EDIT: Receiving a Blessing from a priest during communion for non-Catholics?


#1

I was in RCIA but dropped out during the inquiry stage. I honestly don't know why. I think it was too overwhelming for me at this time and there was no curriculum or schedule. It seemed a bit unorganized. It was basically a bible study which I enjoyed very much though. I just didn't "feel" it was the right church for me. I found another church and have absolutely fallen in love with it. It's too late to start the RCIA program however. Even though I'm not 100% sure of starting at this time. I am trying to deepen my faith and have been attending daily Mass a few times a week (which I LOVE and it's the highlight of my day) in addition to Sunday Mass. Can I go up and receive a Blessing EVERYDAY or should I remain seated in the pew during communion? :blush:


#2

Kimberly,

We, Catholic and non-Catholic, should remain in our pew if we are not receiving communion. The communion line is for communion, not blessings. We receive a blessing at the end of Mass.

See this CAF Sticky:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=543513


#3

In many dioceses people are invited to come up for a blessing.

If you see people doing it in your parish then, yes, go up for a "blessing."

In the dioceses that do it properly it is not a laying on of hands, nor is it a blessing by lay people.

DESPITE the fact that there is a general blessing a the end of mass, for many people receiving a blessing can be very comforting.

If in doubt, ask the priest.


#4

Ask how it's done there. When I was in RCIA last year we were encouraged by our priest to come up for a blessing.


#5

[quote="1ke, post:2, topic:342610"]
Kimberly,

We, Catholic and non-Catholic, should remain in our pew if we are not receiving communion. The communion line is for communion, not blessings. We receive a blessing at the end of Mass.

See this CAF Sticky:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=543513

[/quote]

Kimberly, be aware that your question appears from time-to-time in CAF, and always produces the same, divergent, answers. Some of us answer firmly "no", as 1ke has done, and others answer that you are free to go up for a blessing if it is the custom in your parish (or diocese, as Triumphguy points out).

I personally go for a blessing when I am not able to receive Communion.

The "sticky" cited for the "no" case is an unofficial, dated document. There is actually a follow up at the end of the sticky which retreats from the position in the first document.

Here, Michelle Arnold, a CAF apologist says...

...If you notice that some congregants are walking up to the Communion ministers with their arms folded across their chests, that is a signal that the parish you are in gives blessings to congregants who are not receiving Communion. In such a parish, you may do that too if you wish.

So, just follow the custom in your parish. If in doubt, ask your priest. The custom in your parish may well be the custom for your diocese as a whole, ie. it is done with approval from the Bishop - who has authority in such matters.

And here the Bishops of England and Wales endorse the practice in all their dioceses.

... other Christians may not normally be invited to receive communion at a Roman Catholic Mass. However, other Christians are invited to receive a blessing from the celebrant.

Note, however that is says "celebrant", because lay people are not permitted to give blessings. The problem of lay people giving blessings is part of many people's concern with giving blessings at Holy Communion - but it is a separate issue.


#6

[quote="KimberlyCat, post:1, topic:342610"]
I was in RCIA but dropped out during the inquiry stage. I honestly don't know why. I think it was too overwhelming for me at this time and there was no curriculum or schedule. It seemed a bit unorganized. It was basically a bible study which I enjoyed very much though. I just didn't "feel" it was the right church for me. I found another church and have absolutely fallen in love with it. It's too late to start the RCIA program however. Even though I'm not 100% sure of starting at this time. I am trying to deepen my faith and have been attending daily Mass a few times a week (which I LOVE and it's the highlight of my day) in addition to Sunday Mass. Can I go up and receive a Blessing EVERYDAY or should I remain seated in the pew during communion? :blush:

[/quote]

Absolutely. It's solely up to you.


#7

[quote="triumphguy, post:3, topic:342610"]
In many dioceses people are invited to come up for a blessing.

If you see people doing it in your parish then, yes, go up for a "blessing."

In the dioceses that do it properly it is not a laying on of hands, nor is it a blessing by lay people.

DESPITE the fact that there is a general blessing a the end of mass, for many people receiving a blessing can be very comforting.

If in doubt, ask the priest.

[/quote]

Very good advice.


#8

for addtional info... the blessing is more of an English thing.

The Anglican Church does it and so does the Anglican Use Catholic Parishes.

Other parishes may do it depending on where they are. But the majority do not do it. You would receive a blessing at the end of mass. If you make an appointment with a priest to talk about your religious experience or advise, he will most likely give you one at the end of the discussion.

God Bless


#9

People in our Diocese are encouraged to come up for a blessing. Lay people simply ask God to bless the person (its up to Him as he knows the true state of their soul). As our priest said when someone sneezes we say "God bless you". The majority coming for a blessing are babies and children. It is what we will do until instructed otherwise by the Priest or Bishop - unless the Pope says something on it.

I like the practice but I can see the potential issues and concerns. But there again, its not about what I like (otherwise we would sing a different Holy, Holy, Holy).


#10

[quote="phil19034, post:8, topic:342610"]
for addtional info... the blessing is more of an English thing.

The Anglican Church does it and so does the Anglican Use Catholic Parishes.

Other parishes may do it depending on where they are. But the majority do not do it. You would receive a blessing at the end of mass. If you make an appointment with a priest to talk about your religious experience or advise, he will most likely give you one at the end of the discussion.

God Bless

[/quote]

How do you know? It's encouraged where I worship.


#11

[quote="Edmundus1581, post:5, topic:342610"]
Kimberly, be aware that your question appears from time-to-time in CAF, and always produces the same, divergent, answers. Some of us answer firmly "no", as 1ke has done, and others answer that you are free to go up for a blessing if it is the custom in your parish (or diocese, as Triumphguy points out).

I personally go for a blessing when I am not able to receive Communion.

