How should I have addressed this, or should I have?


#1

Good afternoon,

Last weekend the local Irish Festival held an outdoor Mass as part of their festival. A few of my non-Catholic friends attended the Mass. I was surprised and taken aback that they all stood up and went to receive our Lord in the blessed sacrament. I didn't say anything to them, but it is still bothering me. I'm not certain that this is something that I should address with any of them, but am wondering why they felt it was appropriate.

Your help is appreciated.

Thank you.


#2

[quote="jreilly, post:1, topic:335136"]
Good afternoon,

Last weekend the local Irish Festival held an outdoor Mass as part of their festival. A few of my non-Catholic friends attended the Mass. I was surprised and taken aback that they all stood up and went to receive our Lord in the blessed sacrament. I didn't say anything to them, but it is still bothering me. I'm not certain that this is something that I should address with any of them, but am wondering why they felt it was appropriate.

Your help is appreciated.

Thank you.

[/quote]

I imagine they thought it was OK because most Protestant denominations practice "open communion" and anyone is welcome to partake. And of course, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches do not.

Since this was an outdoor Mass, and particularly since it was part of a public festival, it seems to me that the priest should have made a short announcement prior to communion, to try to preclude just this sort of thing. Maybe to the effect of "all baptized (and preferably practicing) Catholics are invited to receive communion" or something like that. It may not have stopped people, but it would have given you the opportunity to have said something to those you knew who were doing otherwise.

Just my unsolicited :twocents:


#3

Just a few random thoughts...

1) You should address this with your friends, but you can do this in a non-threatening way , explaining real presence. This may be a moment of evangelization

2) You tell us nothing about your friends as far as their religious backgrounds so WE have no way knowing if they come from a different church tradition or no tradition. That is a factor in how to respond.

3) Shame on the organizers of the Irish Festival IF they assumed that all Irish are Catholic

4) Shame on the organizers of the Irish Festival who would assume that only Catholics would attend the festival and the Mass

5) There could have been announcements made or put on paper to hand out about the who can and cannot receive the Eucharist. Again, this is the fault of the organizers.

6) I am assuming that you knew your friend's religious beliefs BEFORE the festival and Mass. You could have spoken to them before the service and explain the situation. Do you think they knew or just don't care? I know some non-Catholics who have thought that going up to communion at Mass was the "respectful" thing to do (following the crowd at Catholic Mass).

7) You cannot change the past. Only the future.


#4

I did know they were coming, and one of them was a Roman Catholic as a youth but has been away from the church for probably 30 years or so; she and her husband are of some Pentecostal denomination. The other person attends services at The Salvation Army.

I truly never thought that they would go to receive the Eucharist; it's apparent now that I should have.


#5

I'm not sure that the organizers of the festival really are responsible for the integrity of the liturgy. I would think that would be on the celebrating priest, as noted by a prior poster -- an announcement should have been made. That kind of announcement is common enough at weddings these days, let alone a public festival held in a common space.


#6

[quote="jreilly, post:4, topic:335136"]
I did know they were coming, and one of them was a Roman Catholic as a youth but has been away from the church for probably 30 years or so; she and her husband are of some Pentecostal denomination. The other person attends services at The Salvation Army.

I truly never thought that they would go to receive the Eucharist; it's apparent now that I should have.

[/quote]

If I were you I would go to confession as soon as possible and get it off my chest. First you will know that you're forgiven, and second the Priest might have a good answer what to do if this happens again in the future.


#7

[quote="Tarpeian_Rock, post:5, topic:335136"]
I'm not sure that the organizers of the festival really are responsible for the integrity of the liturgy. I would think that would be on the celebrating priest, as noted by a prior poster -- an announcement should have been made. That kind of announcement is common enough at weddings these days, let alone a public festival held in a common space.

[/quote]

It seems that these announcements are common in some areas and rare as hens' teeth in others. I've hear such an announcement exactly once in my 59 years.


#8

[quote="Tarpeian_Rock, post:5, topic:335136"]
I'm not sure that the organizers of the festival really are responsible for the integrity of the liturgy. I would think that would be on the celebrating priest, as noted by a prior poster -- an announcement should have been made. That kind of announcement is common enough at weddings these days, let alone a public festival held in a common space.

