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Report: Vatican to 'review' taking of Communion in the hand
Earth Times ^ | February 25, 2008

Posted on 02/25/2008 5:48:28 AM PST by NYer

Rome - The Vatican is poised to introduce stricter norms on Roman Catholic mass, including halting the taking of communion in the hand and setting a time limit for homilies, an Italian newspaper reported Monday. Turin-based daily La Stampa quoted senior Vatican official, Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don saying the move was necessary to eliminate "extravagancies" that have crept into Mass celebrations.

Provisions include restricting to 10 minutes homilies and sermons and ensuring that they be exclusively based on the Gospel readings, said Ranjith who is Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The practice of allowing the faithful to receive Communion - the bread host which Catholics believe represents the body of Christ - in their hands would also be "urgently reviewed", Ranjith was quoted as saying.

The Vatican wants the host "placed directly into the mouths of the faithful so they don't touch it (with their hands)... because many don't even realize they are receiving Christ and do this with scant concentration and respect," Ranjith said.

The distribution of communion on the hands of those attending mass has been widespread since the so-called Vatican II Council - a series of reforms introduced in the 1960s aimed at making church celebrations more accessible to the world's 1.1 billion Catholics.

But according to Ranjith the practice was "illegally and hastily introduced by certain elements of the Church immediately after the Council".

"Some people keep hosts with them as a sort of souvenir, others sell them while in some cases the hosts have been taken away to be used in blasphemous Satanic rituals," he said.

Ranjith said the measures to bring back "dignity and decorum" to mass celebrations were in line with Pope Benedict XVI's wishes, but he did not specify when they would be introduced, nor if they would be issues as an order or a set of guidelines.

Benedict, who earned a reputation as a conservative before being elected pontiff in 2005, last year eased restrictions introduced by Vatican II on the celebration of the traditional Latin mass.

The move which has included softening a prayer for the conversion of Jews contained in the Latin liturgical text, has drawn criticism from Jewish groups who resent what they say remains a singling out of members of their faith.

Meanwhile hard-line traditionalist Catholics have expressed anger over what they say is Benedict's tampering of the original Latin mass which they regard as sacred.


TOPICS: Catholic; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Worship
KEYWORDS: communion; eucharist
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1 posted on 02/25/2008 5:48:31 AM PST by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Good news ping!


2 posted on 02/25/2008 5:49:01 AM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

Now if they only would stop the singing...


3 posted on 02/25/2008 5:56:53 AM PST by battlecry
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To: NYer
Provisions include restricting to 10 minutes homilies and sermons and ensuring that they be exclusively based on the Gospel readings, said Ranjith who is Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Good.

I think we all know priests who think that the homily is their opportunity to talk about their week, to air their pet peeves, to tell jokes and to ramble on about their personal opinions on any topic.

My current pastor usually gives a 5 minute homily - it is tightly focused on that day's Gospel, Epistle and Psalm, explaining how they each relate to one another and what moral and doctrinal message can be derived from that day's Scriptures.

He clearly does his homework on each sermon - consulting the scriptural commentaries, the catechism, and the Fathers to come up with a unified exegesis.

It's a pleasant change from a former pastor of mine at another parish who would share recipes and all kinds of extraneous trivia from the pulpit.

4 posted on 02/25/2008 6:02:17 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who call themselves Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: NYer

Very good news.


5 posted on 02/25/2008 6:09:03 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: NYer
I saw video recently of a woman taking the eucharist. The priest dropped it down her blouse and started fishing for it. She wanted to get it for him, but couldn't because it's holy and she's not.

Well her hands aren't qualified to touch it, but her mouth and breasts are.

Jesus must really be embarrassed -- not from touching her breasts, but from such a silly doctrine!

6 posted on 02/25/2008 6:19:43 AM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: NYer

“Reform of the reform” bump!!


7 posted on 02/25/2008 6:27:03 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: Bear_Slayer
I saw video recently of a woman taking the eucharist. The priest dropped it down her blouse and started fishing for it. She wanted to get it for him, but couldn't because it's holy and she's not.

That is a complete load of garbage.

(1) If someone is in the state of grace necessary to receive Communion in the first place, they are as holy as any priest according to Catholic doctrine.

(2) As it stands right now by Church law, as long as she is a Catholic of good reputation she is qualified to serve as a Eucharistic minister and to therefore touch the host hundreds of times during the course of a Mass.

