I belong to a parish that has a priest the covers three parishes. When he is not available to say mass during the week a communion service is given by a nun. I have heard that the Vatican frowns on communion services. Is this true and is it O.K. to participate in the communion service?
In my opinion Communion services should only be used to “fill-in” when a priest is suddenly ill or injured and cannot celebrate Mass and a large number of the faithful are already assembled. For Mass to which an obligation is attached like Sunday or Holy day and a priest is not available. The only other time whould be when people are used to receiving the Blessed Sacrament daily (for instance in a nursing home) and Mass is celebrated daily (the other 6 days) except for one day during the week when the priest is off or has other duties. A Communion service could be held on that day. Communion services should not take place IMO every day in parishes where there is no resident priest.
Why not see if there is an eastern rite Church near you? Atleast, you could receive the blessed sacrament.
I am pretty sure this is one of those areas where everything is up to the diocesan bishop. In my diocese the bishop permits regularly scheduled communion services on days when there is a “gap” in the daily Mass schedule, in cases as you mentioned where the priest is shared by parishes. We have never had communion services on Sundays, thank God. I know of only one parish that had to turn to communion services to fill the daily Mass gap, and they found it very difficult to find a lay person willing to do it.
In the ancient world into which I was born, there was no obligation to attend mass during the week, hence, there is no need for a lesser ceremony–a “communion service.” On Sunday, the obligation is to attend mass, not an erstaz mass. A “communion service” in that circumstance could only be an act of direst need, as when the priest fails to appear for mass.
I understand that there is no need to have a communion service. It is wonderful to be able to recieve Jesus on the days that there is no Mass. I know of people who will go to Church expecting there to be Mass but when there is a communion service instead will leave. That means they also do not receive the Eucharist. Wouldn’t it be better to receve our Lord than to leave?