A few months back (okay, more like 8 months back) after speaking to the deacon who forwarded my concerns to the bishop, I sent a letter to the CDWDS about how the Eucharist was handled at a local parish. My main points were about fractioning the Precious Blood after consecration into individual chalices, having EMHC’s go to the tabernacle to retrieve previously consecrated Hosts, lay ministers aiding the priest with the fractioning rite, when EMHC’s were supposed to approach the sanctuary, and the use of improper vessels. I hadn’t received a response for many months so I just assumed that nothing was going to happen and admittedly I was slightly depressed about the issue. I could never look up to the altar as a lay minister was pouring the Precious Blood from a glass “flagon” into chalices, needlessly spilling drops at each transfer. However, just yesterday I learned that this was going to be reformed and that changes were finally coming to the parish. I could not be happier to hear about this! I can only hope that this increases our reverence and wonder for the Blessed Sacrament and intensifies our cognizance that what we are receiving is the actual Body and Blood of our Lord.
Unfortunately, I have also heard anger and disillusionment from the EMHC’s about the changes. They feel that they are being pushed out and that the Church is moving toward only priests being able to distribute Communion. I can understand the hesitation about the change since we are all hesitant about change at first, but I cannot sympathize with the latter point. I feel that they are misinformed about their role and do not understand that they are a necessity only for practicality and not to increase lay involvement. I only hope that peace and reconciliation comes out of the anger.
But for now, I will focus on the positives that have occurred. Please pray for our parish that these changes will be welcomed and foster a deepening of our faiths. And pray for our priests and bishops who do so much for us.