Liturgically Incorrect

Hey everyone!

So theres this bazilian priest at my college who celebrates mass quite often, and hes kind of a quirky guy. He changes a lot of things up in the liturgy, mostly just small things, which I find to be helpful to better connect with whats going on. However, there is one thing that he does that has me really nervous.

Right after the lamb of God is recited (Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace...)

1) the priest usually holds up the body and blood, and says "this is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, happy are we who are called to his supper."
2)Next, the congregation replies with "Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed."
3)The priest then consumes the body and blood, and then administers the precious body and blood to the extrodinary ministers, and then they proceed to administer communion to the assembly.

OK. So this priest at my college- Instead of performing step 1 himself, he gets a friend of his- a female layperson- to do it, while he stands with the congregation in the pews. The layperson then downs the chalice of the precious blood and serves communion the the other ministers and proceeds to serve it to the congregation.

I think theres a requirement that the priest saying the mass must consume the body AND the blood, isnt there? What should I do about this?

[quote="ClarkJaman, post:1, topic:183768"]
Hey everyone!

So theres this bazilian priest at my college who celebrates mass quite often, and hes kind of a quirky guy. He changes a lot of things up in the liturgy, mostly just small things, which I find to be helpful to better connect with whats going on. However, there is one thing that he does that has me really nervous.

Right after the lamb of God is recited (Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace...)

1) the priest usually holds up the body and blood, and says "this is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, happy are we who are called to his supper."
2)Next, the congregation replies with "Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed."
3)The priest then consumes the body and blood, and then administers the precious body and blood to the extrodinary ministers, and then they proceed to administer communion to the assembly.

OK. So this priest at my college- Instead of performing step 1 himself, he gets a friend of his- a female layperson- to do it, while he stands with the congregation in the pews. The layperson then downs the chalice of the precious blood and serves communion the the other ministers and proceeds to serve it to the congregation.

I think theres a requirement that the priest saying the mass must consume the body AND the blood, isnt there? What should I do about this?

[/quote]

This is in direct violation of the liturgical norms. For example, in Ecclesia de Mysterio, the document notes that:

  1. To promote the proper identity (of various roles) in this area, those abuses which are contrary to the provisions of canon 907 are to be eradicated. In eucharistic celebrations deacons and non-ordained members of the faithful may not pronounce prayers -- e.g. especially the eucharistic prayer, with its concluding doxology -- or any other parts of the liturgy reserved to the celebrant priest. Neither may deacons or non-ordained members of the faithful use gestures or actions which are proper to the same priest celebrant. It is a grave abuse for any member of the non-ordained faithful to "quasi preside" at the Mass while leaving only that minimal participation to the priest which is necessary to secure validity.

Redemptionis Sacramentum states the following:

[73.] In the celebration of Holy Mass the breaking of the Eucharistic Bread - done only by the Priest celebrant, if necessary with the help of a Deacon or of a concelebrant - begins after the exchange of peace, while the Agnus Dei is being recited. **For the gesture of breaking bread "carried out by Christ at the Last Supper, which in apostolic times gave the whole Eucharistic action its name, signifies that the faithful, though they are many, are made one Body in the communion of the one Bread of Life who is Christ, who died and rose for the world's salvation" (cf. I Cor 10:17).153 For this reason the rite must be carried out with great reverence.154 Even so, it should be brief. The abuse that has prevailed in some places, by which this rite is unnecessarily prolonged and given undue emphasis, **with laypersons also helping in contradiction to the norms, should be corrected with all haste.155

Regarding the manner of distribution of Holy Communion:

[157.] If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.258

[158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.259 This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.

Your bishop needs to know about this as soon as possible. This is a serious infraction that needs to be addressed quickly. What the priest was wrong.

Thanks so much Ben. I have wanted to do something about this for a while, but I havent had any documental text to back it up. We currently dont have a bishop, but once our bishop elect is enoggerated (how the heck do you spell that word anyways? :confused: ) I will contact him. For now, I will go to the president of my college, who is also a priest and talk to him about it.

Ben, are those two documents you quoted encyclicals or what? Were they written by the pope?

If I understand your description properly, this is also self-communion, whereby the layperson takes the body or blood of Christ themself and then consumes it. This too is strictly forbidden.

I agree with benedictgal that this is serious enough of an abuse as to warrant action on the part of the faithful.

Yes, you are right pnewton. Im going to wait for a few more replies and then Ill probably go and talk to the president tomorrow.

Encyclicals do not have the force of law. However, the two documents that I cited do.

