Thursday, January 8, 2015

Upholding the Church's Teaching on Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will also encourage Vocations to the Priesthood

Today I went to Holy Mass in a city centre Church in Dublin.  There were two Priests present, one of them had a walking stick.  Both were elderly but the main celebrant was able bodied.  At the time of distribution of Holy Communion, two lay extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion came forward.  There was absolutely no need for them as there was not a very large crowd at the Mass at Midday.  In fact one Priest was sufficient.  I was kneeling down at the Priest's side waiting to receive when I noticed one of the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion finished distributing at his side and came dashing towards us as the Priest continued to distribute.  I got up from the altar rails and moved over to the Priest to receive and did so.  I might add also that I was not the only one to do so as quite a number followed suit.

It is important to remember that the Church's teaching on the distribution of the Holy Eucharist says the following here: Vatican - Redemptionis Sacramentum

[157.] If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.[258]

[158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.[259] This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.

I felt very strongly today that I would never go to a Lay Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion again at Mass in any Church.  By going to an E.M of Holy Communion, I feel that I too would be a participant in this disobedience.  The disobedience is occurring where Extraordinary Ministers are used at every Mass, including early Morning and at all Daily Masses where there is no need for them.  This is clearly going against the Teachings of the Church and giving bad example to young people learning about their faith.  All of this disobedience and lack of reverence towards Jesus in the Eucharist has led to a decrease in Vocations to the Priesthood and undermines the Priesthood itself and the Sacredness of the Vocation as well as the Sacredness of the Holy Mass.  We all have a part to play in renewing our Church and each one of us can do something no matter how small to restore the Priesthood and the Respect due to Christ in the Eucharist and to also make reparation for all the offenses against Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  

I know there are very good people who do this work in the Church but as it says above, they are 'extraordinary' and should not be used at every Holy Mass as they now are.  There should be no rush to receive Holy Communion and by having one Priest distribute, it gives more time for reflection and thanksgiving and would bear greater fruit for the Church..  Our Church has become over laicized and this is contributing to the lack of Vocations to the Priesthood.  So please let us all reflect more on Who we receive at Holy Communion and become more familiar with the Church's teaching on the Sacraments and the Priesthood. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be respectful in your comments. Thank you.