Filling common cups-does order of mass matter, as to when they are filled, and by whom?

This week, when we had another priest come to our 6:30 mass, from a neighboring parish. Before the preparation of the altar and the gifts, he asked for the common cups to be brought over so that he could fill them (instead of the usual way our church does it, where the Eucharistic minister fills then just before communion.) Does it matter when this is done and by whom?

The key in timing is that the individual cups are not to be filled after the Consecration. I have seen them filled by a Deacon or altar server right after the offetory. At other parishes, they are already filled and set up on the side table. They are then brought to the altar already filled before the Consecration, sometimes on a tray. I don’t think it matters who does the pouring since at the time the wine is poured, it is unconsecrated.

BTW, the “eucharistic minister”, more formally called the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion only has two “official” responsibilites - to distribute Communion during Mass and to bring Communion to the sick or home/hospital bound. Preparing the vessels at the altar is not one of the official duties of an EMHC.

Is there documentation that supports this particular order? For daily mass there are four common cups to be filled and for Sunday, I believe there are double that number.

By “this particular order” do you mean pouring before the Consecration? If so, yes, there is a document, Redemptionis Sacramentum. It states (bolding mine):

[106.] However, the pouring of the Blood of Christ after the consecration from one vessel to another is completely to be avoided, lest anything should happen that would be to the detriment of so great a mystery. Never to be used for containing the Blood of the Lord are flagons, bowls, or other vessels that are not fully in accord with the established norms.

The number of cups to be filled doesn’t change the order at all.

The documentation is Redemptionis Sacramentum

[106.] However, the pouring of the Blood of Christ after the consecration from one vessel to another is completely to be avoided, lest anything should happen that would be to the detriment of so great a mystery. Never to be used for containing the Blood of the Lord are flagons, bowls, or other vessels that are not fully in accord with the established norms.

Also, assuming you are in the US, there are the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America

which state:

At the Preparation of the Gifts

  1. The altar is prepared with corporal, purificator, Missal, and chalice (unless the chalice is prepared at a side table) by the deacon and the servers. The gifts of bread and wine are brought forward by the faithful and received by the priest or deacon or at a convenient place.(Cf.GIRM, no.333). If one chalice is not sufficient for Holy Communion to be distributed under both kinds to the Priest concelebrants or Christ’s faithful, several chalices are placed on a corporal on the altar in an appropraite place, filled with wine. It is praiseworthy that the main chalice be larger than the other chalices prepared for distribution.(50)

As you can see, according to this ducment, the cups are filled at the preparation of the Gifts, but no mention is made as to who should do the filling.

What happens normally…after the offeratory, the priest comes back with the bread and wine. The altar servers bring the Sacramentary, the cruet of water, the bowl and towel. The priest pours a little water into the wine decanter, and pours some of the wine into the chalice. (meanwhile, the common cups are still empty, over on the side table.)
After the sign of peace, the altar servers bring the common cups over on a tray.It isn’t until after the breaking of the bread and the Lamb of God, that the eucharistic ministers come over and begin filling the common cups with the precious blood from the decanter. Then the priest distributes to each minister, after they receive the body of Christ.

Both the practice of consecrating in the decanter and subsequently having to pour the Precious Blood AND the practice of having EMHCs help with the fractioning rite are forbidden. The EMHCs are not supposed to approach the altar until the priest has received Communion.

I can see by the above posts that we are clearly doing this incorrectly. I’ll get this info to the sacristan. I’m curious-has the form been changed lately, or have we just been doing this wrong for a long time?

Compare what you just wrote to what the documents say and you will see some problems.

Sounds like your visiting priest was more familiar with the GIRM and its accompanying documents than your pastor is.

(I have seen some of your other posts. I am afraid you may be in a parish where the documents of the Church regarding liturgy are not given much consideration. It might just be inattentiveness or it might be rebelliousness. In either case, the more you know, the more you will make yourself crazy over each abuse. Is there another parish where you might be able to to go to Mass more peacefully?)

The Norms for Communion are dated 2002 so that’s a pretty long time. RS came out in 2004 but didn’t really change anything. It just referenced the existing documents and canon law and pointed out that some abuses were particularly serious. It also cautioned priests who were changing the Mass to get back to “read the black, do the red”. :wink:

None of this is so recent that the priests haven’t had time to read it yet.

Either the deacon or the celebrant fills up the chalices used for distribution of Holy Communion. This is typically done during the offertory.

I’m not sure when the practice of consecrating in the flagon/decanter developed – some liturgists were certainly encouraging it in the 90s. It has been forbidden since Redemptionis Sacramentum was promulgated in March 2004.

No, and my children go to school there. If they are not following proper form it needs to change, and probably will once the word gets out. Our Pastor has had some health issues-skin cancer, fusion of disks in his back requiring surgery. All of that has been going on since 2003 or so. He probably missed it??

I think, when more than one chalice is used, the additional filled ones may be brought to the altar from a side table just prior to the time the priest mixes water with the wine in the celebrant’s chalice. I don’t think it’s important how and when they are filled or who fills them (except I have noticed that when a deacon is present he does this). That isn’t addressed in the quote.

I have seen priests add the water to the wine while it is in a pitcher (while saying the appropriate prayer) and then pour it into the chalices before saying the offertory prayer. Although that seems appropriate to me, it does not appear to be what is described below.

 Quote:
                                             At the Preparation of the Gifts
  1. The altar is prepared with corporal, purificator, Missal, and chalice (unless the chalice is prepared at a side table) by the deacon and the servers. The gifts of bread and wine are brought forward by the faithful and received by the priest or deacon or at a convenient place.(Cf.GIRM, no.333). If one chalice is not sufficient for Holy Communion to be distributed under both kinds to the Priest concelebrants or Christ’s faithful, several chalices are placed on a corporal on the altar in an appropriate place, filled with wine. It is praiseworthy that the main chalice be larger than the other chalices prepared for distribution.(50)

Oh, sorry, I just realized that wasn’t your original question, which has already been answered.

Thanks to all of you. I just sent the following Redemptoriis Sacramentum references to both sacristans, noting the differences between the visiting priest and all of our priests. I will pray that they are changed.

Redemptionis Sacramentum

What control does a sacristan have over what a priest does at Mass?:confused:

They are back in the sacristy, talking to the priest all the time. They will be in touch, and see him face to face sooner than I will. I just lector one day per week-on Fridays.

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.