Disrespect towards the Eucharist?


#1

So, I've recently moved to a new area and my wife and I have been going to different parishes around town on Sundays. The reverence (or lack thereof) disturbed me at one of these churches this Sunday. I did not notice this, but my wife did. Apparently the EMHCs at this church were grabbing hosts by the handful and dumping them into bowls! Even she (who is not Catholic) noticed this and asked me about if afterwards. She said, "Is that right?" Naturally, I responded of course not!

I'm not sure if anybody knows any formal rules against this, but it certainly seems disrespectful to just grab consecrated Hosts as if they were just chips at a barbecue! Even the seminarian who was assisting at this Mass acted in this way. By the way, I'm not the person to just grab stuff by the handful with my bare hands anyway, much less the Body of Our Lord!

I was just wondering if there are any rules against this, and if I should try to say something to the priest or bishop?


#2

[quote="WD615, post:1, topic:336382"]

I was just wondering if there are any rules against this, and if I should try to say something to the priest or bishop?

[/quote]

Yes, respectfully ask to speak with the priest at a good time. (Right after Mass is not a good place.) And bring up your concerns about how the ministers are handling the Eucharist, and what appears to be very lackadaisical manner.

Truthfully, they shouldn't even be handling them. The priest should distribute the unconsecrated host into the bowls before consecration. And if need be, after consecration. But only the priest should be doing this. And then the priest should hand the bowls to the EMHC, the EMHC should not be grabbing them from the altar.


#3

It sounds kind of odd to me too. I've never seen that done, but then I don't frequent the Roman Rite Nous Ordo at all.

But even when preparing ciboria before Mass, the procedure with which I'm familiar is for the sacristan (or whoever is doing it) to just tip the bag (it used to be that hosts came boxed, but these days, it seems that plastic bags are more common), and gently push the number needed into the ciborium. The main reason is so that the hosts don't break, as is far more likely when grabbed by the handful.


#4

I have seen something like this happen when one minister runs out and needs some extra for the people waiting in their line, it did not seem disrespectful to me but rather necessary. I guess I would have to see exactly what went on to be able to discuss whether it was appropriate or not. I do not currently serve as an EMHC but have in another state several years ago and I assure you that the people who volunteer to serve and carry out this ministry are not people who would intentionally disrespect the body of Christ.


#5

No, generally EMHCs wouldn't be disrespectful. I agree. It could be that lifting Hosts from one bowl to another is how they were instructed. Certainly it can be hazardous tipping a bowl, as the Hosts slither and could miss the second bowl altogether and land on the floor.. Would anyone want that?

The use of the word. 'grab.'is very loaded and judgemental. Were the EMHCs really diving in and roughly getting hold of the Hosts. or were they merely getting things ready so that Communion wasn't held up from starting?


#6

This may be related to distribution of Holy Communion. I believe it is something the priest should do, to separate the hosts to be given and place them in separate ciboria (that's probably what she saw).

I don't know of the instructions to separate the hosts and I can't think of any particularly reverent way to do so other than perhaps moving them one by one.

I found the following in the document This Holy and Living Sacrifice (HLS) written by the U.S. bishops and was approved by the Holy See in 1984:

Only one chalice ...] and one large paten, ciborium, or similar vessel should be on the altar during the rites of preparation up to and including the rite of the fraction, when other empty chalices and ciboria may be brought up to the altar.

At that time the consecrated bread is placed in several ciboria ...] (HLS 42)

However, most of the manuals for Sacristans as well as for Extraordinary Ministers that I find online specify that ciboria with unconsecrated hosts are placed on the credence table, not that the distribution of consecrated hosts between ciboria is to be done during Holy Mass - this seems indeed lacking in reverence and the risk of dropping fragments of the Holy Eucharist is very great.


#7

[quote="paperwight66, post:5, topic:336382"]
The use of the word. 'grab.'is very loaded and judgemental. Were the EMHCs really diving in and roughly getting hold of the Hosts. or were they merely getting things ready so that Communion wasn't held up from starting?

[/quote]

The better question is: why in the world were lay faithful even doing this instead of keeping their place, away from the altar, and letting the priest take care of the consecrated hosts, as is proper to him and his duty as the ordinary minister of the Eucharist?


#8

[quote="paperwight66, post:5, topic:336382"]
No, generally EMHCs wouldn't be disrespectful. I agree. It could be that lifting Hosts from one bowl to another is how they were instructed. Certainly it can be hazardous tipping a bowl, as the Hosts slither and could miss the second bowl altogether and land on the floor.. Would anyone want that?

