Does the GIRM allow non-Catholics to receive Eucharist at funeral Masses?


#1

I am referring to the following few paragraphs, especially to 341:

*339. All the faithful, and especially the family, should be urged to share in the eucharistic sacrifice offered for the deceased person by receiving communion.

  1. In the planning and choosing of the variable parts of the Mass for the dead, especially the funeral Mass (for example, prayers, readings, general intercessions) pastoral considerations bearing upon the deceased, the family, and those attending should rightly be foremost.

Pastors should, moreover, take into special account those who are present at a liturgical celebration or hear the Gospel only because of the funeral. These may be non-Catholics or Catholics who never or rarely share in the eucharist or who have apparently lost the faith. Priests are, after all, ministers of Christ’s Gospel for all people. *

Sometimes I attend lecture series at a Methodist church. One of the women in the class had a family friend (a priest) who requested on his death bed that everyone, regardless of their religious/non-religious affiliation, be encouraged to receive Holy Communion at his funeral Mass. She saw this as a very welcoming gesture on the part of Catholicism (“See, they’ve stopped excluding people!”)
I, along with a few other Methodist women who were more familiar with Catholicism because of family or upbringing, were surprised by this; we tried to explain that this was a private decision of a priest which he, though well-meaning, was not authorized to make, as it was not consistent with Catholic teaching.
But when I read the above paragraphs in the GIRM (through casual study - not in an attempt to refute the practise of “occasional open communion”), the issue seems blurrier to me; are there ever instances when non-Catholics may be encouraged to receive the Eucharist, such as at the funeral Mass of a family member? To me, the GIRM does not seem to say “Yes” or “No” in this case. (Do I just assume that it says “No”?)


#2

I'm reading it differently.

339: I read "all of the faithful" to mean faithful Catholics

341: What I see here is that priest needs to be aware of who may be attending and that they should hear the Gospel.

Sorry, I don't see where it's allowing for non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist.


#3

[quote="SecretaryMonday, post:1, topic:296495"]
I am referring to the following few paragraphs, especially to 341:

*339. All the faithful, and especially the family, should be urged to share in the eucharistic sacrifice offered for the deceased person by receiving communion.

...

  1. In the planning and choosing of the variable parts of the Mass for the dead, especially the funeral Mass (for example, prayers, readings, general intercessions) pastoral considerations bearing upon the deceased, the family, and those attending should rightly be foremost.

Pastors should, moreover, take into special account those who are present at a liturgical celebration or hear the Gospel only because of the funeral. These may be non-Catholics or Catholics who never or rarely share in the eucharist or who have apparently lost the faith. Priests are, after all, ministers of Christ's Gospel for all people. *

Sometimes I attend lecture series at a Methodist church. One of the women in the class had a family friend (a priest) who requested on his death bed that everyone, regardless of their religious/non-religious affiliation, be encouraged to receive Holy Communion at his funeral Mass. She saw this as a very welcoming gesture on the part of Catholicism ("See, they've stopped excluding people!")
I, along with a few other Methodist women who were more familiar with Catholicism because of family or upbringing, were surprised by this; we tried to explain that this was a private decision of a priest which he, though well-meaning, was not authorized to make, as it was not consistent with Catholic teaching.
But when I read the above paragraphs in the GIRM (through casual study - not in an attempt to refute the practise of "occasional open communion"), the issue seems blurrier to me; are there ever instances when non-Catholics may be encouraged to receive the Eucharist, such as at the funeral Mass of a family member? To me, the GIRM does not seem to say "Yes" or "No" in this case. (Do I just assume that it says "No"?)

[/quote]

Nobody may receive that is not properly disposed. One must be validly baptized, in a state of grace, believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, observe the Eucharistic fast, and not be under ecclesiastical censure. Normally in full communion with the Catholic Church, but there are some situations where others are admitted. They also must observe the rules of their own church in that regard.

"If the danger of death is present or other grave necessity, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or the conference of bishops, Catholic ministers may licitly administer these sacraments to other Christians who do not have full Communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and on their own ask for it, provided they manifest Catholic faith in these sacraments and are properly disposed" (CIC 844 § 4).

catholic.com/tracts/who-can-receive-communion


#4

Thanks, that makes sense. I had read the passages several times and was still a little confused; don’t know why.


