of the good Samaritan, or even of the dust of the sepulchre of some saint, has long been in vogue.
Now this oil is blessed by the Bishop at the magnificent Mass of Maundy Thursday in Holy Week - a Mass so sacred that the Bishop is traditionally attended and assisted by twelve priests, seven deacons and seven sub-deacons in order to say it properly. The prayer reads: Emitte, quaesumus Domine, Spiritum sanctum tuum Paraclitum de coelis in hanc pinguedinem olivae, quam de viridi ligno producere dignatus es and refectionem mentis et corporis..." ("Send forth we pray, Your Holy Spirit, the Paraclite, from heaven into this rich substance of oil..." For Catholics the remote matter of Extreme Unction remains oil of olives and the proximate mattter, "the anointing with oil blessed by a bishop.
What then is the "matter" specified by Paul VI? in his new Rite of Anointing and Pastoral Care of the Sick (promulgated November 30, 1972)?151 The answer is any oil of plant origin - and pray - what oil is ultimately not of plant origin? Axle-grease, Vaseline and Mazola oil can satisfy the requirement. Further, the oil can be blessed by any priest who has the "faculty," and this faculty has been extended by the "Bishop's Committee on the Liturgy" to any priest "where didactic or catechetical reasons prompt it." The blessing has of course also been changed. No longer is the Holy Spirit invoked, but rather, it now reads:
"May your blessing come upon all who are anointed with this oil, that they may be freed from pain and illness and made well again in body and mind and soul." Notice also that the emphasis is almost entirely on the healing of illness, and not on the forgiveness of sins.
Let us next consider the "Form" of the Sacrament, or the words that the priest uses when anointing the patient "in danger of death." The traditional words are: "PER ISTAM SANCTAM UNCTIONEM ET SUAM PIISSIMAM MISERICORDIAM, INDULGEAT TIBI DOMINUS QUIDQUID PER... DELIQUISTI" ("Through this Holy Unction or oil, and through the great goodness of His mercy, may God pardon thee whatever sins thou hast committed [by evil use of sight - smell, touch etc. - depending on the organ anointed.")
Needless to say, this form also has been changed by the post-Conciliar Church to "PER ISTAM SANCTAM UNCTIONEM ET SUAM PIISSIMAM MISERICORDIAM ADIUVET TE DOMINUS GRATIA SPRITUS SANCTI, UT A PECCATIS LIBERATUM TE SOLVAT ADQUE PROPITIUS ALLEVIAT." The semi-official translation given out through the Holy See Press Office is: "Through this holy anointing and His most loving mercy, may the Lord assist you by the grace of the Holy Spirit, so that when you have been freed from your sins, he may save you and in his goodness raise you up." Another translation taken from Father Keating's article is closer to the original: "Through this holy anointing and His great love for you, may the Lord who freed you from sin, heal you and extend his saving grace to you..."152
The official translation provided in DOL 408 is "through this holy anointing may the Lord in His love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up."
Once again we must ask whether this change in the form is substantial. Pre Vatican II theologians are virtually unanimous in stating that the essential words of the form - the words that convey its essential meaning and are therefore "substantial" - are "INDULGEAT TIBI DOMINUS" - may God pardon thee. Most also insist upon "quidquid deliquisti" and "sanctam unctionem." After all, as Leo XIII said, "the sacraments... ought... to signify the grace which they effect" if they are to "effect what they signify." And in the present situation this is the health of the soul which is effected by strengthening of the soul through grace and by the remission of sins..." (Summa, III, Suppl. 29, 1). Now the new form OMITS all these critical words, and only asks that God "heal" one. While it is to be admitted that throughout history several valid forms have been in use, since the Council of Florence the form has been fixed.
If some of these alternative forms used the word "parcat," "remittat," or even "sanat" in the place of "indulgeat," this in no way affected the substance of the form. However, to OMIT the critical phrase entirely is to remove from the "Form" its ability to absolve. What results is a change in "meaning," and to make a change of such a "substantial" nature almost certainly renders the form invalid. Even if the "blessing" is preceded by a valid absolution - which in many cases is also questionable - one is deprived of the other sacramental effects that are so important.153 Should an older priest desire to use the traditional form, he should know that it is specifically forbidden by Paul VI's Apostolic Constitution.
The post-Conciliar rite is named "Anointing of the Sick." Clearly then, if the post-Conciliar "blessing" is upon the sick, the ersatz sacrament should no longer be limited to those "in danger of death." Twice during the Second Vatican Council the Fathers rejected suggestions that the requirement of "danger of death" for the reception of the Anointing be omitted. As Father Keating points out however, "the new rite does what the Council was not able to do."154 In contrast to the negative wording of Canon 940 which states "Extreme Unction is not able to be offered except to the faithful, who, having attained the use of reason, fall into the danger of death from illness or old age," the new rite can be administered to those who are ill, but in no danger of death whatsoever.
...and there's a lot more.
So, an entire Sacrament was changed, huh? Do you even know what a Sacrament is? If you do, please explain to us how the "whole Sacrament" was changed
So nice to hear from you again, and you're just as sweet as you always were.
It looks impressive but the actual arguments are petty--typical of Traditionalist parsing. A shift in focus, I would grant that that took place, but "the whole sacrament changed" is nonsense. If you'd admit the latter is hypebolic we might actually be able to talk about whether the shift in focus was wise or not. I would not go to the stake for the wisdom of the shift in focus, but labeling it a change of the entire sacrament gets things off on the wrong foot and pretty much precludes any intelligent discussion.