(3) As it stands right now by Church law, any layman may receive communion in their hands - thereby touching the host.

(4) In parishes where the standard practice is to receive communion on the tongue without using one's hands, the altar server holds a plate under the communicant's chin to catch the host if it is dropped.

The only conclusion I can come to is that you are either maliciously telling lies or you are shooting off at the mouth concerning matters about which you are completely uninformed.

8 posted on 02/25/2008 6:44:31 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who call themselves Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: wideawake

I saw the video.


9 posted on 02/25/2008 6:46:25 AM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: NYer

Very good news indeed!


10 posted on 02/25/2008 6:47:47 AM PST by Gerish (Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.)
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To: NYer
Communion - the bread host which Catholics believe represents the body of Christ

No longer "bread", and not "represents".

11 posted on 02/25/2008 6:48:06 AM PST by Romulus ("Ira enim viri iustitiam Dei non operatur")
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To: Bear_Slayer; wideawake
In any case, if what you report is accurate:

a.) The woman shouldn't have been wearing such a low-cut dress to church.

b.) There might be a need for the priest to teach about modesty.

12 posted on 02/25/2008 6:48:54 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: Bear_Slayer
I saw the video.

Oh, of course you did.

13 posted on 02/25/2008 6:49:25 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who call themselves Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: Bear_Slayer
And I'm sure in your video, the audio had the priest saying "Wait a minute, honey! I am way holier than you and only I can retrieve the host!"

And then she replies: "Totally, dude! Church doctrine is that your hands are sacred, and not mine because I am just a silly, lowly woman."

14 posted on 02/25/2008 6:51:47 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who call themselves Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: Romulus

Too many younger Catholics, even my daughter who had an excellent Catholic high school education, persist in calling the Host the bread. When I correct her she informs me that the Eucharistic ministers in our parish, she is one as well, routinely refer to the Host as bread when deciding who does which assignment during Communion.


15 posted on 02/25/2008 7:01:14 AM PST by xkaydet65
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To: NYer

I like the stricter rules on homilies. But, not in my parish, please. My pastor always gives a 15 or 20 minute homily that is based on the Gospel and that is always intelligent, orthodox, and insightful.


16 posted on 02/25/2008 7:02:08 AM PST by GeorgiaGuy
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To: NYer

Is this story reputable or is the source sensationalistic? If its completely legit, however, I think that it is a wise and prudent move for the Church to reinstate such simple means of recognition during the Mass.

The worst part about reception in the hand is that Communion lines in most modern parishes have an eerie resemblance to the snack line at my daughter’s daycare. Adults and children alike show little to no reverence in receiving - they pop, chomp and walk. It really exudes an attitude of irreverance to this 20-something convert to the Church.


17 posted on 02/25/2008 7:07:40 AM PST by DogwoodSouth
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To: NYer

Fr. Z. of What Does the Prayer Really Say tears this story to shreds. Sorry...

F


18 posted on 02/25/2008 7:25:02 AM PST by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: NYer

Bump for later.


19 posted on 02/25/2008 7:25:45 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: DogwoodSouth
Well, one clue is the fact that everyone in the church building receives communion - even though the statistical likelihood of every person in the building having refrained from serious sin or having confessed their sins before communion is about 0%.

If people were seriously examining their consciences during the Confiteor, that wouldn't happen.

20 posted on 02/25/2008 7:26:55 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who call themselves Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: NYer
The Vatican wants the host "placed directly into the mouths of the faithful so they don't touch it (with their hands)... because many don't even realize they are receiving Christ and do this with scant concentration and respect," Ranjith said.

Then lets train folks in respect.

As much as I liked the kneeling at the communion rail, I do believe that receiving in the hand is closer to the command of Christ – “Take this and eat” and what happened at the last supper.

21 posted on 02/25/2008 7:32:01 AM PST by FatherofFive (Islam is an EVIL like no other, and must be ERADICTED)
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To: DogwoodSouth

Including some who shove their chewing gum to one side of their mouths when they “pop” the Host in. I’ve actually seen them go down to Communion chewing gum. It’s amazing.


22 posted on 02/25/2008 7:34:06 AM PST by livius
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To: FatherofFive

Nobody knows exactly what Jesus did or exactly what happened at the Last Supper. However, the practice of the Church for centuries - in fact, millenia - both in the East and in the West - was for the priest to place the Host or the consecrated species, in the case of the Eastern Church, in the mouth of the communicant.