Here is the link to Redemptonis Sacramentum:
adoremus.org/RedemptionisSacramentum.html#anchor1186479

Here is Ecclesia de Mysterio (the precursor to RS):
adoremus.org/Instruction-lay-ministry.html

Here is a link to the General Instruction to the Roman Missal:
usccb.org/liturgy/current/chapter2.shtml#sect3c

The priest breaks the Bread and puts a piece of the host into the chalice to signify the unity of the Body and Blood of the Lord in the work of salvation, namely, of the living and glorious Body of Jesus Christ. The supplication Agnus Dei, is, as a rule, sung by the choir or cantor with the congregation responding; or it is, at least, recited aloud. This invocation accompanies the fraction and, for this reason, may be repeated as many times as necessary until the rite has reached its conclusion, the last time ending with the words dona nobis pacem (grant us peace).

Communion

  1. The priest prepares himself by a prayer, said quietly, that he may fruitfully receive Christ's Body and Blood. The faithful do the same, praying silently.

The priest next shows the faithful the Eucharistic Bread, holding it above the paten or above the chalice, and invites them to the banquet of Christ. Along with the faithful, he then makes an act of humility using the prescribed words taken from the Gospels.

  1. It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord's Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that, in the instances when it is permitted, they partake of the chalice (cf. below, no. 283), so that even by means of the signs Communion will stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.73

  2. While the priest is receiving the Sacrament,

Thus, the priest is supposed to consume the Body and Blood of Christ. The reason why I stopped there was that it goes on to talk about when the Communion antiphon/hymn should start.

Both RS and EdM were written by the Holy See. RS was written mostly by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (the Congregation of the Holy See in charge of all liturgical matters) in collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faithh (headed, at the time, by no less than the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI),. EdM was written as a collaboration between the Congregation for Clergy, the CDWDS and the CDF (again, headed by the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) along with a couple of other Congregations. Both of these documents were promulgated (put forth) by Pope John Paul II and are binding.

The GIRM is also binding. Each country has its own adaptions; however, none of these include what you just witnessed. Regardless of the priest's country of origin, he is bound to follow what this and the other documents say.

[quote="ClarkJaman, post:3, topic:183768"]
Thanks so much Ben. I have wanted to do something about this for a while, but I havent had any documental text to back it up. We currently dont have a bishop, but once our bishop elect is enoggerated (how the heck do you spell that word anyways? :confused: ) I will contact him. For now, I will go to the president of my college, who is also a priest and talk to him about it.

[/quote]

As you do not yet have a bishop, you are within your right to contact the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The procedure is found in Redemptionis Sacramentum.

Yes, you are correct. Now I think many can attest that I do not normally encourage people to report liturgical irregularities to the bishop, however, in this case this truly is an abuse and something that needs to be brought to the bishop’s attention if the priest is a diocesan priest or if its a diocesan college. If the priest is a religious then it needs to be reported to his superior.

[quote="pnewton, post:5, topic:183768"]
If I understand your description properly, this is also self-communion, whereby the layperson takes the body or blood of Christ themself and then consumes it. This too is strictly forbidden.

I agree with benedictgal that this is serious enough of an abuse as to warrant action on the part of the faithful.

[/quote]

Not only that, but by this lay person elevating the body and blood it is blurring the lines of the priesthood and laity. There was a case in the diocese I used to live in where the priest would elevate the body and have his pastoral administrator (a woman) elevate the chalice (like a deacon) the priest was suspended and the woman was eventually let go. They both went on to form their own church where the woman was later "ordained" a priestess.

This is wrong and you should not wait for the new bishop to be installed. Get a video camera and video this for evidence and then send a copy right away to the chancery, send another copy in when the new bishop is installed if nothing has happened before that time.

So the head of the college that I had mentioned is very hard to get a hold of. I made an appointment with him today for February 2nd. So after our meeting Ill let you guys know what happened.

[quote="ClarkJaman, post:1, topic:183768"]
Hey everyone!

So theres this bazilian priest at my college who celebrates mass quite often, and hes kind of a quirky guy.

...

[/quote]

Just to clarify, I'm guessing you're talking about a priest of the Basilian Fathers (he probably has the post-nominal letters csb), so he would be a religious priest.

The Basilians run the Catholic collage at my university. Excellent homilists, very reverent masses here.

In the meantime, please start attending another Mass to receive the Blessed Sacrament. Certainly you can go back to the Mass you described to document exactly what happens for your meeting, but do not receive communion there. If you feel comfortable videotaping (I would not), I suppose you could do so. Written notes with dates and times and names (do you know the name of the lay woman?) should be sufficient.

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