I'm in RCIA, and I go up for a blessing


#1

..... and I usually get it from the priest. I sit towards the left side, so usually I wind up in the line the priest happens to be in. I've been attending mass since February, and I've been in RCIA since April. All those times I've been able to be in the line the priest is serving the Eucharist in.

So, my dilemma is this. This Sunday the priest pulled a switcharoo and took the other side. Now I'm sure he did that to be fair, so I have no ill will. What bothers me is when I got up front, with my arms arcross my chest, to the woman who was the Eucharistic Minister, she offered it to me anyway. Now, I politely shook my head and said that I was sorry, but I cannot yet recieve. The poor woman looked totally confused!

My consciense (and my soul) are at ease since I did not partake, thought that would have been a PRIME opportunity to do so. But I wonder, should I just shrug this off? Or should I report the incident since it seems the woman had no idea what to do?

Thoughts??

God bless you all! :signofcross:


#2

The communion line is for those receiving communion. You are not receiving communion, therefore the correct thing to do is remain in your pew. The communion line is not for blessings. We receive the blessing at the end of Mass from the priest as a community.

I am sorry if you have been told by someone it is OK ot go up for a "blessing" with arms crossed. This simply is not so.

So of course the extraordinary minister was confused-- you were not there to receive communion and the extraoridnary minister is not there to give a blessing, in fact CANNOT give a blessing.

See this sticky:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=543513


#3

[quote="loozcannon, post:1, topic:305230"]
..... and I usually get it from the priest. I sit towards the left side, so usually I wind up in the line the priest happens to be in. I've been attending mass since February, and I've been in RCIA since April. All those times I've been able to be in the line the priest is serving the Eucharist in.

So, my dilemma is this. This Sunday the priest pulled a switcharoo and took the other side. Now I'm sure he did that to be fair, so I have no ill will. What bothers me is when I got up front, with my arms arcross my chest, to the woman who was the Eucharistic Minister, she offered it to me anyway. Now, I politely shook my head and said that I was sorry, but I cannot yet recieve. The poor woman looked totally confused!

My consciense (and my soul) are at ease since I did not partake, thought that would have been a PRIME opportunity to do so. But I wonder, should I just shrug this off? Or should I report the incident since it seems the woman had no idea what to do?

Thoughts??

God bless you all! :signofcross:

[/quote]

Well, although many do go up for a blessing, and sometimes, even priests encourage this, Communion time is not for blessings. Certainly, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have no authority at all to do anything other than give Communion.

There is nothing to report, since the woman did nothing wrong. She apparently was not used to people looking for a blessing.

Nobody should be getting a blessing while Communion is being given. Everyone gets a blessing from the priest at the end of Mass. Perhaps the RCIA teachers should have explained this.


#4

Different parishes, different customs. Ask your priest and your RCIA director what the proper protocol is where you attend. If you are visiting another parish and unsure of the protocol, and you DON'T see other people being offered blessings instead of communion, simply stay in your pew.

In several parishes I've belonged to, the Extraordinary Ministers were instructed to ask God to bless whomever approached with arms crossed, and to ask God to bless the small children as well. [Please, no screeching about this. We were following the Priest's instructions, the Bishop did not object, and the congregation expected it.]

In other parishes a stricter rule is maintained. Blessings are only done by the ordained priest or deacon, and it is up to the person asking for the blessing to make note of where he or she needs to be standing. No one will get upset if you switch lines close to the front.


#5

Before I became a Catholic and I attended Mass I would step out of the pew and let people by or stay in the pew if space was available. I preferred it that way. Once our RCIA group was ordered to go up for a blessing. I felt so uncomfortable. :mad: It turned out we weren't suppose to go--I prefer not to go into too much detail to avoid identifying location.

