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  #1  
Old Dec 8, '08, 3:52 pm
japhy japhy is offline
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Default CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

For the back-story, see this thread: EMHC Blessings.

Here is the letter which I wrote to the CDWDS in August (on behalf of myself and user lmashburn):
Your Eminence:

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to you on behalf of a layman of the diocese of Savannah, Georgia, as well as myself, a layman of the diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey. We have a question in two parts for the Congregation concerning a custom found in various Latin Rite parishes and dioceses throughout Canada and the United States of America: the blessing of non-communicants, by a minister of Holy Communion, during the Communion procession.

Briefly stated, this custom consists of a non-communicant presenting himself (often with his arms crossed over his chest, his hands placed on his shoulders, signifying his intent) before a minister of Holy Communion and receiving a blessing from the same, in the form of a short prayer (e.g. “May God bless you”) or a gesture (e.g. the Sign of the Cross traced on his forehead). In some places, the blessing varies depending on whether the minister of Holy Communion is an ordinary minister or an extraordinary minister.

1. Is this a custom that is within the faculty of a pastor, the local Ordinary, or a Bishops’ Conference to establish? That is, is this custom something that can be regulated without recourse to this Congregation?

2. Are there particular guidelines or restrictions from this Congregation concerning a) which ministers of Holy Communion may give these blessings and b) what forms these blessings may take?

We assure you of our prayers for you, thank you for whatever consideration you can give to this question, and remain

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Here is the response I received in the mail today (Prot. N. 930/08/L):
Dear [names omitted],

This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disciple of the Sacraments acknowledges receipt of your kind letter of 13 August, 2008 and would like to thank you for your interest and suggestions. This matter is presently under the attentive study of the Congregation.

For the present, therefore, this Dicastery wishes to limit itself to the following observations:
  1. The liturgical blessing of the Holy Mass is properly given to each and to all at the conclusion of the Mass, just a few moments subsequent to the distribution of Holy Communion.
  2. Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, § 2; can. 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18).
  3. Furthermore, the laying on of a hand or hands -- which has its own sacramental significance, inappropriate here -- by those distributing Holy Communion, in substitution for its reception, is to be explicitly discouraged.
  4. The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, n. 84, "forbids any pastor, for whatever reason to pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry." To be feared is that any form of blessing in substitution for communion would give the impression that the divorced and remarried have been returned, in some sense, to the status of Catholics in good standing.
  5. In a similar way, for others who are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in accord with the norm of law, the Church's discipline has already made clear that they should not approach Holy Communion nor receive a blessing. This would include non-Catholics and those envisaged in can. 915 (i.e., those under the penalty of excommunication or interdict, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin).
Please continue to pray for the Church's ministers that they ever become more worthy of the mystery they celebrate.

With every good wish and kind regard, I am,

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

[name omitted]
Is that sufficient to settle the matter until the Church makes a further statement on the matter?
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  #2  
Old Dec 8, '08, 4:05 pm
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FrDavid96 FrDavid96 is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Quote:
Originally Posted by japhy View Post
For the back-story, see this thread: EMHC Blessings.

Here is the letter which I wrote to the CDWDS in August (on behalf of myself and user lmashburn):
Your Eminence:

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to you on behalf of a layman of the diocese of Savannah, Georgia, as well as myself, a layman of the diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey. We have a question in two parts for the Congregation concerning a custom found in various Latin Rite parishes and dioceses throughout Canada and the United States of America: the blessing of non-communicants, by a minister of Holy Communion, during the Communion procession.

Briefly stated, this custom consists of a non-communicant presenting himself (often with his arms crossed over his chest, his hands placed on his shoulders, signifying his intent) before a minister of Holy Communion and receiving a blessing from the same, in the form of a short prayer (e.g. “May God bless you”) or a gesture (e.g. the Sign of the Cross traced on his forehead). In some places, the blessing varies depending on whether the minister of Holy Communion is an ordinary minister or an extraordinary minister.

1. Is this a custom that is within the faculty of a pastor, the local Ordinary, or a Bishops’ Conference to establish? That is, is this custom something that can be regulated without recourse to this Congregation?

2. Are there particular guidelines or restrictions from this Congregation concerning a) which ministers of Holy Communion may give these blessings and b) what forms these blessings may take?

We assure you of our prayers for you, thank you for whatever consideration you can give to this question, and remain

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Here is the response I received in the mail today (Prot. N. 930/08/L):
Dear [names omitted],

This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disciple of the Sacraments acknowledges receipt of your kind letter of 13 August, 2008 and would like to thank you for your interest and suggestions. This matter is presently under the attentive study of the Congregation.

For the present, therefore, this Dicastery wishes to limit itself to the following observations:
  1. The liturgical blessing of the Holy Mass is properly given to each and to all at the conclusion of the Mass, just a few moments subsequent to the distribution of Holy Communion.
  2. Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, § 2; can. 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18).
  3. Furthermore, the laying on of a hand or hands -- which has its own sacramental significance, inappropriate here -- by those distributing Holy Communion, in substitution for its reception, is to be explicitly discouraged.
  4. The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, n. 84, "forbids any pastor, for whatever reason to pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry." To be feared is that any form of blessing in substitution for communion would give the impression that the divorced and remarried have been returned, in some sense, to the status of Catholics in good standing.
  5. In a similar way, for others who are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in accord with the norm of law, the Church's discipline has already made clear that they should not approach Holy Communion nor receive a blessing. This would include non-Catholics and those envisaged in can. 915 (i.e., those under the penalty of excommunication or interdict, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin).
Please continue to pray for the Church's ministers that they ever become more worthy of the mystery they celebrate.

