Communion Service mimicking the Holy Mass?


#1

Background:
My parish occasionally has a Priest absent and as a substitute, they offer a communion service that mimics the Holy Mass (This is for weekday Mass, not weekend Mass). A lay member conducts the communion service. Everything is the same as Mass, except we exclude the prayers over the gifts and the consecration of the hosts. We still have Petitionary rite, Daily Mass readings, Art Father, Money Collection, Offertory Prayers, and final blessing.

Reason for asking:
I’ve heard on Catholic Answers Live that the Holy See does not recommend this practice if a Mass is still offered during the week or on the weekend. This is because it confuses laity about the Mass and reduces the meaning of the Mass. However, the ultimate decision is left to the local bishop.

I feel a little uncomfortable at the service because I feel it’s not appropriate and harmful to the meaning of the Mass.

My Question:
Does anyone have official documentation from the Vatican regarding this?

Do you believe a communion service that mimics the Mass confuse laity about the meaning of the Mass?
Should I go spend time at the Blessed Sacrament instead of participating and receiving communion in this situation?
Any other thoughts regarding this? I’d be interested in hearing.


#2

I think it's a fine thing. I also think your Bishop gets to make these decisions. It also sounds like it's being done well. I'm not confused by it and my feeling is that people who can be confused don't have much clue what the Mass is about, anyway. And probably aren't at daily Mass.

If you are very concerned, ask for an appointment with your Bishop. He is, after all, your Pastor.


#3

Is there a collection on weekdays?

The parishes I have been to have collection only on Sunday or the vigil, and a few major feasts.

-Tim-


#4

[quote="TimothyH, post:3, topic:287059"]
Is there a collection on weekdays?

The parishes I have been to have collection only on Sunday or the vigil, and a few major feasts.

-Tim-

[/quote]

Yep, they pass the basket around every Mass!


#5

When you say everything, do you mean a layperson reads the gospel, gives the blessing after the confiteor, and the final blessing at the end?

I've seen a deacon do this at a weekend communion service, but I thought these were parts the laity can never do.

I suggest digging deeper and if this isn't allowed, kindly inform your parish priest. If it's illicit, he probably doesn't know it's happening (i.e. probably thinks those parts are omitted when he isn't there). I'm sure he'll fix things right.


#6

[quote="Rich_C, post:5, topic:287059"]
When you say everything, do you mean a layperson reads the gospel, gives the blessing after the confiteor, and the final blessing at the end?

I've seen a deacon do this at a weekend communion service, but I thought these were parts the laity can never do.

I suggest digging deeper and if this isn't allowed, kindly inform your parish priest. If it's illicit, he probably doesn't know it's happening (i.e. probably thinks those parts are omitted when he isn't there). I'm sure he'll fix things right.

[/quote]

Lay persons read the Gospel (and we all stand). Lay persons makes a homily or reads a pre-written homily.

Not sure about the confiteor - not sure what that is.

I may speak with my priest during my next confession.


#7

[quote="JaKael02, post:1, topic:287059"]
Background:
My parish occasionally has a Priest absent and as a substitute, they offer a communion service that mimics the Holy Mass (This is for weekday Mass, not weekend Mass). A lay member conducts the communion service. Everything is the same as Mass, except we exclude the prayers over the gifts and the consecration of the hosts...

[/quote]

Are the hosts consecrated by a priest at an earlier mass? Or are you guys just pretending that it's the Eucharist?


#8

[quote="JaKael02, post:6, topic:287059"]
Lay persons read the Gospel (and we all stand).Nothing wrong here. Lay persons makes a homily or reads a pre-written homily. Remember, only an ordained person can give the homily in a Mass. Since this is not a Mass a reflection can be given about the Scriptures, but not a homily. Also, a homily is required in a Sunday Eucharistic celebration, Mass. It is not required at a week day Mass or Liturgy of the Word even with reception of communion. So if a lay person presides, Sunday or not, the "Homily" is not required.

Not sure about the Confiteor - not sure what that is. Remember the penitential rite is a community prayer led by the priest normally asking God for forgiveness of venial sins only, through the participation of the celebration and reception of communion. Even at Mass, father is not granting general absolution to mortal sin by the words, "May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life." Notice the "us", the priest is also asking for forgiveness of his own venial sins. I generally use form C when I conduct a communion service, which is rare, thankfully.

I may speak with my priest during my next confession.

[/quote]

There are many similarities in a Mass and a communion service, especially with a deacon presiding; the vestments are similar if you do not know what a dalmatic is, the prayers are of the Mass of the day as well as the Holy Scriptures. The missal gives no different chain of events for a communion service compared to a Mass, and it shouldn't.

The key word is "rare"; communion services should be rare. I know this is not possible in areas where population of Catholics is so sparse that there are very few priests to go around.


#9

When we do Communion Services each week at the retirement homes we do everything up through the Prayer of the Faithful. Then skip directly to the Our Father and do the rest, skipping the Priest's communion.

For the Final Blessing we make the sign of the cross on our self and say "May the Almighty God Bless us;t in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost." [or something roughly equivalent.]


#10

The is an official ritual for this liturgy from the Church. Why not just use that?


#11

If you are referring to Joe Kelley's post above, that is exactly what it sounds like they are doing.
I was fortunate to find this from the Dioces of Evansville during an internet search on the new translations. It is the 'Rite for Distributing Holy Communion Outside Mass', that has been revised to reflect the missal changes.
A very good resource to have!!:thumbsup:

FWIW, I am not a big fan of communion services in lieu of daily Mass. I have seen far too many people (and sadly, at one time, I was one of them:blush:) who took far too many liberties with these services.
I am also fortunate to work in a nursing home and participate in communion services on a regular basis. They are alway done with the utmost reverence & respect, with thoughtful words for reflection and always appropriate for our situation. We are blessed to have so many wonderful volunteers who make the time to come and serve the "least of my people". :grouphug:

[quote="Laetus, post:10, topic:287059"]
The is an official ritual for this liturgy from the Church. Why not just use that?