#5

That is how I understand it as well, and thanks for the link!


#6

You’re welcome! I noticed that you have “newbie” behind Roman Catholic. I’m a recent convert. Sometimes I read things in Protestant and have to translate it to Catholic. As a Protestant I would read “all of the faithful” as meaning all Christians. As a Catholic it usually means faithful Catholics. Being bilingual can come in handy.

God Bless!


#7

LOL…here I thought I only knew English.


#8

[quote="SecretaryMonday, post:7, topic:296495"]
LOL...here I thought I only knew English.

[/quote]

Being bilingual in Catholic and Protestant can really come in handy. Most Catholics don't realize that what they say and mean isn't what Protestants hear and think they mean. For instance, when I convert a very good friend and his wife wanted to ask a few questions...him more than her. Of course praying to Mary and the Saint's came up. After I explained in Protestant terms what we are really doing their jaws dropped. She commented that she had never heard it explained that way before. He even said he didn't have a real problem with it.


#9

[quote="maltmom, post:8, topic:296495"]
Being bilingual in Catholic and Protestant can really come in handy. Most Catholics don't realize that what they say and mean isn't what Protestants hear and think they mean. For instance, when I convert a very good friend and his wife wanted to ask a few questions...him more than her. Of course praying to Mary and the Saint's came up. After I explained in Protestant terms what we are really doing their jaws dropped. She commented that she had never heard it explained that way before. He even said he didn't have a real problem with it.

[/quote]

Yes! I have certainly noticed this; "worship", "sacrifice", "prayer" etc., are all loaded words that get lost in translation because two people can use the same term without understanding what the other means by it.


#10

[quote="maltmom, post:8, topic:296495"]
Being bilingual in Catholic and Protestant can really come in handy. Most Catholics don't realize that what they say and mean isn't what Protestants hear and think they mean. For instance, when I convert a very good friend and his wife wanted to ask a few questions...him more than her. Of course praying to Mary and the Saint's came up. After I explained in Protestant terms what we are really doing their jaws dropped. She commented that she had never heard it explained that way before. He even said he didn't have a real problem with it.

[/quote]

Do you think he could handle the Moleben to the Theotokos used in eastern Catholic Churches (an excerpt)?

HYMN TO THE VIRGIN MARY

V. 1. Rejoice, O most Holy Theotokos, ever-merciful Mother of God, and save all those who place their trust in you.

R. O Most Holy Theotokos save us!
The same response is given after each verse.

V. 2. Rejoice, O Mother of Christ our God, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 3. Rejoice, O Mother of Eternal Love, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 4. Rejoice, O Mother of God’s grace, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 5. Rejoice, O Virgin Immaculately conceived, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 6. Rejoice, O Virgin more honorable than the Cherubim, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 7. Rejoice, O Virgin more glorious than the Seraphim, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 8. Rejoice, O Mary, untainted Dove, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 9. Rejoice, O Mary, fragrant Flower of incorruption, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V.10. Rejoice, O Mary, gracious Example of virgins, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V.11. Rejoice, O Mary, Canopy more boundless than the heavens, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 12. Rejoice, O Mary, our Intercessor before the just Judge, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 13. Rejoice, O Mary, our Comfort to those in sorrow, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 14. Rejoice, O Mary, Refuge of sinners, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 15. Rejoice, O Mary, Advocate who did not abandon us after your Dormition, and save all those who place their trust in you.

V. 16. Rejoice, O Mary, the only chaste and most-blessed one, and save all those who place their trust in you.


#11

No Vico, he couldn’t. He would have jumped up, laid hands on me and prayed the demon out of me because Jesus saves, not Mary. He was an Assembly of God pastor. That wouldn’t have gone over well at all.


#12

[quote="maltmom, post:11, topic:296495"]
No Vico, he couldn't. He would have jumped up, laid hands on me and prayed the demon out of me because Jesus saves, not Mary. He was an Assembly of God pastor. That wouldn't have gone over well at all.

[/quote]

I see. They have no belief in the intercession of saints or veneration.


#13

[quote="maltmom, post:11, topic:296495"]
No Vico, he couldn't. He would have jumped up, laid hands on me and prayed the demon out of me because Jesus saves, not Mary. He was an Assembly of God pastor. That wouldn't have gone over well at all.

[/quote]

:rotfl:


#14

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