In defense of the shift in focus: the changes make this sacrament more clearly what it is: anointing of those gravely ill (in extremis) instead of confusing this sacrament with the others that, where possible, should accompany it: sacramental confession and viaticum/Eucharist. The modification in licit matter is not earthshaking in the way that a modification in Eucharistic matter would be. Your reductio ad absurdum (vasoline, axle-grease) sounds impressive but is meaningless, even wrong-headed. In the first place, just what is vasoline made of? Axle-grease is not made of vegetable matter and I doubt that vasoline is. So the accusation in fact is false.
In criticism of the shift in focus: there really is no reason why continuing to specify olive oil would have been a problem. The modifications, like much of what was done after Vatican II, are not immune from reasonable criticism. But wholesale dismissal such as you offer only means there'll be no reasonable discourse about the matter.
If it makes you feel better to reject the changes on the grounds that the whole sacrament has been changed, so be it. I have no illusions that you will be brought away from your conviction that the "whole sacrament was changed."
From the definition, it looks like what you are talking about is consecrated hosts. Yes, these are kept in the tabernacle.
Canon 1004 of the 1983 Code goes on to specify that the sacrament may be administered to anyone after the age of reason who "begins to be in danger due to sickness or old age" (ministrari potest fideli qui, adepto rationis usu, ob infirmitatem vel enium in periculo incipit versari). Then it goes on to say that it can be repeated but only if the "person again falls into a serious sickness after convalescence or whenever a more serious crisis develops during the same sickness." The only change from canon 940 of the 1917 code is that "danger of death" has become "danger." But what danger exists when someone is ill? That he won't recover from his illness. If someone is sick with a cold he is not in any danger whatsoever. He'll recover. But if that turns into pneumonia, he's in greater danger; still likely to recover. We talk about "danger" precisely in relation to the possiblity of not recovering, of dying. The specification that one to be anointed must be "in danger, due to sickness or old age" makes clear that "danger" has a reference to death. The only real change is that the proximity of death, the degree of danger of death, is deliberately lessened.
Yes, there's a change here, but a slight one. To say the entire sacrament has changed is hyperbole and the way the author of this article tries to justify such hyperbole is honest. He thought no one would notice how he compared apples and oranges: canon law 1917 with post-Vatican II liturgical rite. If someone submitted a research paper to me with this kind of disingenuous argumentation, he'd get a well-deserved F.
Unleavened bread with no yeast in it.
Correction to my # 36: "and the way the author of this article tries to justify such hyperbole is honest" should be "dishonest."
**Is it possible for only a small piece to be given? Or is it permissible to drink some water to get it down? **
Yes and yes.
What about the words in the form of the sacrament? Sorry, but if I am granted the grace of a happy death, please God, it will be with a traditional priest at my side administering the sacrament of Extreme Unction.
You folks sure no how to pick 'em :)
M.E. Morrison was "ordained" in California in a Protestant church (Ebenezer Lutheran Chirch) by Thaddeus Alioto, a married man claiming to be a bishop (because he had been "consecrated" a bishop by Wallace David de Ortega Maxey).
De Ortega Maxey had been "consecrated" numerous times by various North American Old Catholic bishops (whom even the Old Catholic Churches in Europe deny have valid orders). De Ortega Maxey also *claimed* to have been consecrated by Antoine Aneed.
Aneed's story is that he was consecrated a bishop by a RC Eastern Rite bishop in Syria and sent to America. Both the Vatican and the Syrian Patriarchate involved denounced the story as a fabrication.
If you have any doubts over the veracity of my statements as to where Morrison got "ordained," just ask his fellow "independent" priest, Merril Adamson. He was "ordained" in the same ceremony. I've a written statement from him confirming the fact.
This is important not because of anything Morrison states on the internet, but because he dresses up his statements as coming from a RC priest.
Even the devil can quote Scripture.
Anyone e-mailing to Morrison's list a request for the facts of his claimed ordination will be dropped.
It never ceases to amaze me how sedevacantists can be so cock-sure JP II is a fraud, yet swallow hook, line and sinker any number of bogus clerics; just because the frauds sing the music sedes like to hear.
*Years ago I joined Traditio and made the boldened request. I was dropped from the list immediately. I felt so rejected :)
Thank you for that. Excellent information.
Although conversing with you is always a little slice of heaven, and it is terribly difficult to tear myself away, I must. Buh-bye!
Dying extra ecclesia is never happy. But, that is what free will is all about. Have a profitable Advent
So all those who died with Extreme Unction as a sacrament, during the previous nineteen hundred and seventy plus years were unhappy? Or, only those during the last thirty some years who received the traditional sacrament rather than a "sacrament of the sick"?
'The answer to both question is yes. I would be hesitant, however, to having the extraordinary minister of Communion, rather than a priest, break the host.'
Theres no prohibition from breaking the host by Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (the correct title). I have done it myself during mass when the lines are long and supplies of the Body of Christ are running low. The practice is not encouraged and should be done only in unusual circumstances. The first route should always be to seek additional hosts from another EMHC or the priests or deacons.
When taking Communion to the sick or infirm, the host may be broken into as small a piece as needed. The remaining pieces of the Body of Christ should then be consumed by the EMHC according to the normal regulations of Communion.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.