Chocolate during Communion

Our parish priest is fairly new to our parish. Lately, when kids come up for a blessing in the Communion line with their families he hands chocolates out to them. (These are kids who have not yet had their First Communion.) Rather than having an altar server hold a paten to avoid dropping the Holy Eucharist, he has one holding a bowl of chocolates next to him :woman_facepalming:t2:

I haven’t yet talked to him about why he chooses to do this, but I plan to. I also plan to tell him not to offer my kids candy anymore during communion. (They have treats available for the kids in the sacristy after every Mass already) I really feel that what he is doing downplays the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist and is just going to lead to kids who are disappointed to be receiving the Body of Christ one day instead of a treat.

Are there any church documents or catechism excerpts that clearly show that what he’s doing is wrong that I can bring along to show him?

Thanks!

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I wouldn’t attend there. How old is the priest, I wonder?

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Very surprised. In my parish little kids go up during Communion with arms crossed on the chest and just receive a blessing from the priest. Never heard something like what you are describing here. :no_mouth:

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Young. Mid forties, I’d say.
It’s an ethnic parish. Our cultural community is there. It’s important to us to teach our kids about our cultural heritage, and we want them to attend Mass in that language as well. Otherwise we would have left already!!

Me neither :pensive:

Cultural heritage is important, but I would say that it takes second place behind my faith. And chocolates in the Communion line messes with my faith big time! Ethnic heritage or not, I would be out of there.
But why not ask your bishop? Do any other parents / parishioners think that is weird?

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I know. I agree with you wholeheartedly!
My plan is to talk to him and then go to the bishop if nothing changes after that. In my heart I know that what he’s doing is wrong, but I feel like I’ll need “proof” to convince him. I’m trying to prep.

No one else seems to have issues with it, but I haven’t asked around much. It’s not a very young parish though. Not many kids in attendance to begin with.

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It doesn’t seem like a good thing, however, please talk to him before you do anything else.He may have a reason and should at least be allowed to explain. You can then offer your thoughts.

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That is outrageous, plain and simple. Even more outrageous is that it doesn’t surprise me.

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Same thing goes at the parish I go to for mass, our priest doesn’t hand out candy to the children not at the age of discernment or even after they are old enough to partake in the body of our Lord. This i find vary strange for a priest to do. Does this happen at other parishes too?

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I’d be concerned about seven and eight year olds being disappointed that they can no longer get chocolates after having their first communion. :thinking:

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It’s a little strange, and I’ve never heard of it before, but I’m hard-pressed to see anything “wrong” with it. If so, what would it be?

I don’t think the rubrics cover this kind of thing, one way or the other. And this is something the children will always remember.

In Byzantine (Ruthenian and Ukrainian) Catholic tradition it is normal to cross the arms over the chest when receiving the Holy Body and Blood of Christ from the spoon. I did this once at a Latin parish and the priest became confused when I waited, asking me if I really wanted to receive. By crossing the arms to the shoulders also makes it less likely to knock over the chalice; note that no sign of the cross is made before reception. I have read that the arms folded across the chest gives honor to St. Andrew , the founder of the Church of Constantinople.

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There is a list of things from here to the moon that the rubics don’t cover, nor should have to. And yes, this is something that the children will remember… not solemnity, reverence, or any sense of the sacred, but looking forward to another dose of sugar. Are we really falling that devoid of any sense of discipline or formality? As “adults” I think that we can model a little more maturity when in the holy presence of the blessed Sacrament, our children are a lot more capable than we give credit.

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Oh my…

Talk to the priest. Point out if you can that you’re worried your children will think less of the ability to receive the Eucharist when they find out they’re not getting candy any more.
Or that they might expect candy at any other church they attend.

If the priest won’t change this practice then yes, talk to your bishop.

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REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM
96. The practice is reprobated whereby either unconsecrated hosts or other edible or inedible things are distributed during the celebration of Holy Mass or beforehand after the manner of Communion, contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books. For such a practice in no way accords with the tradition of the Roman Rite, and carries with it the danger of causing confusion among Christ’s faithful concerning the Eucharistic doctrine of the Church.

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First, I think this is just wrong and takes away the sacredness of the moment.

Secondly, if it were me I would be annoyed that anyone was handing out chocolates to my children without my prior consent. There can be a variety of reasons why parents would not want their children having a chocolate. It would be very inappropriate for a parent to challenge the priest on this at the time of Communion. I really don’t think he’s thought this through very well.

Thirdly, thanks to @Phemie we know there is also a regulation from the Holy See that says this must not be done.

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The reverence is the main thing, then yes, ultimately, the kids will be disappointed by ‘just’ receiving the Holy Eucharist when that time comes. Will he still dish out chocolate during lent? What if a kid is allergic or intolerant? I can’t eat most chocolate. I wouldn’t like to be having that conversation with a kid or priest while trying to Holy Communion. It’s just bizarre. Please ask him to stop! There is no good reason at all for this. None whatsoever. Let us know how you get on.

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Not to mention, a lot of chocolate has cross-contamination with peanuts / tree nuts, which are very common allergens for kids.

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Well, there you have it. Full stop. I stand corrected.

Why in the world would unconsecrated hosts be distributed? Is it supposed to be something like the antidoron distributed in Orthodox churches?

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