One of the problems in our modern analysis of things is that somehow we follow the Protestant approach of trying to jump back to some original point in time that (a) we really don’t know with any certainty because we weren’t there and they didn’t make a video; and (b) is separated from us by some 2000 years of development of doctrine and practice, which we certainly have no right either to skip over or throw out. So I think Catholics have more to consider than the speculations of Biblical scholars on what may or may not have happened at a certain moment in the life of Jesus.

That said, we still have our communion rail up! It’s a beautiful malachite and marble railing. Our current pastor has been angling to take it down, but it has some historical value and a number of defenders, and now if Rome comes along and supports Communion on the tongue, it will be logical to start using it again. Woo hoo!


23 posted on 02/25/2008 7:41:57 AM PST by livius
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To: Bear_Slayer; wideawake; NYer; Romulus; Pyro7480
Church law for the past, say, 40 years does not prohibit the laypeople touching the Sacred Host with their hands. And why would there be somebody there with a camera? ("Hey, ---snarf--- wouldn't it be funny if some lady with bodacious tatas was receiving Communion, and ....") Meh. This video was someone's 12-year-old boy's idea of a joke.

However, the practice of allowing only the priest to touch the Blessed Sacrament goes back to the Old Testament, where only the Jewish priests could touch the Ark of the Covenant which contained the manna and the scrolls of the Law. 1 Chronicles 13:8-10.

When my boys were young (and receiving Communion in the Russian Orthodox Church) I used the holiness of Communion as an analogy to chastity: that the parts of the body which generate life are consecrated, and the spouses are consecrated to each other in the Sacrament of Matrimony, and therefore (with the exception of doctors in the event of medical treatment) only spouses should touch each other's private parts.

But this is what happens when the sense of sacredness of the Blessed Sacrament declines: we become gross and stupid in our perception of spiritual things, and all sanctity declines.

Now there's almost nothing you can even use as an analogy of sacredness. Nothing strikes us as being awesome. No "take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground." No "depart from me, Lord, for I am a man of unclean lips." No angel with a burning ember to purify the mouth of the prophet. No sense that there exists any "mysterium tremendum." No numinous dread mixed with solemn joy, awe or awe-fullness, neither for God nor God's image.

It's as if someone had a rheostat, and turned God's mystery and glory down to minimum. It barely registers anymore.

24 posted on 02/25/2008 7:44:30 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Only the consecrated should touch the consecrated." St. Augustine)
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To: battlecry

and the “greet your neighbor” handshakes, and the holding hands during the Our Father, and the corny life teen mass with electric guitars and drum sets...the list goes on :)


25 posted on 02/25/2008 7:46:15 AM PST by BudgieRamone (God loves machinists--someone has to..:))
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To: wideawake

Video is in this reel.

http://www.youtube.com/v/9UQFdngUliI

It was a wedding, and nobody knew what to do. The bride eventually retrieved it.

No paten was used.


26 posted on 02/25/2008 7:48:52 AM PST by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
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To: battlecry

That’s why I go at 7:30 AM. Short and sweet, usually without hymns and virtually always done by 8:00 AM even for Christmas and Easter.


27 posted on 02/25/2008 7:53:05 AM PST by kevinm13 (The Main Stream Media is dead! Fox News Channel, FreeRepublic and pookie18 Rocks!)
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To: FatherofFive
I do believe that receiving in the hand is closer to the command of Christ – “Take this and eat” and what happened at the last supper.

Remember, though, that it was the 12 Apostles - Jesus' 'choice' followers - who were present at the Last Supper, and became the first bishops.

28 posted on 02/25/2008 7:53:39 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: wideawake

I bet that many who receive have never been told of the requirements. 30+ years with no real teaching creates a lot of folks who are ignorant (not necessarily disobedient). I can’t remember ever hearing a priest talk about it, at least not from the pulpit.

Freegards


29 posted on 02/25/2008 8:01:27 AM PST by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed says Keep the Faith!)
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To: FatherofFive
closer to the command of Christ – “Take this and eat” and what happened at the last supper.

Except Christ didn't speak English and we don't know what happened at the Last Supper. And it's still a Middle Eastern practice, at least sometimes in a relationship of any kind of friendship or affection, to "feed" someone a bit of something right to the mouth.

30 posted on 02/25/2008 8:09:13 AM PST by maryz
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To: Pyro7480; wideawake

It was on America’s Funniest Home Videos. A wedding video to boot.