[/quote]

I am 55 years old and as a cradle Catholic been attending Catholic weddings since I was 8. Have never heard the announcement made at a wedding or seen it in a program. The same for Catholic funerals


#9

I am an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist and for almost two years brought the Host to people in the hospital. There were times I wondered if the person receiving was in a state of grace and I asked my priest about it. He said that even the priest, at Mass, can't determine if everyone approaching for Communion is "worthy" and that he cannot withhold Communion unless there is a very clear reason, so that I was free to give it to any who said they were Catholic and wanted to receive it. This places it squarely in the hands of those who choose to receive. Protestantism does not believe in Transubstantiation, it's a mere re-enactment (and not done every week in most churches) of the last supper with no spiritual significance other than the commemoration. As others have said, those who are not Catholic did not know this and so went up to receive; any who are (were) are fully aware of their sin but that is between them and God I think. If it were me, I would find the head of the committee that organizes this event and insist that something be handed out to everyone who attends mass that clearly states YOU MUST be a Roman Catholic in a STATE OF GRACE to receive the Eucharist.


#10

[quote="ellzeena, post:9, topic:335136"]
I am an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist and for almost two years brought the Host to people in the hospital. There were times I wondered if the person receiving was in a state of grace and I asked my priest about it. He said that even the priest, at Mass, can't determine if everyone approaching for Communion is "worthy" and that he cannot withhold Communion unless there is a very clear reason, so that I was free to give it to any who said they were Catholic and wanted to receive it. This places it squarely in the hands of those who choose to receive. Protestantism does not believe in Transubstantiation, it's a mere re-enactment (and not done every week in most churches) of the last supper with no spiritual significance other than the commemoration. As others have said, those who are not Catholic did not know this and so went up to receive; any who are (were) are fully aware of their sin but that is between them and God I think. If it were me, I would find the head of the committee that organizes this event and insist that something be handed out to everyone who attends mass that clearly states YOU MUST be a Roman Catholic in a STATE OF GRACE to receive the Eucharist.

[/quote]

This is all that is needed:

old.usccb.org/liturgy/current/intercom.shtml


#11

[quote="jreilly, post:4, topic:335136"]
I did know they were coming, and one of them was a Roman Catholic as a youth but has been away from the church for probably 30 years or so; she and her husband are of some Pentecostal denomination. The other person attends services at The Salvation Army.

I truly never thought that they would go to receive the Eucharist; it's apparent now that I should have.

[/quote]

Relax. You can't read minds and are not expected to anticipate and know everything. You do not need to carry the burden for what what they did, no sin was involved on your part, and you do not need to go to Confession.

That is all I have to say. Let common sense prevail.


#12

[quote="504Katrin, post:6, topic:335136"]
If I were you I would go to confession as soon as possible and get it off my chest. First you will know that you're forgiven, and second the Priest might have a good answer what to do if this happens again in the future.

[/quote]

The OP has no need to go to confession regarding this matter. He bears no culpability for what happened.


#13

[quote="Bergon, post:12, topic:335136"]
The OP has no need to go to confession regarding this matter. He bears no culpability for what happened.

[/quote]

OP says: "I truly never thought that they would go to receive the Eucharist; it's apparent now that I should have. "

He apparently feels guilty. Maybe, in the L-rds eyes, he even is. If I were him I would go to confession to make sure that he's on the safe side.


#14

Was it an ecumenical service ? by that I mean they may have previously been informed it is okay for everyone who has ever been confirmed and there are some services that open it to beyond confirmation in any denomination and if they had been previously informed then no one has done anything wrong, neither have you for not receiving too. I know some folk have a very hard time in accepting that everyone can receive communion at a communion service but if it been an open house style service per se then they are not wrong
and to add, you think that your friend hasnt been to Church for a long time. But you will never know if they have privately seen a priest in confession at any time. We shouldn't be judging the activities of others at communion should we not?
peace
xxx


#15

[quote="englishredrose, post:14, topic:335136"]
Was it an ecumenical service ? by that I mean they may have previously been informed it is okay for everyone who has ever been confirmed and there are some services that open it to beyond confirmation in any denomination and if they had been previously informed then no one has done anything wrong, neither have you for not receiving too. I know some folk have a very hard time in accepting that everyone can receive communion at a communion service but if it been an open house style service per se then they are not wrong

peace
xxx

[/quote]

I think the OP would be well aware of whether it was Mass or not.

