Eucharistic Ministers and Blessings


#1

I have been a Eucharistic Minister for 12 years and never encountered this before. I was distributing the hosts and had a parent explicitly request a blessing for his young daughter. He then went to take the wine and asked the EM giving the wine to do the same.

What is the best way to handle something like this? Obviously I, as a lay person, cannot confer a blessing upon someone. But I also don't want to create a scene at communion by saying "sorry, Canon Law prohibits me from doing this."

edit: sorry...I just noticed the sticky on this. While I guess we can all agree on it being unacceptable for an EM to confer a blessing, my question pertains more to how to handle it if someone does present his or her child for a blessing from me.


#2

The EMs in our parishes do this. Even if the parent doesn’t request it, the EM just blesses everyone. I think they do the sign of the cross, which is totally illicit. It’s one of the things I would change if I could.

Weren’t you trained about what to do/not to do in your EM training?


#3

When I was trained, Sister focused on the logistics of it and never mentioned the blessing part. I am surprised that it took 12 years for this to actually happen to me. I do think it’s weird for someone to actually come out and ask for the blessing during communion.

My wife thinks I should just go along with it and do a blessing, but as a lay person, I just cannot, in good conscience, give a blessing that I’m not entitled to give


#4

Blessings are not to be done, by either an EMHC or the priest, when people are in line for communion. The blessing at the end of mass makes a blessing at communion quite redundant. I believe something came out from the BCDW regarding this but I can’t find it right now. I know that when EMHCs are trained in our diocese they are explicitly told not to do this, and the priests were told not to as well, although some disreard the directive.


#5

OP find out what your bishop recommends. Our Bishop recommends that EMHCs “ask that the Lord bless …”


#6

Next time tell the parent that the priest is the one who gives such blessings, after Mass.


#7

I don't know about "extraordinary ministers", but as far as I know only those who have received the Sacrament of Holy Orders may bless, while others may only "invoke" the Lord's blessing.


#8

[quote="Marcus1977, post:3, topic:296526"]
When I was trained, Sister focused on the logistics of it and never mentioned the blessing part. I am surprised that it took 12 years for this to actually happen to me. I do think it's weird for someone to actually come out and ask for the blessing during communion.

My wife thinks I should just go along with it and do a blessing, but as a lay person, I just cannot, in good conscience, give a blessing that I'm not entitled to give

[/quote]

They "asked" for the blessing and the only response you may provide is a polite "no".

IMHO only a validly ordained Priest who actually consecrates Offerings at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should do EMHC orientation. When distributing the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity to the faithful, I submit that the "logistics" of the role is not the most important aspect.


#9

[quote="Marcus1977, post:3, topic:296526"]
When I was trained, Sister focused on the logistics of it and never mentioned the blessing part. I am surprised that it took 12 years for this to actually happen to me. I do think it's weird for someone to actually come out and ask for the blessing during communion.

My wife thinks I should just go along with it and do a blessing, but as a lay person, I just cannot, in good conscience, give a blessing that I'm not entitled to give

[/quote]

You don't give a blessing, you say something like this "May the Lord bless and keep you."


#10

[quote="triumphguy, post:9, topic:296526"]
You don't give a blessing, you say something like this "May the Lord bless and keep you."

[/quote]

You don't do anything but look over their shoulder waiting for the next communicant.


#11

[quote="Edward_H, post:10, topic:296526"]
You don't do anything but look over their shoulder waiting for the next communicant.

[/quote]

Not if the Bishop has written what you should do you don't.

If you want my Bishop's email in order to explain to him how wrong he is then pm me:cool:


#12

[quote="triumphguy, post:11, topic:296526"]
Not if the Bishop has written what you should do you don't.

If you want my Bishop's email in order to explain to him how wrong he is then pm me:cool:

[/quote]

The bishop can't tell you to give a blessing any more than he can allow you to consecrate the Offering.

Send it.


#13

[quote="Edward_H, post:12, topic:296526"]
The bishop can't tell you to give a blessing any more than he can allow you to consecrate the Offering.

Send it.

[/quote]

He doesn't tell me to give a blessing, he says to ask for a blessing.

PM sent.


#14

[quote="triumphguy, post:13, topic:296526"]
He doesn't tell me to give a blessing, he says to ask for a blessing.

PM sent.

[/quote]

Then go to a priest for an actual blessing rather than a feel good blessing.


#15

[quote="Marcus1977, post:1, topic:296526"]
I have been a Eucharistic Minister for 12 years and never encountered this before. I was distributing the hosts and had a parent explicitly request a blessing for his young daughter. He then went to take the wine and asked the EM giving the wine to do the same.