Had there been a paten, it wouldn’t have happened.


31 posted on 02/25/2008 8:13:27 AM PST by netmilsmom (Giving up "Hairspray" and the cast for Lent. Prayers appreciated!)
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To: Dominick
The bride eventually retrieved it.

Thank you.

As it turns out, there was no talk in the video of the priest being the only one holy enough to retrieve it, or of the woman being unholy and unable to, or any such nonsense referred to above.

What we have are a couple of individuals who are obviously flustered at an embarrassing mistake and who are trying to correct it.

No paten was used.

A common oversight in parishes that usually practice communion in the hand as their default.

32 posted on 02/25/2008 8:14:00 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who call themselves Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: NYer

Should they work on bringing back no meat on friday first?


33 posted on 02/25/2008 8:14:50 AM PST by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: FatherofFive

When I was preparing for my First Holy Communion, everything stressed respect or this was the Body of Christ we were receiving. We were also taught to receive the host in our hand, for practicality reasons. Our priest suffered from Parkinson’s and little seven year old tongues and Parkinson’s hands did not mix well.

I still take Communion in the hand. The one time I tried taking it on the tongue, the priest hit my nose with the host which then bounced off the plate and onto the floor. I figure, better in my hand than in the aisle.


34 posted on 02/25/2008 8:15:46 AM PST by Hoodlum91 (I support global warming.)
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To: BudgieRamone

>>and the “greet your neighbor” handshakes, and the holding hands during the Our Father, and the corny life teen mass with electric guitars and drum sets...the list goes on :)<<

Yepers! I’m down with this. How about if we stop the “Catholic calisthenics” and get back to a Holy Mass?


35 posted on 02/25/2008 8:18:36 AM PST by netmilsmom (Giving up "Hairspray" and the cast for Lent. Prayers appreciated!)
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To: Invincibly Ignorant

No meat on Fridays never went away....

>>This is what the new Code of Canon Law brought out in 1983 says about the matter:

Canon 1251
Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Canon Law still requires that Catholics not eat meat on Fridays!

Of course, most Episcopal Conferences have determined that, instead of abstaining from meat, Catholics may perform an act of penance of their choosing. But, do you ever remember to abstain from a particular food or do some other penance on Fridays? And, at any rate, the main rule is still to abstain from meat on Fridays, the performance of another penance instead is an optional alternative. <<


36 posted on 02/25/2008 8:20:36 AM PST by netmilsmom (Giving up "Hairspray" and the cast for Lent. Prayers appreciated!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

ITS A CRACKER!


37 posted on 02/25/2008 8:23:14 AM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: Bear_Slayer

What a crazy racist thing to blurt out.


38 posted on 02/25/2008 8:26:46 AM PST by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed says Keep the Faith!)
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To: Ransomed

39 posted on 02/25/2008 8:28:34 AM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: NYer
I am in support of returning to communion on the tongue. I go to a variety of parishes regularly and sometimes I do receive in the hand. I feel very awkward receiving on the tongue when I am standing (for fear of the host dropping) than I do when I am kneeling for communion. I hope that if they do implement this policy it would bring back more use of the altar rails.

I also wonder what this would do to the distribution of communion by the laity. Although there are times I believe it is essential it has become widely abused in most parishes. In a parish with more than one priest there is no reason why on Sunday masses they all (along with the deacons) cannot assist instead of lounging in the rectories or socializing.

40 posted on 02/25/2008 8:45:51 AM PST by Fast Ed97
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To: Bear_Slayer

What an odd thing to say.


41 posted on 02/25/2008 8:53:28 AM PST by netmilsmom (Giving up "Hairspray" and the cast for Lent. Prayers appreciated!)
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To: FatherofFive; DogwoodSouth; Gerish; xkaydet65; GeorgiaGuy; BudgieRamone; kevinm13; Ransomed; ...
FatherofFive: I do believe that receiving in the hand is closer to the command of Christ - “Take this and eat” and what happened at the last supper.

Actually, it's interesting too that your argument was actually addressed by Archbishop Ranjith recently.

From Ranjith on Kneeling for Communion during the liturgy and Communion on the Tongue

At the same time, speaking of communion in the hand, it must be recognized that the practice was improperly and quickly introduced in some quarters of the Church shortly after the Council, changing the age-old practice and becoming regular practice for the whole Church. They justified the change saying that it better reflected the Gospel or the ancient practice of the Church... Some, to justify this practice referred to the words of Jesus: "Take and eat" (Mk 14, 22; Mt 26, 26).

