Not sure if I should say something...Eucharist


#1

At mass today the parish scout group was in attendance and they all sat together. Two leaders sat in the pews with the boys (obviously didn’t see everything), and the families sat behind them up to 4 or 5 rows behind their sons. Boys ranged from 1st to 8th grade. There was slight misbehaving during mass in the pews by a few of the boys, but nothing disruptive. The leaders and older boys did try to quietly discourage this.

There happened to only be one 1st grader, and he was the only one who hadn’t received his 1st Communion. He knows better as I know he attends the Catholic school that attends mass weekly and I also see him often at Sunday (or Saturday) mass. At our church all children go up, and the younger ones are to cross their arms to get their blessing. This boy went up, didn’t have his arms crossed, but didn’t really have them up as if to receive. The Lay Eucharist minster started to offer him the body and he then put his hands up to take it. I think he was surprised it was given to him, and he started laughing. He then went off to the side, laughed some more, walked with it a little bit, and then put it into mouth. He continued to laugh some more and seemed proud of himself over what happened. I noticed the boy who received in front of him (just slightly older…2nd grade) noticed he did take the host (as he still hand it as he approached the pew, and he saw the production the boy was making). I noticed he was trying to tell the boy he was doing something that was not right, but then the scout leaders told the slightly older boy to be quiet(he was one of the ones that was slightly misbehaving earlier, so maybe they thought he was continuing). I am not sure if the leaders noticed what happened or not, but I don’t think it was addressed. I’m not sure if the mom noticed either…she was only 2 or 3 rows behind her son…but I’m leaning toward she didn’t notice, unfortunately. Maybe the boy blurted out his actions at home, but I don’t know.

I only slightly know this family, and am not sure if I should say anything to anyone or not.


#2

I most certainly would tell the priest for a start, and then to mention it to the Scout Leader or who ever was in charge, we cannot allow for such a blasphemous thing to happen again, once was once to much, a boy who likes showing off oh look at me sort of thing, the more reason to correct him about the right’s and wrongs of things in life.

He has committed sacrilege by laughing and laughing, we have to pray for his soul which is in mortal danger “He who receives unworthy is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”
His mother should be told also.


#3

If the child is below the age of First Holy Communion in the West, then he is almost certainly below the age of reason as well, and thus literally incapable of putting his soul in mortal danger, so I believe CelticMaiden’s worry is overblown. Further, he did ultimately consume the Eucharist, so no profanation seems to have occurred. (His behavior before consuming was inappropriate, but likely innocent.)

Still, mentioning the incident to the parents would not go amiss, just so the child doesn’t get it into his head to repeat the behavior.

Usagi


#4

I am in favor of the scout leader speaking to the boy first since it was a scouting Mass. This has to be corrected in the right way. Secondly I would have the priest speak to him. I also believe he has to ask forgiveness from God through prayer since reconciliation is not yet an option for this little boy. And his mother needs to reinforce this at home. I will pray for this child that he will truly understand what he has done.


#5

Perhaps you should let the priest know so he can remind the extraordinary ministers not to hand the Eucharist out to children that look like they may be too young. Other than that, our Lord said it best: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”


#6

Op, if you noticed, I am sure that others did as well. Boomeranges advice said it best. Accidents do happen, This happen with our oldest, who was given the host before he as of age. The laughing could have been child’s nervousneess that the child trying to be disrespectful. I would imageing the priest and scout leader were notificed already.


#7

I guess my immediate thought is that this young man didn’t have a clue as to what was happening…the gravity of his offense…so I’m not sure if this would be a sacrilage…makes me want to cry…but…he might have been just ignorant…I’ll pbrly take some heat for what I am about to say…but here goes…if there were still Altar rails…and the Priest were administering Holy Communion the chance of this happening would have been greatly reduced…I see adults coming back from Communion swining their arms like they just came back from the concession stand at a ball game…the same individuals smiling and tapping people on the shoulder as they parade up to receive Holy Communion…so…what do we do with adults…not just young scouts…


#8

Yes, please say something to your priest.

As a music minister I see many, many people who are not Catholic receive Holy Communion at funerals, especially when the priest neglects to give instruction about Communion before distribution. While our local priests are usually good about asking that only Catholics prepared to receive Communion come forward and that non-Catholics remain seated in their pews, visiting priests never say anything.

Oftentimes I see people who are obviously not Catholic at funeral masses, or they may be Catholic but have not seen the inside of a Church for a very, very long time. They do not cross themselves when the priest begins the Mass; they do not seem to know any of the responses; they do not seem to know when to sit, stand, or kneel, even when those around them are doing so. Yet these people go forward to receive Communion.

Just this week I watched as a young girl, maybe 10 years old, came up the line. She watched what the person in front of her did, held out her hands, and was given Our Lord and Savior. Keeping her hands cupped in front of her she walked back to her place and sat down. I watched like a hawk to see what would happen, ready to step in if needed. I hadn’t immediately broken rank from the funeral choir because I was hoping her mother would see what was happening and correct the behavior. Fortunately, she did instruct the child to consume the Host when she saw the still holding It in her hand.

There is nothing I can do about any of this behavior except pray for their souls and pray in reparation for the sacrileges against our Lord. If anyone can think of anything else, I’d be happy to hear it.


#9

Our daughter is 8 and looks 5. When we are on the line with the lay minister, they look at me before they distribute to our daughter, and I nod OK.

I would tell the priest without naming, so he can instruct the Eucharistic ministers to do this.
He can also sugggest that parents stand behind younger children who come up on line.

For this child-someone needs to sit him down and instill the importance of the Eucharist. Having a serious talk about this sacrament can prevent desecration later, when he is older and thinks spitting a Host out is funny too.


