Children around the altar for 1st Communion..check out our policy

OK, so about a month ago I asked you about whether or not it was right to bring children up around the altar during children’s school mass (on Friday). You all said that it was not allowed. Then I asked what about during First Communion. Our priest always does this. So, I asked our diocese about it. The bishop’s assistant stated that, indeed not, children should not be around the altar. Just like you all said.

THEN, I went to our diocese website to look up policy and I found this…it’s in the policy for confirmation/first communion:

“If space permits, the candidates may gather around the altar for the Eucharistic prayer. They would be invited up before the preface dialogue and return to their seats after the Sign of Peace.”

Our old bishop penned this, I think. I’m not sure if he came up with this on his own, or if he asked around, or what. Completely unsure on this.

I’m pretty sure that our new bishop would not like this policy. So, I brought it to his attention, through his assistant. I have not heard back yet. I will let you know his response.

SO…apparently in our diocese it IS allowed to have children around the altar.

Frankly, I’m surprised. Now, what do I do? If it’s policy, then it’s OK, right???

I would write a letter to the bishop, certified, return receipt requested and indicate that there is a serious and legitimate concern about this issue. Indicate that his staff had stated that standing around the altar is not allowed, yet contrary information appears in the diocesan website.

Well, I’d contest that it “is allowed” in your diocese. Just because a bishop says so doesn’t make it so. The bishop can’t permit something that’s not permissible without an indult from a higher authority (that is, the Holy See).

I would say that your old Bishop had no authority to permit this in the first place. Therefore since you have a new Bishop and his assistant informed you properly that it is not allowed. The old “policy” has no effect and Children still are not permitted around the altar, no matter what liturgical errors were made in the past.

Outdated web pages have a nasty habit of sticking around, especially if one does a “search” which sometimes brings up archived pages or old newsletter articles. It might be on a current page, which no one has noticed or thought to update.

Like a few others have already posted, the liturgical laws of the Church take precedence here.

Call the altar police. Have them arrested on the spot!

It was updated in 2007. But, our new bishop came in 2008.

Our priest, of course, will just tell us it’s diocesan policy. But, I’m still waiting to hear from the bishop’s office. I hope they get this figured out and tell our priest that he can’t do this.

Our parish office does not like our bishop, in a strong way. One lady even called him a “butthead”. I couldn’t believe it!!!

They don’t like him because he is “making” them do the right things and they don’t like to be told what to do.

Our priest is being reassigned in July, and we are ALL praying that the entire staff retires!!

Here is the response that I received from the Bishop’s assistant:

“What you found is indeed surprising. And not liturgically correct. What we have posted on the website is obsolete. I conferred with Sister Marilyn Winter about this and she was dismayed that somehow several documents are posted that should not be there. Next week we will clean up this section of the website”

So, that is good. We’ll just see if they contact our priest and tell him that children around the altar is a big no-no.

That is great news! :thumbsup: Let’s hope that the parishes will obey.

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