The "sticky" cited for the "no" case is an unofficial, dated document. There is actually a follow up at the end of the sticky which retreats from the position in the first document.

Here, Michelle Arnold, a CAF apologist says...

So, just follow the custom in your parish. If in doubt, ask your priest. The custom in your parish may well be the custom for your diocese as a whole, ie. it is done with approval from the Bishop - who has authority in such matters.

And here the Bishops of England and Wales endorse the practice in all their dioceses.

Note, however that is says "celebrant", because lay people are not permitted to give blessings. The problem of lay people giving blessings is part of many people's concern with giving blessings at Holy Communion - but it is a separate issue.

[/quote]

Awesome response.

What is one to do when they end up in a lay persons communion line. Should you just make your way to the priests line, or plan ahead to get in that line by sitting in the right spot?


#12

I agree with those who say to ask your priest or at least the others at the same Mass. I see it done in many places but our priest discourages it. He says that you can ask for a blessing after Mass.


#13

[quote="Jon_S, post:11, topic:342610"]

What is one to do when they end up in a lay persons communion line. Should you just make your way to the priests line, or plan ahead to get in that line by sitting in the right spot?

[/quote]

This seems to be an awkward liturgical problem, for which there are no universal guidelines (yet). I suspect that most people are unaware of the issue and just proceed in the communion line for them. The EMHC should be instructed to not give a personal blessing, but to ask God to bless the person. This is the practice in my parish, as also mentioned by Avila...

[quote="Avila123, post:9, topic:342610"]
People in our Diocese are encouraged to come up for a blessing. Lay people simply ask God to bless the person (its up to Him as he knows the true state of their soul). As our priest said when someone sneezes we say "God bless you". The majority coming for a blessing are babies and children.

[/quote]

However, it seems to me that if you are aware of the issue then it would be best to sit in the pews which go to the priest's communion line. The priest will generally go to the same place in each Mass, so after you've seen where he goes you will be put yourself in his line.

In all the Masses that I can think of at the moment, if one were to sit in the pews to the left (facing the altar) and towards the front, one would be in the line for the priest.

I would recommend against changing communion lines, unless it can be done almost invisibly. Liturgical guidelines, and our priests and bishops, exhort the faithful to be united during worship, and to avoid individualism or actions which might disrupt other members of the congregation.


#14

Thank You everyone. I asked my priest this morning and he said he would give me a Blessing everyday and if he is not there to go to the other priest or a deacon for one. He is SO NICE! Gave me a big hug!! :)


#15

[quote="KimberlyCat, post:14, topic:342610"]
Thank You everyone. I asked my priest this morning and he said he would give me a Blessing everyday and if he is not there to go to the other priest or a deacon for one. He is SO NICE! Gave me a big hug!! :)

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

That is so great to hear! I am so sorry that some people suggested it was somehow "wrong" to go up for a blessing. Sort of like holding hands during the Lord's Prayer. Some people seem to have almost a fetish of attacking the practice even when it doesn't impact them.

One can easily imagine how Pope Francis would react to this matter or the holding of hands.

Your pastor sounds like a darned good priest!


#16

[quote="KimberlyCat, post:1, topic:342610"]
I was in RCIA but dropped out during the inquiry stage. I honestly don't know why. I think it was too overwhelming for me at this time and there was no curriculum or schedule. It seemed a bit unorganized. It was basically a bible study which I enjoyed very much though. I just didn't "feel" it was the right church for me. I found another church and have absolutely fallen in love with it. It's too late to start the RCIA program however. Even though I'm not 100% sure of starting at this time. I am trying to deepen my faith and have been attending daily Mass a few times a week (which I LOVE and it's the highlight of my day) in addition to Sunday Mass. Can I go up and receive a Blessing EVERYDAY or should I remain seated in the pew during communion? :blush:

[/quote]

You should remain in your seat. This applies to non-Catholics and Catholics in a state of mortal sin or those otherwise not properly disposed to receive.
The line is called a Communion line. Its not called a Communion and Blessing line.


#17

[quote="Horacio, post:15, topic:342610"]
:thumbsup:

That is so great to hear! I am so sorry that some people suggested it was somehow "wrong" to go up for a blessing. Sort of like holding hands during the Lord's Prayer. Some people seem to have almost a fetish of attacking the practice even when it doesn't impact them.

One can easily imagine how Pope Francis would react to this matter or the holding of hands.

Your pastor sounds like a darned good priest!

[/quote]

Thank Horacio! :thumbsup:


#18

[quote="phil19034, post:8, topic:342610"]
for addtional info... the blessing is more of an English thing.

[/quote]

Agreed. I have only encountered this strange practice in the UK and the USA.

There is some benefit to staying in the pew while others go up for Communion. You don't fool yourself that you are almost there and almost participating like they do. And it helps you with patience and sense of reverence for the sacrament. People shouldn't go up there for a blessing just so they don't feel left out. And from many threads about this topic, this seems to be the reason behind this practice.


#19

There does seem to be confusion about this issue. I think that since the Extraordinary Ministers are technically not supposed to give the blessing, that it's just too confusing to line-hop or guess where the priest will be. Ergo, it's less confusing for non-communcants to just stay put.
However, I know that some people feel funny staying in the pew without the rest of their family, and of course the little ones in the family want to go up with the big people.
I suppose the OP had the best idea, to ask your pastor his preference.


#20

Laypersons are not merely prohibited from conferring a blessing, but they are incapable of doing so in the context of the liturgy. Their attempt to do it would be invalid and null. So it is not even correct for an EMHC to "ask the Lord to bless" the subject. In my parish, EMHCs are instructed to say "Receive Jesus in your heart" which cannot be construed as any type of blessing. In fact, I believe the priests say exactly the same thing.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.