@CRV Post 37: Thank you for the link to the article, “Blessings in Lieu of Communion,” by Father Edward McNamara, in Rome.
Although this blessing trend apparently began in individual churches, it is clear that their bishops did not follow Vatican-approved practices, as profiled in the varying directives published by bishops around the globe—another example of why the Catholic Church needs a pope, and why bishops need to guard their flocks. Had they done so, and had priests not innovated without approval, we’d have been spared this confusion. There’s always a good reason for every single rule and tradition coming from Rome, even down to the number of buttons on the garments worn by a priest.
As for fasting, having learned to fast from food, drink, and medicines from midnight until receiving Holy Communion, current regulations pose a ridiculously puny requirement. They’re a joke! I remember crying, Sunday after Sunday, because I wasn’t old enough to receive the sacred host. Mother finally gave in and let me fast, too, before I entered school. After Vatican II, going from midnight fasting to three-hour fasting seemed sacriligious to me, and an hour now is almost, “Why bother?”
“Going up for a blessing” is just more of the “every kid needs a trophy” type of thinking in this I-want-my-fair-share society. Sigh.