The use of the word. 'grab.'is very loaded and judgemental. Were the EMHCs really diving in and roughly getting hold of the Hosts. or were they merely getting things ready so that Communion wasn't held up from starting?

[/quote]

The EMHCs may not have been doing it as roughly as described by the OP; however, they fact is they shouldn't have been doing it at all. I've no problem with EMHCs in principle. I do take issue when they do things they shouldn't do.


#9

[quote="paperwight66, post:5, topic:336382"]
The use of the word. 'grab.'is very loaded and judgemental. Were the EMHCs really diving in and roughly getting hold of the Hosts. or were they merely getting things ready so that Communion wasn't held up from starting?

[/quote]

Yes, as in grasping whole handfuls of hosts and moving them in the way some people might grab chips and toss them on a plate. And this was after Communion began.

Not to mention I wouldn't mind waiting a few seconds if it meant showing more respect to Our Lord.


#10

[quote="R_C, post:7, topic:336382"]
The better question is: why in the world were lay faithful even doing this instead of keeping their place, away from the altar, and letting the priest take care of the consecrated hosts, as is proper to him and his duty as the ordinary minister of the Eucharist?

[/quote]

Honestly, I hadn't even thought of this question. I've always attended a church (Novus Ordo) where Communion was received at the altar rail. But EMHCs have always confused me a little bit since they're never really extra-ordinary. :shrug:


#11

My priest will "pour" the consecrated hosts carefully from ciborium to ciborium, but he never grabs at them.


#12

[quote="WD615, post:1, topic:336382"]
So, I've recently moved to a new area and my wife and I have been going to different parishes around town on Sundays. The reverence (or lack thereof) disturbed me at one of these churches this Sunday. I did not notice this, but my wife did. Apparently the EMHCs at this church were grabbing hosts by the handful and dumping them into bowls! Even she (who is not Catholic) noticed this and asked me about if afterwards. She said, "Is that right?" Naturally, I responded of course not!

I'm not sure if anybody knows any formal rules against this, but it certainly seems disrespectful to just grab consecrated Hosts as if they were just chips at a barbecue! Even the seminarian who was assisting at this Mass acted in this way. By the way, I'm not the person to just grab stuff by the handful with my bare hands anyway, much less the Body of Our Lord!

I was just wondering if there are any rules against this, and if I should try to say something to the priest or bishop?

[/quote]

It's very disrespectful. I see it in my parish all the time, typically by deacons and priests.

There is no "rule" against it. It certainly breaks all rules of good manners but those seem very foreign to many today.

On EWTN the hosts are placed in the ciborium like rolls of quarters. When the priest has to transfer some from one vessel to another he does so very carefully by picking-up a "roll" at a time. Very reverent. I suspect some in my parish lack to motor skills to do that.


#13

[quote="WD615, post:10, topic:336382"]
Honestly, I hadn't even thought of this question. I've always attended a church (Novus Ordo) where Communion was received at the altar rail. But EMHCs have always confused me a little bit since they're never really extra-ordinary.

[/quote]

What is a "novus ordo" church? :rolleyes:


#14

[quote="Urn, post:13, topic:336382"]
What is a "novus ordo" church? :rolleyes:

[/quote]

You asked for it :p

It is a church built after 1965. Typical examples follow:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_dlkAw43cLC0/SWYmf1lXTNI/AAAAAAAACo8/nNSv4XETQfc/s800/20-Unusual-Churches-PII-trendsetters-church.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_dlkAw43cLC0/SWYtExjENXI/AAAAAAAACpY/hgM9VmQSicE/s800/20-Unusual-Churches-PII-cathedral-of-maringa1.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_dlkAw43cLC0/SWYlWGEnvTI/AAAAAAAACm0/wVLZQV40Oq4/s800/20-Unusual-Churches-PII-catholic-church-uruguay.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_dlkAw43cLC0/SR1r1lloEgI/AAAAAAAAAts/ZaDDiMGJQ6I/s800/20-unusual-churches-p1-brasilia-cathedral2.jpg

I cannot post pictures of how a "novus ordo" church looks on the inside, because even though this is for laughs, I'd probably get in trouble :o I can however post a picture of the "modern" (never used) stand for WYD2013 (so-called "campus fidei"):

http://www.dj.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/JMJ_guaratiba02_17062013185222_site-300x196.jpg


#15

[quote="Urn, post:13, topic:336382"]
What is a "novus ordo" church? :rolleyes:

[/quote]

He didn't say "novus ordo church", but "church (Novus Ordo)" as opposed to "church (Usus Antiquor)", referring to the fact that he attended a Mass which was in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


#16

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