Documents on lay persons and Communion


#1

A while back on a Catholic Answers Live broadcast the topic of lay persons giving Communion at Mass. I apologize because I don't remember what date the episode aired (I listened to it via a podcast) and I don't know who the guest was. The guest mentioned a document the US Conference of Bishops wrote concerning lay persons giving Communion. Part of the document said lay persons who are male should serve first and if none are available, then women can serve.

Does anyone know what document this refers to? I know I don't have a lot of details (I don't know which broadcast this was, who the guest was and what the document's name is), but I am hoping someone knows what I am talking about...

Thanks


#2

[quote="regression, post:1, topic:343564"]
A while back on a Catholic Answers Live broadcast the topic of lay persons giving Communion at Mass. I apologize because I don't remember what date the episode aired (I listened to it via a podcast) and I don't know who the guest was. The guest mentioned a document the US Conference of Bishops wrote concerning lay persons giving Communion. Part of the document said lay persons who are male should serve first and if none are available, then women can serve.

Does anyone know what document this refers to? I know I don't have a lot of details (I don't know which broadcast this was, who the guest was and what the document's name is), but I am hoping someone knows what I am talking about...

Thanks

[/quote]

The original document from 1973 allowing lay people to distribute Communion did list an order of preference:

IMMENSAE CARITATIS—On Facilitating Reception Of Communion In Certain CircumstancesI. Local Ordinaries possess the faculty enabling them to permit fit persons, each chosen by name as a special minister, in a given instance or for a set period or even permanently, to give communion to themselves and others of the faithful and to carry it to the sick residing at home:
a. whenever no priest, deacon, or acolyte is available; (so the acolyte is the first in line to be an EMCH)

b. whenever the same ministers are impeded from administering communion because of another pastoral ministry, ill-health, or old age;
c. whenever the number of faithful wishing to receive communion is so great that the celebration of Mass or the giving of communion outside Mass would take too long.
II. The same local Ordinaries possess the faculty of granting individual priests in the course of their ministry the power to appoint, for a given occasion, a fit person to distribute communion in cases of genuine necessity
III. The local Ordinaries also may delegate these faculties to auxiliary bishops, episcopal vicars, and episcopal delegates.
IV. The fit person referred to in nos. I and II will be designated according to the order of this listing (which may be changed at the prudent discretion of the local Ordinary): reader (this refers to an instituted lector since he'd be next after the acolyte who is mentioned in I.a. ), major seminarian, man religious, woman religious, catechist, one of the faithful—a man or a woman.


#3

[quote="Phemie, post:2, topic:343564"]
The original document from 1973 allowing lay people to distribute Communion did list an order of preference:

[/quote]

Thanks. You said the original document, has it been updated since 1973?


#4

[quote="regression, post:1, topic:343564"]
A while back on a Catholic Answers Live broadcast the topic of lay persons giving Communion at Mass. I apologize because I don't remember what date the episode aired (I listened to it via a podcast) and I don't know who the guest was. The guest mentioned a document the US Conference of Bishops wrote concerning lay persons giving Communion. Part of the document said lay persons who are male should serve first and if none are available, then women can serve.

Does anyone know what document this refers to? I know I don't have a lot of details (I don't know which broadcast this was, who the guest was and what the document's name is), but I am hoping someone knows what I am talking about...

Thanks

[/quote]

Here in the Philippines females are not permitted to be altar servers or EMHC's.
Females are commentators and readers here.


#5

[quote="regression, post:3, topic:343564"]
Thanks. You said the original document, has it been updated since 1973?

[/quote]

There have been 4 documents released over the years that deal with EMCHs

1973 - Immensae Caritatis (Hierarchy given - but note that it gives the Bishop the right to ignore it or change it.)

1980 - Ineastimabile Donum (Hierarchy is not repeated)

1997 - INSTRUCTION - On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests (Again, no hierarchy.)

[FONT=Arial]2004 - Redemptionis Sacramentum /FONT

The one thing they all have in common is that they are clear about WHEN EMCHs can licitly be used.


#6

Thanks everyone for all the info.


#7

One day in a liturgy meeting, I brought up these documents when trying to get EMCHs to stand down when there were co-celebrants. It was becoming a regular thing to have EMCHs distributing Communion while priests sat down and watched them. This was at a time that there were often 3 priests in residence even though only the Pastor was attached to our parish.

One of the priests, who had been our Pastor's seminary professor, got up, shook his finger in my face and screamed at me "We have never listened to Rome before and we're not about to start now!"

So, document or no document, what is done in a parish does not always reflect Rome's desires.


#8

[quote="Phemie, post:7, topic:343564"]
... One of the priests, who had been our Pastor's seminary professor, got up, shook his finger in my face and screamed at me "We have never listened to Rome before and we're not about to start now!" ...

[/quote]

Wow. It's things like that that make me hesitant to have any involvement in parishes. I might know what's what and have however many degrees in this and that but, who cares?

Dan


#9

[quote="dans0622, post:8, topic:343564"]
Wow. It's things like that that make me hesitant to have any involvement in parishes. I might know what's what and have however many degrees in this and that but, who cares?

Dan

[/quote]

Exactly. This was after the parish had spent about $7K/person over 4 years sending 4 of us to take summer courses in Liturgy from St. Paul University School of Theology. Get me to learn about all the documents and then tell me to ignore them.

The same priest argued with me that EMHCs were actually 'ordinary' ministers of Communion because, according to him, ordinary meant only that they were commonly the only persons to distribute Communion in parishes, Sunday Liturgy of the Word with Communion having become the norm in so many parishes with no priest.

I tried to argue that 'extraordinary' didn't mean 'seldom used' but he wasn't budging. Wish I could have been a fly on the wall in one of his seminary classes.


#10

[quote="dans0622, post:8, topic:343564"]
Wow. It's things like that that make me hesitant to have any involvement in parishes. I might know what's what and have however many degrees in this and that but, who cares?

Dan

[/quote]

Having the degrees and knowing what's what means that you know you have no authority in the situation. The pastor is going to do what the pastor is going to do. I've run into the same situation in other circumstances. I have the educational background and I can make my recommendation. But the pastor has the final decision.


#11

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