MERGED: Serving at How Many Masses a Day/for Christmas?


#1

Hello,
I'm not really sure if this is in the right place sorry ! As many of you know, I am currently living in Spain for school. At my home parish (TLM) we always have an abundance of altar boys and the liturgical situation is rich in ceremony and tradition. Our parish here (NO) has two churches normally run by two priests, both fairly "liberal" when it comes to rubrics and liturgy. One of our priests has recently been permanently sent to a living facility as a result of a stroke and will probably never return to his ministry at our parish. We will not be getting another, younger priest, until maybe as late as next September. (I can hardly imagine the workload during Christmas and especially Holy Week.) That being said, I try to assist the other priest as much as I can (being a layman) with liturgy and also the general keeping-up of the church grounds. He is older, very stressed, and I know he appreciates when I serve at Holy Mass. I feel it helps add to the reverence and so does the congregation. I am the only altar boy they have seen in YEARS. My question is as follows: Would it be acceptable to meet the priest in the morning for the first Mass on Sunday and stay and continue to serve all the Masses of the day? I think there may be 4 or 5. I would, of course, on commune at the first of these. I apologise from the lengthy explanation and await your response.
Thanks,
FKC


#2

Can you offer to train a few altar servers?

As to the answer to your question, I think you would have to ask your pastor.


#3

Yes, ask your priest about serving. Also offer to train a few others. To start, you could talk to boys in the youth group or young adult group if you have those. Perhaps ask around for those who went to WYD in Madrid. :)


#4

If you are able to serve at all Masses it would be wonderful of you to do so, particularly when there is no one else available. Sounds like the priest needs all the help he can get.

As for Communion, you may receive twice in one day as long as the second time is at a Mass you're attending so you could plan to receive at the first and last Masses at which you serve.

If, as others have suggested, you could offer to train other servers I'm sure the priest would be thankful.


#5

Thanks for all the advice! There are unfortunately no other boys who are or would be interested and we have no youth group. I am in this one solo.
Thanks again,
FKC


#6

I have no advice to add to that which you have already been given, but I wanted you know you are in my prayers. Having in the past singlehandedly served both Christmas and Holy Week (I am a sacristan), I know the great joy and great demands of heavy service. God bless you for your willingness to serve and help a struggling priest! :thumbsup:


#7

I have been an altar server for years. The previous priest who was pastor did not want us older servers to serve at both Sunday Masses. He had hoped more boys and girls would volunteer to serve.


#8

Maybe its time to put the plea out for alter servers as father needs help. Sometimes just asking a person works. Many people can't say no if asked in person and many people want to volunteer but are afraid.


#9

Hi! It is my understanding that priests can say mass three times on Christmas; but what about Eucharistic ministers? may they also distribute holy communion three times on Christmas?
I ask because I signed my sister up (with her consent) three times to be an EM for Midnight, 7:30am, and 11:00am mass on Christmas.
Thank you and God bless!

And have a great Christmas! :)


#10

I don't think your sister would be able to receive Holy Communion herself more than 2 times in that day - even Christmas. I am not absolutely sure, so would suggest you or she seek advice from a priest.

She will nevertheless receive many graces for her attendances and participations, I feel sure.

I hope someone else is doing the family catering and gives her an extra sprout! ;)


#11

[quote="polishprincess, post:9, topic:348180"]
Hi! It is my understanding that priests can say mass three times on Christmas; but what about Eucharistic ministers? may they also distribute holy communion three times on Christmas?
I ask because I signed my sister up (with her consent) three times to be an EM for Midnight, 7:30am, and 11:00am mass on Christmas.
Thank you and God bless!

And have a great Christmas! :)

[/quote]

Ha.

Eucharistic ministers may distribute communion any number of times on Christmas; they may only receive themselves twice.

Your sister may receive once or twice, as she wishes, on Christmas (presuming she actually attends the entire mass on both the occasions she receives) and should simply not receive herself the third time.


#12

I'm not aware of a limit on how often you can help distribute communion. However, there is a limit on how many times you can RECEIVE communion. A second time is allowed if it is while attending Mass. A third time is allowed only for viaticum.


#13

Canon Law says that we may only receive the Eucharist twice in one day, but I do not know of any such restriction on distributing Communion. So she would not be able to receive at that third Mass, but I would think she could still distribute.

She should check with the priest, though.


#14

[quote="polishprincess, post:9, topic:348180"]
Hi! It is my understanding that priests can say mass three times on Christmas; but what about Eucharistic ministers? may they also distribute holy communion three times on Christmas?
I ask because I signed my sister up (with her consent) three times to be an EM for Midnight, 7:30am, and 11:00am mass on Christmas.
Thank you and God bless!

