Can a Deacon offer a blessing during communion?


Hi All;

Our parish does offer a blessing from the priest during the distribution of communion. This has helped me become used to going forward and has really helped me feel accepted,

I normally approach the priest, but this parish also has a wonderful deacon. I wondered if a deacon is able to administer the blessing, too?



No one is permitted to administer blessings during Communion.

Note these words:

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.


I see. That has made me feel very uncomfortable. I checked with the parish ( 2 actually that we attend) and they said that this was accepted.


For info, I did take my initial guidance from here:


Barring a very clearly written, explicit ruling from Rome, I think in most parishes in the U.S. this horse has long since left the barn. The item you cite is apparently not in a publication that is considered authoritative.


Just out of curiosity, how do you handle the situation where someone comes forward for a blessing?



I follow the Roman Missal and the other liturgical laws and norms of the Church.

In other words, I do not do any blessings at Communion-time.


A lot of parishes do, but I would not say most.

This practice started after Vatican II, but is not official. It first started when parents would walk up with their little Children, who have not received First Communion. Instead of simply ignoring the children, some priests started quickly blessing them.

Over time some priests started doing it for adults. In the 1960 years prior to Vatican II, this never happened. You only went up for Communion if you were going to receive it.

Also, I’ve personally been to approx 30 Catholic Churches in my lifetime, and none have done this, except for little children.

My personally suggestion: if you pastor does it, fine. Go to him. But do not put your Deacon in that position. The Deacon technically reports to the Bishop, don’t make him chose between his Pastor and Bishop.

If your pew is walking up to the Deacon or a Lay EMHC, simply stay in your seat.

God Bless


Huh. Our priest and deacon do it all the time. Mostly for babies and children who haven’t received First Communion. :shrug:


I have even seen lay EMHCs do it. Things get out of hand very quickly. We all receive a Blessing at the end of Mass. God Bless, Memaw



Our priest (a retired Army colonel) is very orthodox in many areas (incense, bells, Leonine prayers after Mass), but this is one area where he apparently doesn’t feel the need to do anything, so we have lay EMsHC giving blessings to children and adults alike.


The practice is very common in my diocese, but I did not go forward for a blessing during RCIA based on what I read on CAF. After Mass, while I was in RCIA, someone came up to me and said, “You know you can go up and get a blessing, don’t you?” :slight_smile: At my Parish, I believe the EMHCs are instructed to pray with the people who come forward with crossed arms. Obviously, not a perfect solution but a much better one than EMHCs trying to bless people… At the EF Mass in our diocese, I was surprised to see that Father blesses the children who come to the alter rail with their parents. I was even more surprised that he blesses them in English. None of the traditional minded people seem to mind… I have noticed Catholics coming up for a blessing rather than remaining in their pew. So, while I agree its not a good practice, it is certainly much better that the person go up for a blessing rather than receive Holy Communion when they are not prepared. That being said, I do not understand why people feel so much social pressure to receive… But, all in all, Priest giving blessings in the Communion line seems very low on the list of liturgical problems facing the Church to me…



The Church says, “Don’t do it, everyone gets a blessing at the end of the Mass” and therefore I don’t personally approve of the practice. However, I wholeheartedly agree with your last statement. If ONLY this were the only liturgical problem in the Church today . . . :sad_yes:


Lay folks, no matter who they are, can never ‘give a Blessing’. We can only say, “God Bless You.” But that is never to be done during Mass. We have soo many distractions during Mass, I’m afraid we’re loosing the real meaning of Mass We’re making ourselves more important than Jesus. It’s all about us. Holding hands, running around hugging and kissing each other. God Bless, Memaw


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