Family members eating throughout Mass and then receiving communion


#1

I wondering how other people would handle this situation I had to deal with during Christmas Vigil Mass for my future reference.

During Mass my family members started eating candy throughout Mass, knowing if they did, they broke the Communion fast and couldn't receive communion (I told them this). Nevertheless, they went up and received communion.

Unfortunately, sacrilegious communions are one of the things that cause me a great deal of pain. After Mass while everyone else was piling out, I knelt down and cried. When I got home, I went up to my room to go to bed, but ended up falling to my knees and crying.

I know I didn't handle this as best I could have, as I was getting increasingly mad about the fact they were eating throughout Mass. I'm just wondering how others would have handled the situation?


#2

I can understand your problem; sacrilegious Communion causes me a deal of pain as well. However, are you sure they knew they would not be able to receive Communion if they ate? Did you mention it once, passingly, or did you mention it plenty of times and they ignored you? To answer accordingly, I'd need some specifications.

God bless.


#3

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:1, topic:309420"]
I wondering how other people would handle this situation I had to deal with during Christmas Vigil Mass for my future reference.

During Mass my family members started eating candy throughout Mass, knowing if they did, they broke the Communion fast and couldn't receive communion (I told them this). Nevertheless, they went up and received communion.

Unfortunately, sacrilegious communions are one of the things that cause me a great deal of pain. After Mass while everyone else was piling out, I knelt down and cried. When I got home, I went up to my room to go to bed, but ended up falling to my knees and crying.

I know I didn't handle this as best I could have, as I was getting increasingly mad about the fact they were eating throughout Mass. I'm just wondering how others would have handled the situation?

[/quote]

You did your duty as a Catholic to try and correct your family members. You cannot force them to remain seated and not receive, just like you cannot tell the priest to not give them the Most Holy Body of our Lord. Unfortunately the Christmas and Easter Masses tend to be the two most frequent occasions in which the Body and Blood are received unworthily.

Your zeal for the Lord is evident and your reverence for the Holy Eucharist is wonderful. I recommend that you listen to these homilies given by a more traditional Catholic priest regarding the extents to which we are permitted (and sometimes obligated) to fraternally correct others, and when we should remain silent.

audiosancto.org/sermon/20100627-Fraternal-Correction-When-In-Doubt-Do-Not-Give-It.html

audiosancto.org/sermon/20060402-Judging-Principles-and-Fraternal-Correction.html

Pax Domini


#4

[quote="Immacolata, post:2, topic:309420"]
I can understand your problem; sacrilegious Communion causes me a deal of pain as well. However, are you sure they knew they would not be able to receive Communion if they ate? Did you mention it once, passingly, or did you mention it plenty of times and they ignored you? To answer accordingly, I'd need some specifications.

God bless.

[/quote]

Oh, they knew. Prior to Mass, my brother offered me a candy. I told him I couldn't eat it because it would break the 1 hour communion fast and I couldn't receive communion. When he started eating it during Mass, and the lady sitting next to me kept looking at him every time he ate something, I told him to put it away and that he couldn't receive communion now because he broke the communion fast. He ignored me and continued eating. Then during the Offetory he passed one to my mom. I saw it in my peripheral vision and told her not to eat it, and if she ate it she couldn't receive communion. She then ate it anyway.


#5

Deo, I would very firmly mention to your family after Mass once that we are not to eat during Mass. I assume there is a deeper lack of reverence here then just ignoring the fast. I am guessing that by your family you mean sisters, brothers, cousins, in-laws, and so forth. You cannot control them. So spare yourself some pain and go to Mass without them. I find early morning Masses the easiest to deal with. If "family" means your dependents then I would inform them they are not to bring food with them and I would check to be sure.

One parish I went to we asked not to bring food into the nave. That seems to me to be a great idea but some parents will bring their young children snacks at my current parish.


