Communion Services in the Abscence of a Priest


#1

My question concerns Communion Services in the Abscence of a Priest.

Tonight, at an Hispanic Ministries Committee Meeting at my parish Church (we are a largely wealthy Caucasian parish in Iowa who are trying to evangelize more effectively to the local Hispanic Community), our deacon mentioned the Communion Services in the Abscence of a Priest as a possible replacement to our current bilingual (Spanish/English) Mass. His reason for suggesting having the service instead of the Mass is that it would not require a priest; he could fill in and do everything during the service while speaking Spanish, etc. (accept consecrate the host and wine, of course).

My question is: is it ever desireable to have a Communion Service in the Abscence of a Priest, when it is not absolutely necessary? I understand when there are priests who are absolutely overwhelmed, or when a priest is out of town, for example. In this case, however, neither is happening. What are some of the theological consequences from replacing a Mass with a Communion service? How could this negatively or positively affect believers?

Thank you. God Bless.


#2

Replacing Mass with a Communion Service is not a good option. The latest document from the Vatican should lay that idea to rest:

Redemptionis Sacramentum

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20040423_redemptionis-sacramentum_en.html

Here are some other suggestions, however:

  1. Continue with your bilingual Masses
  2. Alternate English one week and Spanish the next
  3. Have a Latin Mass, with alternating English/Spanish homilies

There is nothing wrong with, say, having a Spanish homily this week, and the priest/deacon having the homily printed in English for the non-Spanish speakers, and then doing an English homily the following week, with the printed in Spanish.

Keep your communities together. It is not our language that unites us, but the Eucharist. Come to the altar of sacrifice together. Each culture has so much to share.


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