[/quote]


#12

Canada's Rite for a Sunday Celebration of the Word with Communion can't be mistaken for Mass since it doesn't follow the same format as the Liturgy of the Word within Mass.

Led by the Leader of Prayer

[LIST]
]Opening Hymn
*]Sign of the Cross
*]Greeting (e.g. "Brothers and sisters, let us praise our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. Bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
* R. **Blessed be God for ever.)
*]Introductory Remarks explaining that we are without a priest. This includes "We look forward to that day when we will once more celebrate the Eucharist, as Christ commanded us to do in his memory."
*]Opening Rite (Options given are a sprinkling or a Penitential Rite or a Litany of Praise or a Sung Kyrie or a Sung Gloria)
*]Opening Prayer
*]Procession and Enthronement of the Word
*]First Reading
*]Responsrial Psalm
*]Second Reading
*]Gospel Acclamation
*]Gospel
*]Reflection or Homily depending on who's leading this -- I opt for a period of silent reflection if I'm the leader of prayer for this.
*]Profession of Faith
*]General Intercessions
*]Prayer of Praise
*]Sign of Peace
[/LIST]
Led by the EMHC who will distribute Communion

[LIST]
*]Bringing of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar
*]The Lord's Prayer
*]Invitation to Communion
*]Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament
*]Period of Silence
*]Prayer after Communion
[/LIST]
Leader of Prayer

[LIST]
*]Announcements
*]Collection
*]Blessing (eg. May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, t and bring us to everlasting life.)
*]Dismissal
[/LIST]


#13

[quote="Nigel7, post:7, topic:287059"]
Are the hosts consecrated by a priest at an earlier mass? Or are you guys just pretending that it's the Eucharist?

[/quote]

It is concecrated hosts from the Tabernacle. So it's Jesus.

My issue is that the service looks just like a Mass and it confuses the laity because a communion service that follows the format of a Mass can reduce the meaning of the Mass.

However, I'm learning much here through this thread.

Thank you all for your input.


#14

[quote="Lapey, post:8, topic:287059"]
The key word is "rare"; communion services should be rare. I know this is not possible in areas where population of Catholics is so sparse that there are very few priests to go around.

[/quote]

Good point! The communion services at my parish are not "rare". But rather every week when the Priest has his day off.

Thank you for your input.


#15

[quote="Phemie, post:12, topic:287059"]
Canada's Rite for a Sunday Celebration of the Word with Communion can't be mistaken for Mass since it doesn't follow the same format as the Liturgy of the Word within Mass.

[/quote]

That sounds like a good way to clear it up from being confused with one another.

It is already hard enough to have Catholics explain "the meaning of the Mass". I just don't want Catholics to get confused further.


#16

[quote="Oneofthewomen, post:11, topic:287059"]
If you are referring to Joe Kelley's post above, that is exactly what it sounds like they are doing.
I was fortunate to find this from the Dioces of Evansville during an internet search on the new translations. It is the 'Rite for Distributing Holy Communion Outside Mass', that has been revised to reflect the missal changes.
A very good resource to have!!:thumbsup:

[/quote]

That is what we are doing. Our service is very similiar to the one you have in the URL link. Thank you for that.

I'm feeling better now about our Parish's communion service.

Thank you all so much for your time, thoughts, and input!


#17

[quote="JaKael02, post:14, topic:287059"]
Good point! The communion services at my parish are not "rare". But rather every week when the Priest has his day off.

Thank you for your input.

[/quote]

I think one is not supposed to hold a communion service in the church if there is a mass there any time during the week.

We used to have a communion service each day during the week the priests are on retreat. The last couple of years we have switched to Morning Prayer, without the Eucharist. I think it is a new diocesan policy.


#18

[quote="Joe_Kelley, post:17, topic:287059"]
I think one is not supposed to hold a communion service in the church if there is a mass there any time during the week.

We used to have a communion service each day during the week the priests are on retreat. The last couple of years we have switched to Morning Prayer, without the Eucharist. I think it is a new diocesan policy.

[/quote]

Hopefully this policy will be implimented in my diocese someday. :o
Sadly, Communion services are quite common as replacements for daily Mass in my area,
and I have heard many people say they see no real difference between the two. :sad_yes:


#19

[quote="Oneofthewomen, post:18, topic:287059"]
Hopefully this policy will be implimented in my diocese someday. :o
Sadly, Communion services are quite common as replacements for daily Mass in my area,
and I have heard many people say they see no real difference between the two. :sad_yes:

[/quote]

The answer is education, not restricting reception of the sacraments.

-Tim-


#20

[quote="TimothyH, post:19, topic:287059"]
The answer is education, not restricting reception of the sacraments.

-Tim-

[/quote]

While Rome leaves it up to the diocesan bishop to decide, a reading of Redemptionis Sacramentum shows that the CDW would prefer that these services didn't happen during the week, especially if Mass is celebrated either the Sunday before or after. Even on Sunday it says that "It is necessary to avoid any sort of confusion between this type of gathering and the celebration of the Eucharist. The diocesan Bishops, therefore, should prudently discern whether Holy Communion ought to be distributed in these gatherings."

Teaching will have no great effect. I see people now who come to Church on Sunday and express delight that it's a Celebration of the Word instead of Mass. They honestly couldn't care less that we never have Mass as long as they can get Communion.


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