And have a great Christmas! :)

[/quote]

The only way to know for sure would be to ask your priest and he can let you know if its ok or if its not allowed


#15

[quote="polishprincess, post:9, topic:348180"]
Hi! It is my understanding that priests can say mass three times on Christmas; but what about Eucharistic ministers? may they also distribute holy communion three times on Christmas?
I ask because I signed my sister up (with her consent) three times to be an EM for Midnight, 7:30am, and 11:00am mass on Christmas.
Thank you and God bless!

And have a great Christmas! :)

[/quote]

The only way to know for sure would be to ask your priest and he can let you know if its ok or if its not allowed


#16

[quote="polishprincess, post:9, topic:348180"]
Hi! It is my understanding that priests can say mass three times on Christmas; but what about Eucharistic ministers?

[/quote]

Just for clarification, a Eucharistic Minister, by definition, is a priest. The Minister of the Eucharist is the one who changes bread and wine into the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

The Ministry of distributing the Sacrament is that of Minister of Holy Communion. A layperson who assists the clergy in the distribution of the Eucharist is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

And have a great Christmas! :)

You too!!


#17

Lay persons may attend as many Masses as they can, and in parishes with few other alternatives, serve in all of them. Reception of the Eucharist is limited to a number of times, not to exceed the number allowed by the Priest, Bishop, or (most importantly) Catechism.In my diocese, where having more than one priest in a parish is extremely uncommon, Extraordinary Minsters of the Eucharist or Eucharistic Ministers as we commonly call them must sign up for multiple Christmas masses, just like lectors, ushers, musicians, and other lay ministers for there to be adequate support through the Masses, and as long as they do not take communion more than once in a Calendar day, there is no issue (some priest require only once in 24 hours).


#18

To answer the original question:
There is no limit to the number of Masses a person can serve in a day, but, an individual can only receive Holy Communion twice per day [c. 917; AAS 76, (1984) 746)].

I agree with the other posters, try to train some more altar servers. I personally find that it works better if you approach people individually, but this will allow things to run much smoother in the future.


#19

[quote="futureKC123, post:1, topic:348180"]
Hello,
I'm not really sure if this is in the right place sorry ! As many of you know, I am currently living in Spain for school. At my home parish (TLM) we always have an abundance of altar boys and the liturgical situation is rich in ceremony and tradition. Our parish here (NO) has two churches normally run by two priests, both fairly "liberal" when it comes to rubrics and liturgy. One of our priests has recently been permanently sent to a living facility as a result of a stroke and will probably never return to his ministry at our parish. We will not be getting another, younger priest, until maybe as late as next September. (I can hardly imagine the workload during Christmas and especially Holy Week.) That being said, I try to assist the other priest as much as I can (being a layman) with liturgy and also the general keeping-up of the church grounds. He is older, very stressed, and I know he appreciates when I serve at Holy Mass. I feel it helps add to the reverence and so does the congregation. I am the only altar boy they have seen in YEARS. My question is as follows: Would it be acceptable to meet the priest in the morning for the first Mass on Sunday and stay and continue to serve all the Masses of the day? I think there may be 4 or 5. I would, of course, on commune at the first of these. I apologise from the lengthy explanation and await your response.
Thanks,
FKC

[/quote]

Based on what I read about a cantor in the same situation, you could server all the Masses, but you can only receive communion a max of twice.

Basically, you can serve (if the pastor will allow you) but you will not receive communion for several of the Masses. Receive at the 1st and then at which ever other mass you and/or the pastor feels is appropriate.

But do whatever the Pastor wants to do and honor his wishes.

BTW - Altar servers do not just have to be "boys." If the Dioceses & Pastor allows it, you can have altar girls. Also, the Altar servers can be adults too. If you cannot find boys, see if you can find men and girls (if allowed).

God Bless.


#20

[quote="Secant, post:17, topic:348180"]
Lay persons may attend as many Masses as they can, and in parishes with few other alternatives, serve in all of them. Reception of the Eucharist is limited to a number of times, not to exceed the number allowed by the Priest, Bishop, or (most importantly) Catechism.In my diocese, where having more than one priest in a parish is extremely uncommon, Extraordinary Minsters of the Eucharist or Eucharistic Ministers as we commonly call them must sign up for multiple Christmas masses, just like lectors, ushers, musicians, and other lay ministers for there to be adequate support through the Masses, and as long as they do not take communion more than once in a Calendar day, there is no issue (some priest require only once in 24 hours).

[/quote]

As Brendan pointed out non-ordained people cannot be Eucharistic Ministers. The Priest is the Eucharistic Minister.
In the past the lay people distributing were termed Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist (EMHE). Unfortunately this led many of them to think they were Eucharistic Ministers which they are not. To put a stop to this the Church changed the term to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC).

Just to be clear, EMHC's are NOT Eucharistic Ministers.


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