#6

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:4, topic:309420"]
Oh, they knew. Prior to Mass, my brother offered me a candy. I told him I couldn't eat it because it would break the 1 hour communion fast and I couldn't receive communion. When he started eating it during Mass, and the lady sitting next to me kept looking at him every time he ate something, I told him to put it away and that he couldn't receive communion now because he broke the communion fast. He ignored me and continued eating. Then during the Offetory he passed one to my mom. I saw it in my peripheral vision and told her not to eat it, and if she ate it she couldn't receive communion. She then ate it anyway.

[/quote]

Then they are in the wrong. I, myself, would follow this advice:

[quote="MSSheBear, post:5, topic:309420"]
Deo, I would very firmly mention to your family after Mass once that we are not to eat during Mass.

[/quote]

I would firmly, but calmly, mention to your family that you are not to eat during Mass, period, both for being respectful and because they will break the one-hour Communion fast and are not able to receive Communion. I would also agree with MSSheBear that you may be better off going to Mass without them.

[quote="MSSheBear, post:5, topic:309420"]
One parish I went to we asked not to bring food into the nave. That seems to me to be a great idea but some parents will bring their young children snacks at my current parish.

[/quote]

The same thing happens at my parish. Parents bring their young children, who, surprisingly, are usually well-behaved (not yesterday, but that's posted in a different thread ;)) and, in case, a small toy. I believe some bring small snacks as well. Then again, I've only sat in front of small children three times since July (when I first started going to Mass, and getting into my religion) so I'm not particularly knowing of what parents do and do not bring with their children.


#7

they knew, but definitely lacked understanding.

when it’s family, … you have my sympathies. mine are the ones chatting and drinking coffee and donuts and going up to Communion when they practice Buddhism or have a live in partner or …

a priest once advised me that if they know or you’ve told them in charity once, then not to beat a “dead horse.” he said with family members, there are many other issues.

you will set a beautiful example for your family. they will eventually see that you have something with God and will be attracted. :slight_smile:

Merry Christmas!


#8

I have the same problem with my step-mother's sister. I don't think she's culpable for it. She isn't intellectually right in the head. However, she appears to others to be normal and it has always embarrassed me to have a step-aunt who whips out candy and soda from her purse as if she's at a movie theater, makes a big deal of distributing it to her kids, and even goes as far to turn around and offer some to strangers. I've told her before that food isn't allowed in Church and that you aren't supposed to eat before receiving the Eucharist, but I don't think she is able to understand why it is such an important rule. She probably assumes that they're a bunch of fuddy-duddies who are worried about their carpet.


#9

How sad that they have so little respect for our Lord.


#10

IMHO I would not cease to remind them every time something like this happens. It's the loving and caring thing to do, for if they know what they are doing (if) and proceeded to receive Holy Communion that is a mortal sin. Reminding them and explaining it could save souls in a case such as this. You might mention confession passively (if that's possible) as well. I think it was Archbishop Sheen who said that the best way to get to heaven is to take someone else by the hand and lead them there.

Merry Christmas!

mda


#11

Could they have low blood sugar? Or was feeling nauseous from fasting?

Either circumstance would change the candy from the category of food to the category of medicine and would be allowed.


#12

[quote="capablanca911, post:11, topic:309420"]
Could they have low blood sugar? Or was feeling nauseous from fasting?

Either circumstance would change the candy from the category of food to the category of medicine and would be allowed.

[/quote]

Come now please use the common sense, these family members probably belong to the Easter Sunday and Christmas time celebrants and could care less for what they really should be there for.:rolleyes: Keep praying for them!
Peace, Carlan


#13

[quote="capablanca911, post:11, topic:309420"]
Could they have low blood sugar? Or was feeling nauseous from fasting?

Either circumstance would change the candy from the category of food to the category of medicine and would be allowed.

[/quote]

That was charitable of you, but from reading the OP's first message, I do not think that was the case. It sure seems as if they are almost defiant about eating, since the OP has warned them, even during Mass itself, and like children, they continue in rebellion.

:(


#14

[quote="capablanca911, post:11, topic:309420"]
Could they have low blood sugar? Or was feeling nauseous from fasting?

Either circumstance would change the candy from the category of food to the category of medicine and would be allowed.