Our priest has stated that people weren't really suppose to go up for a blessing yet people do all the time at our parish. :banghead: Please understand I don't mean this is just awful that they do this and we must never, ever do this. Sometimes it is a logical necessity. But I just wish people would not encourage non-Catholics and pre-Catholics to do this.;)


#6

When I was in RCIA I was encouraged to go up for a blessing, and not knowing better I always did so. Really though this blessing is not an official practice of the Church and I think it should be discouraged, in part to avoid this very kind of confusion.

In every parish I've attended except where I took RCIA there are a good number of people who stay seated, whether because they are not Catholic, or not Catholic yet, or unprepared to receive communion because of sin or something else, or doing an old-fashioned fast from the Eucharist, or for whatever other reason. I think this idea of going up for a blessing is meant to make these people who cannot or choose not to to receive less visible, but it causes confusions like this one and furthermore can contribute to a feeling of social pressure to go up and receive for people who suddenly find themselves in a state of sin. If half a dozen other people are visibly not going up, one is likely to feel more comfortable making that choice oneself.


#7

[quote="loozcannon, post:1, topic:305230"]
..... and I usually get it from the priest. I sit towards the left side, so usually I wind up in the line the priest happens to be in. I've been attending mass since February, and I've been in RCIA since April. All those times I've been able to be in the line the priest is serving the Eucharist in.

So, my dilemma is this. This Sunday the priest pulled a switcharoo and took the other side. Now I'm sure he did that to be fair, so I have no ill will. What bothers me is when I got up front, with my arms arcross my chest, to the woman who was the Eucharistic Minister, she offered it to me anyway. Now, I politely shook my head and said that I was sorry, but I cannot yet recieve. The poor woman looked totally confused!

My consciense (and my soul) are at ease since I did not partake, thought that would have been a PRIME opportunity to do so. But I wonder, should I just shrug this off? Or should I report the incident since it seems the woman had no idea what to do?

Thoughts??

God bless you all! :signofcross:

[/quote]

Our priest told us that the Church is seeking to discourage those going up to receive a blessing to avoid Communion being dispensed to non-Catholics.

Just do what I do during Communion. Stay in your pew in a kneeling position and pray and reflect. :)


#8

Going up in the communion line to receive a blessing is redundant. Everyone is blessed at every Mass by the priest anyway.


#9

I honestly had no idea that receiving a blessing is so frowned upon! In our missal at our Church, there is an explanation of why non-Catholics can not receive the Eucharist. In that same paragraph, there is an open invitation for all non-Catholics to join us in the Eucharistic line, and to cross their arms over their chest for a blessing. I genuinely don't see the harm in that!

Loozcannon, I would not worry too much about this situation but I would speak with your priest when a chance arises. Perhaps as other are saying, your parish is trying to end this practice. If that is the case, it would be useful information to know! ;) I am still so very excited for you on this journey. Keep going strong!! :thumbsup:


#10

The blessings were begun by the necessity for small children to go up with their parents, because they could not be left alone in the pew. Priests began blessing these children just as a friendly/inclusive gesture, but now it seems that people have gotten the idea that if they aren't going to receive they should get a blessing....

Just stay in the pew and pray.
:gopray2::gopray2::gopray2::gopray2: :gopray2::gopray2::gopray2::gopray2:


#11

While there isn't anything officially WRONG with getting a blessing during communion, Eucharistic Ministers simply can't give blessings. So the first step would have been to get into the priest's line for your blessing.

However, as others have said, the blessing isn't required, and there is a blessing preceding the end of mass anyway.

So unless your RCIA class explicitly requires you to receive a blessing, you should simply pray in the pew and have a Spiritual COmmunion with the Real Presence of Christ in the room. If you do decide to get a blessing, you will need to be in the priest's line.

God bless...
(Get it? ;) )


#12

[quote="1ke, post:2, topic:305230"]
The communion line is for those receiving communion. You are not receiving communion, therefore the correct thing to do is remain in your pew. The communion line is not for blessings. We receive the blessing at the end of Mass from the priest as a community.

I am sorry if you have been told by someone it is OK ot go up for a "blessing" with arms crossed. This simply is not so.