What is the best way to handle something like this? Obviously I, as a lay person, cannot confer a blessing upon someone. But I also don't want to create a scene at communion by saying "sorry, Canon Law prohibits me from doing this."

edit: sorry...I just noticed the sticky on this. While I guess we can all agree on it being unacceptable for an EM to confer a blessing, my question pertains more to how to handle it if someone does present his or her child for a blessing from me.

[/quote]

I'd say "please talk to the priest after mass" and then I would talk to the priest myself on how to best handle the situation. If your priest is made aware of the occurance, perhaps he will feel he needs to address the situation during his homily or an announcement in the bulletin if its becoming too common.


#16

If you were properly trained and commissioned as an EMHC then you already know what to do.

Today I stood next to the priest, 50 feet to my left was another EMHC and fifty feet to my right was another one (3 EMHCs altogether).

500 people received communion.

2 or 3 adults came up for a blessing, and about ten parents requested a blessing for their kids to me.

The priest actually blesses them: we ask that the person be blessed.

The people are not able to change aisles, ushers manage each line.

The Communion Rite takes about 15 minutes.

If you don't know what to do then you may not have received training and/or been properly commissioned and therefore may not actually be an emhc.

Do what your priest tells you to do, not what you get off the internet.


#17

[quote="triumphguy, post:16, topic:296526"]
If you were properly trained and commissioned as an EMHC then you already know what to do.

Today I stood next to the priest, 50 feet to my left was another EMHC and fifty feet to my right was another one (3 EMHCs altogether).

500 people received communion.

2 or 3 adults came up for a blessing, and about ten parents requested a blessing for their kids to me.

The priest actually blesses them: we ask that the person be blessed.

The people are not able to change aisles, ushers manage each line.

The Communion Rite takes about 15 minutes.

If you don't know what to do then you may not have received training and/or been properly commissioned and therefore may not actually be an emhc.

Do what your priest tells you to do, not what you get off the internet.

[/quote]

Whoa. It may well be that they were never taught about this because it rarely happens where he lives. I know I've never seen it at any of the parishes where I worship. We are not invited to come forward for anything but Communion. When I was appointed EMHC by the bishop way back when, nothing about blessings was mentioned and it's not something that ever came up when, years later, I was the one training them under Fr.'s tutelage.


#18

The whole EMHC blessings thing is a big lie that no one knows how to, and few want to deal with. It’s a feel good gesture designed to minimize the apparent distance between fully believing in the Real Presence…and everything else.

Jesus didn’t soften his speech as noted by The Evangelist in John 6.


#19

[quote="triumphguy, post:16, topic:296526"]
If you were properly trained and commissioned as an EMHC then you already know what to do.

Today I stood next to the priest, 50 feet to my left was another EMHC and fifty feet to my right was another one (3 EMHCs altogether).

500 people received communion.

2 or 3 adults came up for a blessing, and about ten parents requested a blessing for their kids to me.

The priest actually blesses them: we ask that the person be blessed.

The people are not able to change aisles, ushers manage each line.

The Communion Rite takes about 15 minutes.

If you don't know what to do then you may not have received training and/or been properly commissioned and therefore may not actually be an emhc.

Do what your priest tells you to do, not what you get off the internet.

[/quote]

Exactly....we are trained to say something like "May the Lord guide you".and we are very specific not to do the gestures that would be reserved for a priestly blessing. ....The communion line is not somewhere for a tussle....or argument. If someone presented themselves to the priest for a blessing...he is not going to turn them away and tell them "Hey...you will get one at the end"....especially if directed by the Bishop...who they are called to obedient to.


#20

Here's my question regarding this. First some background. Before my first visit to my parish I looked up on the internet what to expect at a Catholic Mass. I came across lots of things, and one of them was about this very topic (in fact I think it was from these very forums). Then when I joined RCIA last year, the few times we were not dismissed they told us to go up and receive a blessing. From what I remember they said something along the lines of:

[quote="triumphguy, post:9, topic:296526"]
"May the Lord bless and keep you."

[/quote]

Now I had to drop out last year so I'm coming back this year to complete my RCIA and convert.

I've read what posts I've found here and their links to other information and I understand. But I don't want to offend my future fellow parishioners by questioning their practices, when I'm only a potential convert. I think it would be rude of me to point this out and say to them "Well, I can't do that because its actually not allowed!"

I realize that they call it a "blessing" and maybe that is were there is some confusion, like triumphguy said, he's not giving an official blessing. I'm just spit balling here, but if someone sneezes and I say "God bless you!" I'm not actually trying to bestow a blessing on them and they for the most part know this. I think calling it a "blessing" is confusing, its should be something like "Welcoming" or something. I don't know.

What I don't know is how to bring this up without making myself out to be better than they are? If someone can tell me what I should do in this situation I would really appreciate it?

Thanks


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