#10

In the first place there is no such thing as a Lay Eucharist Minister. The priest at your Mass is the Eucharistic Minister. The lay distributors are EMHC’s (Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion) and they are not Eucharistic Ministers.

Secondly, nobody is supposed to go up for a blessing during Mass. The Communion line is to receive Communion only so the misbehaving boy should not have been up there. Everybody gets a blessing at the end of the Mass.


#11

I agree, I don’t think it would have happened if he went up in the priest’s line, as he does know him, as the boy goes to the parish school. Also with this one, the EMHC would have trouble noticing that he is younger. He is about the same size as the 2nd graders that just had their 1st Communion last Sunday. I think this elderly gentleman did probably notice the boy wasn’t acting exactly as he should to receive, but in his defense he may have thought he was one who was receiving for the second time and still learning. Or maybe as soon as he gave to the boy he realized something was amiss, but there was nothing he could at that time.

I do feel sad for this boy, and I think I will mention to the priest. He goes into the school weekly so he can probably talk to the younger children about this as a group…or he can choose to deal with it as he chooses. He will know what boy I am talking about, as like I said he was the only scout present that was too young to receive.


#12

My Dad died in 1981. My sister’s 2 oldest kids–then about 8 and 5 years old, received their 1st Communion at my Dad’s funeral Mass. It wasn’t planned–only that my sister was in line before them and didn’t see until it was too late. She was all kinds of embarrassed–even though everyone told her that if our Dad saw it, we’re pretty sure that he laughed! They went on to join their regular 1st communion classes and it’s now a bit of a family joke. Jesus loved little children it goes without saying. I suspect that He has a lot of forgiveness for situations like this and these little ones, who probably are holier than most of the adults receiving Communion anyway–and that while we adults should certainly correct kids who do this sort of stuff, I don’t think it’s worth getting our panties in a wad over.:shrug:


#13

…and by the way, in our parish, most all of the little kids go up with their parents at Communion and receive a blessing–even though they haven’t made their 1st Communion yet. This is true in most of the parishes where I’ve attended, so the person who said that young kids aren’t given blessings during communion hasn’t been in many catholic churches lately! In most Catholic churches today, just the opposite is true–and I think it’s kind of sweet!:thumbsup:


#14

I’ve often wondered about this practice especially when it is an EMHC giving the blessing to someone. It happens at every Mass I ever go to here.


#15

My niece made her First Communion a month early at her Grandmother’s funeral. At her parish the kids do go up for a blessing. She went up with her arms crossed. The EMHC was a cousin of her dad’s. She wasn’t from here and I guess they don’t do that at her parish so she put the Holy Communion in my niece’s hand. My niece did consume it and made her second communion with her class.
It isn’t easy to tell a first from second or third grader always. If the parent is behind them they will nod (or not pust the child away (we are not suppose to give blessings in my parish))


#16

I think we should go back to receiving Communion on the tongue only. Ever since "on the hand " was started, there have been soooo many abuses. I have seen many of them myself. Also when they started those to come up for a Blessing, also opened another door to abuses. While we seem to try to make “nice” to people, we abuse Our Lord. I am not against people receiving a Blessing, I think the Communion line is the wrong place for it. We all receive a Blessing at the end of Mass anyway. I think the EMHCs need to be much better instructed as to how to distribute Holy Communion. I have seen them give the Host to people that take it with their fingers as well as other wrong ways. Many times they drop the Host, just pick it up like nothing ever happened and go on. I have seen them let the person dip the Host into the Chalice of Precious Blood before consuming. Certainly something needs to be done. Now don’t be surprised if some tell us were trying to “police” the Communion line!! God Bless, Memaw


#17

This often puts the EMHC is a hard position, so many parishes have let this Blessing happen that it is expected by parents and the children. To weed out this practice will take years.
The question is should (if it even can be) this be changed?
As a EMCH I must say serving in this way is one of my greatest joys, to present the Soul and Divinity to the people has moved me to tears, and seeing the children in the arms of the parents shows (I hope) that the parents are bringing there children up in the church. The last thing I want to do is have a parent feel that the children are not welcome.
M


#18

It wouldn’t take years if it was just instructed to stop altogether. We have had many changes in the past that didn’t take years. Didn’t take years to get started in the first place. I was an EME a few years ago but stopped when I learned I was to do things I knew I shouldn’t. God Bless, Memaw


#19

As a long time teacher there MAY be other ways to see this. There is a good chance that his laughter and foolishness was brought about by anxiety at finding himself in this position. He should have known better! But, I have, very rarely ,found myself at the rail with my hands in a non-receptive position. So it can happen through inattention. This may have been, in part, the immature reaction to a situation that he did not plan. His clowning afterwards, however wrong, may have been a way of “saving face” in front of friends.

Having said that, I would definitely contact the priest and the scout leader. He needs to be educated on the true importance of the sacrament and its central importance in our faith. He must be made to understand that this was clearly wrong. Perhaps his parents did hear about it or saw a portion of it and have already scolded him.

The Eucharistic minister may not have known the child or since many churches have recently celebrated First Communion. He may not know all of the children who are now able to receive. Someone can correct me on this, but it is my understanding that unless the minister KNEW that the boy MUST NOT receive, he could not deny him the sacrament.


#20

True, we could change this overnight. I will clarify my thoughts, I didn’t say what would take years…
If the our Priest were to step in and make it clear to the EMHC that it needed to stop we could make the change now. The expectation of the parish would the hardest part to change. In a time when people may be in a different parish many times a year, or may be absent for weeks, months… at a time, the expectation will linger.
Thank you, Memaw, I didn’t make my thoughts clear and needed to add on to make them so.
God Bless
M


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