So of course the extraordinary minister was confused-- you were not there to receive communion and the extraoridnary minister is not there to give a blessing, in fact CANNOT give a blessing.

See this sticky:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=543513

[/quote]

The priest told us if we were comfortable we could come up to recieve a blessing. I don't though, because I don't want to cause any comfusion to anyone else. I just stay in my chair and pray, then when everyone on my row gets back, I just go back to kneeling like everyone else.


#13

This blog by Father Zuhlsdorf explains it pretty clearly on why blessings should not be given during Communion.

wdtprs.com/blog/2012/04/a-priest-on-giving-blessings-at-communion-time/


#14

The one aspect of Communion blessings that always bothered me was this:

Where such blessings are given, small children are being blessed but obviously pregnant women are not. That has always felt wrong.

Our church holds human life in utero so precious, but these soon-to-be-born babies are deemed to not need a blessing? These babies are about to go through the most risky part of their lives, and some of them will die or be permanently injured. Seems to me that if small children are going to be blessed, a special effort should be made to include the unborn babies.


#15

This is not necessarily true.

There is no rubric that says the communion line is only to receive the eucharist.

At many different churches, I have heard the priest say, “All are invited to the table of the Lord. If you cannot receive full communion, come forward, as a welcomed part of our Christian community with your arms crossed over your chest, and receive a blessing.”

There is nothing wrong with what you did.


#16

[quote="NovusAugustus, post:11, topic:305230"]
While there isn't anything officially WRONG with getting a blessing during communion, Eucharistic Ministers simply can't give blessings. So the first step would have been to get into the priest's line for your blessing.

However, as others have said, the blessing isn't required, and there is a blessing preceding the end of mass anyway.

So unless your RCIA class explicitly requires you to receive a blessing, you should simply pray in the pew and have a Spiritual COmmunion with the Real Presence of Christ in the room. If you do decide to get a blessing, you will need to be in the priest's line.

God bless...
(Get it? ;) )

[/quote]

This may not be entirely correct, either. A eucharistic minister, or anyone for that matter, may bless a person. The sign of the cross made upon the individual is a priestly duty, and not for the laity.


#17

[quote="dshix, post:10, topic:305230"]
The blessings were begun by the necessity for small children to go up with their parents, because they could not be left alone in the pew. Priests began blessing these children just as a friendly/inclusive gesture, but now it seems that people have gotten the idea that if they aren't going to receive they should get a blessing....

Some people are getting the idea straight from the Church. My RICA class was also encouraged to go up for a blessing. Having read another thread about this some time ago, I have not done so.

[/quote]


#18

There is also a good read:

ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur263.htm

I used to receive blessings in the Communion line because I was encouraged ... now I know I had better not do so. Thank you all for helping me knowing the truth!


#19

[quote="Don_Jackson, post:15, topic:305230"]
This is not necessarily true.

There is no rubric that says the communion line is only to receive the eucharist.

[/quote]

The Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments begs to differ. And they are the authoritative body in this matter.

[quote="Don_Jackson, post:15, topic:305230"]
At many different churches, I have heard the priest say, "All are invited to the table of the Lord. If you cannot receive full communion, come forward, as a welcomed part of our Christian community with your arms crossed over your chest, and receive a blessing."

[/quote]

Certainly there are priests everywhere who either out of innocent ignorance or purposeful defiance do this. That does not mean it is allowed.


#20

Some people on this forum consider it a terrible thing. In many areas, it is standard practice encouraged by the bishops. It never involves you (who received a blessing) having done something wrong.

Priests can bless people. All Catholics can ask God to bless people. That is not wrong. It could be wrong if it led to confusion over Communion. Every time I have heard it explained to a non-Catholic, it has been as part of explaining that they should not receive Communion, because Communion is so important to us. In my experience, it also helps people with overbearing families or afraid of gossipy friends to make the decision not to receive when they are not in a state of Grace, because they can be less visible.

Don't sweat it. Talk to your priest about it, if you want clarification.


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