[/quote]

No. This is sheer disrespect and irreverence for the Blessed Sacrament. They also don't believe in Hell.

Prior to Mass my brother was bragging about how he once dared my non-baptized sister-in-law to receive communion and she didn't like the texture and taste so she spit it out after chewing it.

My sister-in-law had a bag of candy in her purse and my brother started eating it and passing it around.


#15

[quote="Immacolata, post:6, topic:309420"]

The same thing happens at my parish. Parents bring their young children, who, surprisingly, are usually well-behaved (not yesterday, but that's posted in a different thread ;)) and, in case, a small toy. I believe some bring small snacks as well. Then again, I've only sat in front of small children three times since July (when I first started going to Mass, and getting into my religion) so I'm not particularly knowing of what parents do and do not bring with their children.

[/quote]

My wife and I used to before we were welcomed into the church but then all of a sudden it didn't feel right... It only took a few weeks and they got used to it. Now the whole family feels more at peace during mass and the kids pay more attention to Mass and we can feel there faith growing as a result. After all it's only 1 hour & compared to what Jesus did for us........

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:6, topic:309420"]

Family members eating throughout Mass and then receiving communion
I wondering how other people would handle this situation I had to deal with during Christmas Vigil Mass for my future reference.

During Mass my family members started eating candy throughout Mass, knowing if they did, they broke the Communion fast and couldn't receive communion (I told them this). Nevertheless, they went up and received communion.

Unfortunately, sacrilegious communions are one of the things that cause me a great deal of pain. After Mass while everyone else was piling out, I knelt down and cried. When I got home, I went up to my room to go to bed, but ended up falling to my knees and crying.

I know I didn't handle this as best I could have, as I was getting increasingly mad about the fact they were eating throughout Mass. I'm just wondering how others would have handled the situation?

[/quote]

Don't be disheartened Deo Gratias42 but would praying for them help? Personally I would choose to sit somewhere else if they still chose to come to mass and deliberately disrespect the blessed sacrament.

May our blessed Lord Jesus bless your struggles and your zeal for him:tiphat:


#16

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:14, topic:309420"]
No. This is sheer disrespect and irreverence for the Blessed Sacrament. They also don't believe in Hell.

Prior to Mass my brother was bragging about how he once dared my non-baptized sister-in-law to receive communion and she didn't like the texture and taste so she spit it out after chewing it.

My sister-in-law had a bag of candy in her purse and my brother started eating it and passing it around.

[/quote]

How sad that people have such little respect for Our Lord. :( Hearing of sacrilegious Communion causes me great pain and sadness. I will pray that they will see the error of their ways and grow in their faith.

[quote="khuldar, post:15, topic:309420"]
My wife and I used to before we were welcomed into the church but then all of a sudden it didn't feel right... It only took a few weeks and they got used to it. Now the whole family feels more at peace during mass and the kids pay more attention to Mass and we can feel there faith growing as a result. After all it's only 1 hour & compared to what Jesus did for us........

[/quote]

I don't have a big problem with it if they are young children. I agree it is best to have the entire family pay attention to Mass and not have the children believe it is an obligation that must be fulfilled, but want to be fulfilled because of our love for Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Good to hear you and your children are happy and peaceful at Mass!


#17

[quote="missadeangelis, post:10, topic:309420"]
IMHO I would not cease to remind them every time something like this happens. It's the loving and caring thing to do, for if they know what they are doing (if) and proceeded to receive Holy Communion that is a mortal sin. Reminding them and explaining it could save souls in a case such as this. You might mention confession passively (if that's possible) as well. I think it was Archbishop Sheen who said that the best way to get to heaven is to take someone else by the hand and lead them there.

Merry Christmas!

mda

[/quote]

I disagree. She told them once and they rebelled. Repeating it over and over again will just cause more rebellion. It is my hunch (from experience) that they are fully aware they should not receive Communion but choose to anyway from a rebellious spirit. Unfortunately, I have family members with this attitude. Tell them clearly once, then leave it in God's hands.