Whatever the reasons for this practice, we cannot ignore what is happening worldwide where this practice has been implemented. This gesture has contributed to a gradual weakening of the attitude of reverence towards the sacred Eucharistic species whereas the previous practice had better safeguarded that sense of reverence. There instead arose an alarming lack of recollection and a general spirit of carelessness. We see communicants who often return to their seats as if nothing extraordinary has happened... In many cases, one cannot discern that sense of seriousness and inner silence that must signal the presence of God in the soul.

Then there are those who take away the sacred species to keep them as souvenirs, those who sell, or worse yet, who take them away to desecrate it in Satanic rituals. Even in large concelebrations, also in Rome, several times the sacred species has been found thrown onto the ground.

42 posted on 02/25/2008 8:56:39 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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bump!


43 posted on 02/25/2008 9:03:26 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Pyro7480
I'm not sure why "take" can only mean "take with your hands, not your mouth."

When your mom gave you a spoonful of cough syrup she said: "Quit fussing and take your medicine!" even though you never touched the sppon.

44 posted on 02/25/2008 9:15:24 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that those who call themselves Constitutionalists know the least about the Constitution?)
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To: Bear_Slayer
If you are a Catholic, I strongly urge you to refrain from receiving Communion until you acquire a better understanding:

"Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks from the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the Body and Blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread or drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats or drinks without recognizing the Body of the Lord eats and drinks judgement upon himself." 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

If you are a non-Catholic, shame on you for your offensive disrespect for people who love and trust the Lord.

45 posted on 02/25/2008 9:23:51 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom...though it cost all you have, get understanding" - Prov. 4)
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To: wideawake
Well, one clue is the fact that everyone in the church building receives communion

I always thought that the fact that everyone except me receives communion at every Catholic mass I go to (and I go every week) meant that you Catholics had the whole sin thing whipped.

Gee whiz...

46 posted on 02/25/2008 9:26:42 AM PST by Jim Noble (I've got a home in Glory Land that outshines the sun)
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To: xkaydet65
she informs me that the Eucharistic ministers in our parish, she is one as well, routinely refer to the Host as bread

Sigh. Her education may be excellent in other respects, but her formation as a Catholic is gravely deficient. She is not a "eucharistic minister". Only a priest is a minister of the eucharist. Your daughter is an "Extraordinary" (wink, wink) minister of Holy Communion. Her function has nothing whatever to do with the eucharistic, sacrificial core of the Mass, only with the functionary aspect of distributing the Blessed Sacrament. And you'll forgive my saying so, but she shouldn't be. She is being used by those who should know better, to disobey direct instructions from the Vatican about the rare occasions (never routine) when EMHCs are permissible. She is being used by "meal people" who assert the Blessed Sacrament is more about us and our fellowship than about the true, substantial presence of Christ. She is being used by those who certainly know better, to blur the unique priestly character, representing the Personhood of Christ as Divine Bridegroom and therefore inescapably Male. I don't mean to insult your daughter or give offense, but sacramentally speaking your daughter has been coaxed into transexualism.

The "school play" mentality of post Vatican II liturgy in which everyone is supposed to be made to feel important by being given little jobs to do lest anyone's feelings be hurt -- this has been one of the MOST damaging and destructive effects of the post Council rupture with tradition.

47 posted on 02/25/2008 9:31:43 AM PST by Romulus ("Ira enim viri iustitiam Dei non operatur")
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To: Fast Ed97

I go to Spain a lot, and many people go to Communion (at the Cathedral in Madrid, for example) - and it’s distributed ONLY by the priests. I doubt that it takes much longer; and in any case, what’s the big hurry?

The Eucharettes may appear elsewhere from time to time, but they are basically an American practice, or at least the extent of their use.


48 posted on 02/25/2008 9:34:04 AM PST by livius
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To: Romulus
The "school play" mentality of post Vatican II liturgy in which everyone is supposed to be made to feel important by being given little jobs to do lest anyone's feelings be hurt --

Good way of putting it!

49 posted on 02/25/2008 9:35:27 AM PST by livius
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To: Mrs. Don-o

You love and trust a CRACKER!


50 posted on 02/25/2008 9:36:06 AM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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