Blessings during communion?


#1

So I went to catholic school for grades 2-4 and thats the age when you get your first communion and do your first reconciliation. So naturally it being a catholic school you go to mass. Because my mom never let me do the program I wasnt able to recieve eucharist at mass. Instead the teachers told us to do the crossed arms to receive a blessing. I moved to different cities and any catholic churches i visited does do the same thing my friend from Australia does practice the same thing. When I was reading about this I came across many articles saying this isnt a proper practice and that the proper thing to do is stay seated. Then my local parish encourages that non catholic guests come for a blessing. They even do this practice with children which i see over and over again. Has this become an official practice or is it still not proper?


#2

I’ll sit back and watch the war parties from each of their respective camps to come out to answer you. :wink:

Suffice it to say, regardless if it is proper or not it will continue for the foreseeable future.


#3

The reason for the difference in practice is that local Bishops determine whether priests are permitted to give blessings in their area during communion. It is permitted - actually encouraged - in England and Wales, permitted in most of Europe - including Italy and The Vatican. I think practice differs across the US, so you need to check what local practice is.

No doubt a subsequent poster will trot out a copy of a much posted letter from the a member of the CDW - this letter was written in the context of lay blessings (which are not permitted) but the CDW followed up the letter by saying that the references to general blessings were a private opinion and that the status quo would apply until the Vatican completed a review of this practice - the outcome of which I understand informally, is that Bishops will continue to hold local discretion, unless of course Pope Francis holds a different view.


#4

Brilliant summary, liturgyluver.


#5

:popcorn::popcorn: I would follow the direction of your priest. At our parish even the EMHC's give blessings even though on occasion our priest said blessings in the Communion line weren't really appropriate. FYI I wouldn't go up for a blessing before I entered the Church because I didn't, and still don't, see it as necessary. In fact the one time I did it I felt uncomfortable. There will be several posters, I am sure, that will assure that blessings are not to be done in the Communion line.:popcorn::popcorn:


#6

[quote="MSSheBear, post:5, topic:318809"]
:popcorn::popcorn: I would follow the direction of your priest. At our parish even the EMHC's give blessings even though on occasion our priest said blessings in the Communion line weren't really appropriate. FYI I wouldn't go up for a blessing before I entered the Church because I didn't, and still don't, see it as necessary. In fact the one time I did it I felt uncomfortable. There will be several posters, I am sure, that will assure that blessings are not to be done in the Communion line.:popcorn::popcorn:

[/quote]

Oh when I was 9 I went to mass with my aunt she would make me stay put during mass but I always figured I was blocking the way of people who were going to their seats so I'd go for a blessing at the parishes I visited and at school they make you get one so I guess it really depends on the bishop.


#7

[quote="confusedgirl, post:1, topic:318809"]
So I went to catholic school for grades 2-4 and thats the age when you get your first communion and do your first reconciliation. So naturally it being a catholic school you go to mass. Because my mom never let me do the program I wasnt able to recieve eucharist at mass. Instead the teachers told us to do the crossed arms to receive a blessing. I moved to different cities and any catholic churches i visited does do the same thing my friend from Australia does practice the same thing. When I was reading about this I came across many articles saying this isnt a proper practice and that the proper thing to do is stay seated. Then my local parish encourages that non catholic guests come for a blessing. They even do this practice with children which i see over and over again. Has this become an official practice or is it still not proper?

[/quote]

It's not supposed to happen. But it's now common. Right before we leave the priests blesses us in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit. That's the proper time to get a blessing not during communion. The Vatican doesn't direct non-Catholics to go up unless they are Eastern Orthodox or a few other that I forgot because they believe what we believe in almost all areas.


#8

[quote="liturgyluver, post:3, topic:318809"]
The reason for the difference in practice is that local Bishops determine whether priests are permitted to give blessings in their area during communion. It is permitted - actually encouraged - in England and Wales, permitted in most of Europe - including Italy and The Vatican.** I think practice differs across the US, so you need to check what local practice is.**

No doubt a subsequent poster will trot out a copy of a much posted letter from the a member of the CDW - this letter was written in the context of lay blessings (which are not permitted) but the CDW followed up the letter by saying that the references to general blessings were a private opinion and that the status quo would apply until the Vatican completed a review of this practice - the outcome of which I understand informally, is that Bishops will continue to hold local discretion, unless of course Pope Francis holds a different view.

[/quote]

Excellent summary!

The OP has already checked the local practice and found that it is permitted. She may join the communion line for a blessing if she chooses.

[quote="confusedgirl, post:1, topic:318809"]
.... When I was reading about this I came across many articles saying this isnt a proper practice and that the proper thing to do is stay seated. Then my local parish encourages that non catholic guests come for a blessing. They even do this practice with children which i see over and over again. Has this become an official practice or is it still not proper?

[/quote]

England and Wales is the only regions I am aware of where it has been officially approved by the bishops. I think that in most places it is an unofficial practice sanctioned by the priest and bishop. They have the authority to do that (as they also have the authority to prohibit it, if they choose).


#9

Reading this thread (and others) have me wondering about the terminology. Locally, children who are not yet old enough for communion are encouraged to cross their arms and process forward with their parents in the communion line to receive a "blessing". But is it really a blessing?

If they are in line where our priest is, I'm sure he does, indeed, give them a blessing.

But our usual EMHC procedure is to just briefly touch a hand on the child's head or arm and perhaps say something like "God be with you" or "God bless you." but often says nothing at all (that I notice). I know this is called a "blessing" in our local vernacular, but (to me) that doesn't seem like a liturgical blessing but more of a prayer by a fellow Catholic, (similar to me saying "bless you" when someone sneezes). :shrug:

I guess my question would be - what constitutes an actual "blessing" and thus be subject to the debate I've read, versus a brief prayerful acknowledgement of a non-communicant in the line, who by their body language indicate they are not receiving?


#10

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