With every good wish and kind regard, I am,

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

[name omitted]
Is that sufficient to settle the matter until the Church makes a further statement on the matter?
Seems pretty straighforward.
No offense, please but at the same time, we're reading an internet post of a letter.

It seems to affirm what many have been saying on these posts.
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  #3  
Old Dec 8, '08, 4:05 pm
Digitonomy Digitonomy is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Very impressive! That is indeed a useful response. I don't think it'll make much difference in most places. However, it will certainly give at least some pastors and bishops some guidance until official word comes, which may well limit or reprobrate the practice.
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  #4  
Old Dec 8, '08, 4:11 pm
ajcoley1 ajcoley1 is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Good enough for me. And answered a question I had that didn't seem to get answered.
Thanks for taking the time.
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  #5  
Old Dec 8, '08, 4:29 pm
japhy japhy is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrDavid96 View Post
Seems pretty straighforward. No offense, please but at the same time, we're reading an internet post of a letter. It seems to affirm what many have been saying on these posts.
No offense taken. See the attached image in my next post (greyscale; the seal is in red in the original).
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Last edited by japhy; Dec 8, '08 at 4:40 pm.
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  #6  
Old Dec 8, '08, 4:32 pm
MusicMan MusicMan is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

I am most curious who signed the letter and why you have omitted their signature for our purposes here. Certainly knowing the signature would lend legitimacy to your claims.
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  #7  
Old Dec 8, '08, 4:40 pm
japhy japhy is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicMan View Post
I am most curious who signed the letter and why you have omitted their signature for our purposes here. Certainly knowing the signature would lend legitimacy to your claims.
Simply because I don't have the permission (as far as I am aware) of the signer to show it. However, after looking at other letters which have been posted online (such as at Adoremus), I will reveal his identity.
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  #8  
Old Dec 8, '08, 4:57 pm
vocatio vocatio is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

edited to change the post.

This is disturbing then. The Eastern Orthodox are beginning to look really truly orhtodox to me right now. They in fact have the oldest Liturgies to date. I've never heard of an illicit act such as this. This give me an idea to ask the Eastern Orthodox.

Last edited by vocatio; Dec 8, '08 at 5:14 pm.
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  #9  
Old Dec 8, '08, 5:20 pm
vocatio vocatio is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Quote:
Originally Posted by vocatio View Post
edited to change the post.

This is disturbing then. The Eastern Orthodox are beginning to look really truly orhtodox to me right now. They in fact have the oldest Liturgies to date. I've never heard of an illicit act such as this. This give me an idea to ask the Eastern Orthodox.
If your intersted in my train of thoughts click here => Eastern Orthodox ...
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  #10  
Old Dec 8, '08, 5:35 pm
jmm08 jmm08 is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Quote:
Originally Posted by japhy View Post
This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disciple of the Sacraments acknowledges receipt of your kind letter of 13 August, 2008 and would like to thank you for your interest and suggestions.
a typo ... could be other typos ...

...and the Discipline...

People should read the photo-attachment instead of what may have been an incorrect transcription (flaw of typist or character recognition software).


jmm08
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  #11  
Old Dec 8, '08, 6:15 pm
benedictgal benedictgal is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Japhy, the response you received is very much in line with what the cleric that I spoke with told me. In fact, he asked me to reduce that question in writing, which I did, along with other matters pertinent to what my father discussed with the Congregation.

The letter was personally hand-delivered by me to His Excellency, Archbishop Malcolm Rajith, the Secretary to the Congregation on November 8th (exactly a month ago to the date). I suspect that we will receive the same answer you got. I, for one, and looking forward to the letter.

Thank you for straightening this matter.
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  #12  
Old Dec 8, '08, 6:34 pm
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FrDavid96 FrDavid96 is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Quote:
Originally Posted by japhy View Post
Simply because I don't have the permission (as far as I am aware) of the signer to show it. However, after looking at other letters which have been posted online (such as at Adoremus), I will reveal his identity.
Thank you for that. Thanks for all of it.

Readers should note the protocol number at the top of the letter, 930/08/L should there be any doubt as to the authenciticy of the letter, that protocol number serves as a "serial number" making it easily verified.
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  #13  
Old Dec 8, '08, 6:42 pm
japhy japhy is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm08 View Post
a typo ... could be other typos "...and the Discipline..."

People should read the photo-attachment instead of what may have been an incorrect transcription (flaw of typist or character recognition software).
Yes, that is my own typo. I apologize.
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  #14  
Old Dec 9, '08, 7:20 am
benedictgal benedictgal is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Is it possible to put this document on a PDF because I am having a hard time printing it?
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  #15  
Old Dec 9, '08, 7:42 am
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Brendan Brendan is offline
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Default Re: CDWDS response regarding blessings during Communion procession

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrDavid96 View Post
Thank you for that. Thanks for all of it.

Readers should note the protocol number at the top of the letter, 930/08/L should there be any doubt as to the authenciticy of the letter, that protocol number serves as a "serial number" making it easily verified.

And Fr. Ward IS the Under-Secretary at the CDWDS charged with English speaking affairs as well.
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