Communion Service in Colorado Springs


#1

We used to have a Communion Service when there is no Priest/Pastor to celebrate the Mass here in Colorado. This morning, our Pastor told us that there will still be Communion Service but only the Liturgy but WITHOUT anymore the distribution of the Communion (Bread and Wine) itself. Our Pastor said that this is a Decree from the Bishop of Colorado Springs. What is your opinion on this and maybe ask the Archdiocese why they are discontinuing?

Thank you so much and God Bless.

Toto Perez


#2

I have no clue what the reasoning was in your Diocese, but my speculation is that the Eucharist is closely associated with the priesthood, and so it is most appropriate that the Eucharist be distributed by or in the presence of a priest. It can perhaps lower the sign value when a priest is absent.


#3

[quote="TotoPerez, post:1, topic:307086"]
We used to have a Communion Service when there is no Priest/Pastor to celebrate the Mass here in Colorado. This morning, our Pastor told us that there will still be Communion Service but only the Liturgy but WITHOUT anymore the distribution of the Communion (Bread and Wine) itself. Our Pastor said that this is a Decree from the Bishop of Colorado Springs. What is your opinion on this and maybe ask the Archdiocese why they are discontinuing?

Thank you so much and God Bless.

Toto Perez

[/quote]

I'm sure they have their reasons, and very likely it's because some idiots got it into their head that communion services "prove" we don't need priests, therefore let's overthrow the whole sacramental economy. This is what happened in the military archdiocese, where communion services are forbidden because Lutheran ministers were saying lay-led communion services prove the demand for Catholic chaplains was overstated.


#4

The correct name for the communion service you used to have is "Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest." The service was designed for areas/times when a priest is not available for several Sundays in a row. It was not designed to be used as a substitute for daily Mass. It seems that bishops across the US (and other places too I assume) have started to implement this correctly.

Years ago we had communion services run by our deacon at the parish down the road where I was living then. I don't think there have been any in Arlington since Bishop Louverde arrived.


#5

You are no longer having Communion Services, since Communion is not being distributed; you are having Liturgies of the Word.

I'm curious, was this only on Sundays or during the week when the priest was on days off?

The 2004 Instruction **Redemptionis Sacramentum **says this about occasions when priests are unavailable:

[LEFT][164.] “If participation at the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible on account of the absence of a sacred minister or for some other grave cause,”[269] then it is the Christian people’s right that the diocesan Bishop should provide as far as he is able for some celebration to be held on Sundays for that community under his authority and according to the Church’s norms. Sunday celebrations of this specific kind, however, are to be considered altogether extraordinary. All Deacons or lay members of Christ’s faithful who are assigned a part in such celebrations by the diocesan Bishop should strive “to keep alive in the community a genuine ‘hunger’ for the Eucharist, so that no opportunity for the celebration of Mass will ever be missed, also taking advantage of the occasional presence of a Priest who is not impeded by Church law from celebrating Mass”.[270][/LEFT]
[LEFT][165.] It is necessary to avoid any sort of confusion between this type of gathering and the celebration of the Eucharist.[271] *The diocesan Bishops, therefore, should prudently discern whether Holy Communion ought to be distributed in these gatherings. **The matter would appropriately be determined in view of a more ample co-ordination in the Bishops’ Conference, to be put into effect after the *recognitio of the acts by the Apostolic See through the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. It will be preferable, moreover, when both a Priest and a Deacon are absent, that the various parts be distributed among several faithful rather than having a single lay member of the faithful direct the whole celebration alone. Nor is it ever appropriate to refer to any member of the lay faithful as “presiding” over the celebration.[/LEFT]
[LEFT][166.] Likewise, especially if Holy Communion is distributed during such celebrations, the diocesan Bishop, to whose exclusive competence this matter pertains, must not easily grant permission for such celebrations to be held on weekdays, especially in places where it was possible or would be possible to have the celebration of Mass on the preceding or the following Sunday. Priests are therefore earnestly requested to celebrate Mass daily for the people in one of the churches entrusted to their care. [/LEFT]

It sounds like your Bishop decided that offering Communion in these liturgies is leading to confusion (I think we can all tell stories of references to 'Sister's Mass' by various parishioners) and a feeling that Mass is not important as long as there are consecrated Hosts in the Tabernacle and someone to lead a Liturgy of the Word. Therefore he has moved to restrict Communion to within Mass. I think it's good idea on his part. Too often I've heard people opine that the Liturgy of the Word with Communion is so much better than Mass, making me question whether they have any idea what Mass is about.