#18

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:17, topic:309420"]
I disagree. She told them once and they rebelled. Repeating it over and over again will just cause more rebellion. It is my hunch (from experience) that they are fully aware they should not receive Communion but choose to anyway from a rebellious spirit. Unfortunately, I have family members with this attitude. Tell them clearly once, then leave it in God's hands.

[/quote]

Yes, I would imagine it would do no good (perhaps even inspire more rebellion) to continue to tell them they cannot receive Communion if they eat one hour before doing so. You've already told them, they rebelled, now it is time to leave it in God's hands.

If you continue to feel they don't care about how strongly you dislike sacrilegious Communion, perhaps it would be best to go without them.


#19

The eating and then taking Communion does seem to be a family defiance of sorts. Is it possible that they did this on purpose just to bug you, Deo Gratias42?

If they don't believe in the real presence, and that its only a symbol (alas, many Catholics believe this), and if they all feel you are a bit scrupulous or act "holier than thou" or a show-off (which is what people think of many of us who are just devout), then this might be a hilarious (to them) come back.

I've seen such in my own family. My SIL is an "over the top" evangelical. When she first married my brother, she was forever telling all of us we were going to hell, giving out bibles as presents, exorcising every room in our house as she walked from one room to another, and generally annoying the heck out of everyone in my family. She also fashioned herself a gourmet by pouring wine and other alcohol into her already wretched food and calling it "gourmet". So my sister gave my brother a 1-1/2 of chocolate rum balls she made for Christmas knowing he has a huge sweet tooth and a huge appetite.

We all raised our eyes, but the SIL pompously announced, "its OK to use alcohol in cooking because the alcohol cooks off." So we all minded our own business. He downed 1-1/2 lbs of rum balls in about 10 minutes and got outrageously drunk.

Sadly the SIL learned that you don't cook the rum balls - they marinate in rum for 3 days and get very, very strong.

It was funny at the time (this was before my conversion), but in retrospect, as annoying as the SIL is, that wasn't a very nice thing to do. My brother hadn't had more than wine at Passover and Thanksgiving before that, so man, he was around the corner drunk. And his uber-Evangelical wife was horrified.

Just saying this is not an unusual family dynamic.

If this they were just trying to get at you, making more of the issue will only escalate things.


#20

[quote="sojo, post:19, topic:309420"]
The eating and then taking Communion does seem to be a family defiance of sorts. Is it possible that they did this on purpose just to bug you, Deo Gratias42?

If they don't believe in the real presence, and that its only a symbol (alas, many Catholics believe this), and if they all feel you are a bit scrupulous or act "holier than thou" or a show-off (which is what people think of many of us who are just devout), then this might be a hilarious (to them) come back.

I've seen such in my own family. My SIL is an "over the top" evangelical. When she first married my brother, she was forever telling all of us we were going to hell, giving out bibles as presents, exorcising every room in our house as she walked from one room to another, and generally annoying the heck out of everyone in my family. She also fashioned herself a gourmet by pouring wine and other alcohol into her already wretched food and calling it "gourmet". So my sister gave my brother a 1-1/2 of chocolate rum balls she made for Christmas knowing he has a huge sweet tooth and a huge appetite.

We all raised our eyes, but the SIL pompously announced, "its OK to use alcohol in cooking because the alcohol cooks off." So we all minded our own business. He downed 1-1/2 lbs of rum balls in about 10 minutes and got outrageously drunk.

Sadly the SIL learned that you don't cook the rum balls - they marinate in rum for 3 days and get very, very strong.

It was funny at the time (this was before my conversion), but in retrospect, as annoying as the SIL is, that wasn't a very nice thing to do. My brother hadn't had more than wine at Passover and Thanksgiving before that, so man, he was around the corner drunk. And his uber-Evangelical wife was horrified.

Just saying this is not an unusual family dynamic.

If this they were just trying to get at you, making more of the issue will only escalate things.

[/quote]

My family mocks me all time whenever I'm home to visit merely for following the Church's precepts. Next Christmas I intend not to come home and to celebrate Christmas with my friends.


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