As a Catholic I've never been to an "ecumenical service" where Communion was offered. Remember that the Catholic Church doesn't practice open Communion and Catholics are forbidden from receiving at a non-Catholic service.


#16

[quote="Phemie, post:15, topic:335136"]
I think the OP would be well aware of whether it was Mass or not.

As a Catholic I've never been to an "ecumenical service" where Communion was offered. Remember that the Catholic Church doesn't practice open Communion and Catholics are forbidden from receiving at a non-Catholic service.

[/quote]

that is why I asked about it being 'ecumenical mass'. If it a full open ecumenical service then everyone is invited to communion. It is only upto the individuals that they do not. And if Catholics are taught they do not then they won't go. But no matter what is taught to them, they can't judge actions of others at an ecumenical style service because no one is wrong for what they choose to do. I wasn't asking if it was A Mass or not, but an 'Eumenical Mass'
peace;)
xxx


#17

[quote="englishredrose, post:16, topic:335136"]
that is why I asked about it being 'ecumenical mass'. If it a full open ecumenical service then everyone is invited to communion. It is only upto the individuals that they do not. And if Catholics are taught they do not then they won't go. But no matter what is taught to them, they can't judge actions of others at an ecumenical style service because no one is wrong for what they choose to do. I wasn't asking if it was A Mass or not, but an 'Eumenical Mass'
peace;)
xxx

[/quote]

There is no such thing as an Ecumenical Mass.

It's either Mass, with an Offertory, Consecration and subsequent closed Communion
or
it's an Ecumenical Service where there is a Liturgy of the Word, Prayers and Blessings but no Offertory, Consecration or Communion.


#18

[quote="Phemie, post:17, topic:335136"]
There is no such thing as an Ecumenical Mass.

It's either Mass, with an Offertory, Consecration and subsequent closed Communion
or
it's an Ecumenical Service where there is a Liturgy of the Word, Prayers and Blessings but no Offertory, Consecration or Communion.

[/quote]

I have no desire to argue and hope it not appearing like that. I cannot remember if there was communion when I was at Taize a very long time ago now. If there was then that will have been 'Ecumenical' and each decided for their own but all were open to accept Communion. That is an example to what I mean by Ecumenical Service. I am sorry because I used 'Mass' as a term basically because the opening poster had used the word 'Mass' and you are right about the wrong use of the word 'Mass'. Ecumenical Service is what I meant and did say at the same time as 'Mass'. I know in Poland via Taize we did all receive full Communion and I have absotuley no idea whether the Church it was in was Catholic or not because Taize Community didn't tell us. We were mixed in with the locals too so no doubt if it was Catholic Church some would be very upset by that, all who were confirmed were receiving. It wasn't an issue at Taize but may have been for some Catholics. I think Taize refers to themselves as Ecumenical in this sense and that was how I was trying to mean it as. If you not heard of Taize then spend 10 minutes if you can on their website. Its a brilliant place especially for early 20's/30's age group but again all are welcome and I know at my time there, there was nothing about this issue so I have no idea if any Catholic absteined per se and no doubt there been a fair few though the person who I got pally with the most was from Germany and was Luthern. The other person was Irish and she was Catholic. Sorry for any misunderstanding and I bring up Taize as an example to what I meant by 'Ecumenical'
:thumbsup:
peace
xxx


#19

I attended Mass with a Christian non Catholic friend. I explained about Catholic practice
but I also explained they could go up to receive a blessing, and to cross arms over chest and the priest will just give you blessing. So my friend did this, but then told me
the priest asked her if she wanted the Eucharist so she said yes and then received it!
it kind of freaked me out too :eek:

I explained the error misunderstanding and to myself said the Holy Spirit moves as He wills and perhaps this would somehow move my friend to the Catholic faith. none the less,
you are not responsible for another's actions.
I second the motion for common sense to prevail. :)


#20

[quote="504Katrin, post:13, topic:335136"]
OP says: "I truly never thought that they would go to receive the Eucharist; it's apparent now that I should have. "

He apparently feels guilty. Maybe, in the L-rds eyes, he even is. If I were him I would go to confession to make sure that he's on the safe side.

[/quote]

He has no culpability for the sins of others.


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