#6

One parish in my town has a Word and Communion service led by a lay person if the priest if gone for daily Mass which is rarely. It has been criticized by some as being “too much like a Mass.”

The other three parishes in town do not allow it.
Mary.

Maybe you could ask your Pastor why they are discontinuing this I would imagine he knows.


#7

You don't mention if this was a practice on Sundays or not. As I understand it distribution w/o a priest was only supposed to be used when a parish would be without a priest available for several Sundays at a stretch. If you really want to know just email Bishop Sheridan. I have always found him to be responsive and well grounded in his reasons.


#8

In any case, if you still don’t have a priest and have only liturgy services, it’s alright. Still counts for Sunday obligation, and you’re only required to receive Communion once a year.

That said, I pray your area gets some vocations so you can have full masses all the time!


#9

=TotoPerez;10090617]We used to have a Communion Service when there is no Priest/Pastor to celebrate the Mass here in Colorado. This morning, our Pastor told us that there will still be Communion Service but only the Liturgy but WITHOUT anymore the distribution of the Communion (Bread and Wine) itself. Our Pastor said that this is a Decree from the Bishop of Colorado Springs. What is your opinion on this and maybe ask the Archdiocese why they are discontinuing?

Thank you so much and God Bless.

Toto Perez

Be grateful for this Good and holy Bishop:thumbsup:

There is no mandate or absolute need for daily Mass.** It is a BLESING when it is available.**

But a Communion serivce is to be a very RARE event and approved by the Bishop for valid cause. Inavailability of a priest for a daily Mass; does not meet the criteria on a normal basis.

Your Good Bishop is concerned about a "mixed message" that stems from Communion services.

IF just anyone can perform a Communion service [commonly now done by BOTH genders]; then the absolute need for a priest is negated and misunderstanding of there absolutely ESSENTIAL role is lessended. A very BAD thing theologically.:(

Additioanlly it is sometime a practice of those holding the Communion service to give a homily; rather than a scripted reading from a bishop or priest. Also a forbiden practice.

Bishops WILL BE Judged by Christ on how they protect and well as teach the Souls in thier care. Prudently, your Bishop takes this charge very seriously. And he has EVERY Right to do so:)

Thanks for asking,
pat/PJM


#10

I wonder if there were some specific abuses this decision was a response to.


#11

Communion services are meant for the homebound, people in hospitals, prisons, and nursing homes who cannot get to any Mass.

As other posters have noted, there is a "Sunday service in the absence of a priest" in the liturgical books, which the diocesan bishop directs. This is normally for remote areas that will be without a priest for several weeks, and the people cannot conveniently get to another Mass. Our rector uses the example of islands in the diocese of Tahiti (he's got a cousin there), which might see a priest once every six months. I don't know if there are many places (outside of Alaska) in the U.S. where this would apply.

This sort of service was never meant for daily Mass. Daily Mass is great (yes, I go every single day), but it's not necessary for the faithful. It's a blessing and an extra. Also, if no daily Mass is available at one parish, there is almost always another in town, unless you are in a tiny town.

Our bishop has been trying to make the same change, and do away with communion services that are in place of daily Mass. We have a few parishes in town that have Mass in the morning and communion service in the afternoon. This is an abuse; more so since the bishop has directed them to stop.


#12

If there is no Mass, then there is no Sunday obligation. You are not obligated to attend even a Communion service on a Sunday if there is no Mass available.

No Mass = No obligation.


#13

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