Photos of people taking Communion


#1

There seems to be a trend among secular media to include photographs of Masses when stories about the Catholic Church are printed. (For some reason I rarely seem pictures of Protestant services.) Now I don't think there's anything wrong or disrespectful about taking a picture during a Mass, in general, but these pictures are often of worshipers in the very act of receiving Communion, at the exact moment when the Host or the Chalice touches their lips. Does anyone else think that this is a rather private and personal thing, which should not be printed out on cheap paper for millions of people?

It's not a Catholic example, of course, but I know that during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the sovereign's communion was omitted from the televised portion, as it was felt to be inappropriate to broadcast.


#2

I actually agree. I've thought about this recently, and it makes me a bit uncomfortable.


#3

I actually think this is fitting, in a way. As much as the media misses the mark on most coverage of the church, they still seem to recognize the importance of the mass.


#4

When I was an Anglican they told us that pictures in Church were allowed but not during communion out of reverence. Is this something that is in Catholic tradition too? Sorry, for the question as I still consider myself a new Catholic.


#5

[quote="Alex246, post:3, topic:319444"]
I actually think this is fitting, in a way. As much as the media misses the mark on most coverage of the church, they still seem to recognize the importance of the mass.

[/quote]

I agree with you Alex246. It is the most important part of Mass and it would not make me uncomfortable being photograph with the host or chalice. I would hope that some of the light of God would shine through at that moment and make whomever is seeing the photo want what I have when I receive communion.


#6

[quote="janesansible, post:4, topic:319444"]
When I was an Anglican they told us that pictures in Church were allowed but not during communion out of reverence. Is this something that is in Catholic tradition too? Sorry, for the question as I still consider myself a new Catholic.

[/quote]

When on a trip to England several years ago, and on a tour of an Anglican church, I was told the same thing. Take photos all you like during the service (quietly and respectfully of course), but during the "consecration" time, no photos allowed.

With regard to the OP's question - I understand where you are coming from. It is a very personal and intimate moment, and to reduce it to a photograph for whatever purpose does seem a bit shallow and inappropriate. However -- in this age of visual media, it can serve very much as a call home to fallen away Catholics who may feel that tug on their heart strings to see others receiving Christ.

I hear ya - it's a tough call. I think if it is done tastefully and not SOOOO in your face close up, then I'm sorta ok with it. :p

At our parish we have a photographer who is always very discreet when taking photos during Mass (she is the only one with permission from our pastor to do so). I've never seen her taking overt in the face receiving photos. Even for First Holy Communion with the little ones, Father does not allow ANY photos during the Mass - only "staged" photos with the unconsecrated host afterward. And my guess, knowing him, he's probably not all the wild about even that much!!! :)

~Liza


#7

[quote="Bran_Stark, post:1, topic:319444"]
. Does anyone else think that this is a rather private and personal thing, which should not be printed out on cheap paper for millions of people?

[/quote]

I think it's the opposite. It's a very public thing, which is why we do it in public. :) Whether or not it's appropriate to show it in a cheesy tabloid is another matter.


#8

[quote="pollynova, post:7, topic:319444"]
I think it's the opposite. It's a very public thing, which is why we do it in public. :) Whether or not it's appropriate to show it in a cheesy tabloid is another matter.

[/quote]

Who says it's in public? The Last Supper certainly wasn't in public; it was in the upper room of a private house. And it was the practice of the Church for many centuries to exclude all but the faithful from the assembly during the Eucharist.


#9

I disagree, personally, with taking any pictures of the Eucharist . The Early Church sent all of the unbaptized out of the Church after the Liturgy of the Word. Only the initiated were allowed to even see the most Holy Body and most Precious Blood of Christ.

This used to be said at the end of the Byzantine Liturgy of the Word (some places still say it but don't enforce it): "All ye catechumens, depart! Depart, ye catechumens! All ye that are catechumens, depart! Let no catechumens remain! But let us who are of the faithful, again and again, in peace pray to the Lord." The doors were locked before professing the Nicene Creed with the priest saying, "The doors, the doors, in wisdom let us attend."

As the St John Chrysostom (Doctor of the Church) prayed, "Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies". We pray this prayer before receiving Communion at every Byzantine Church. :)


#10

[quote="Bran_Stark, post:8, topic:319444"]
Who says it's in public? The Last Supper certainly wasn't in public; it was in the upper room of a private house. And it was the practice of the Church for many centuries to exclude all but the faithful from the assembly during the Eucharist.

[/quote]

It's in public in front of the church, not in private like confession.


#11

'Receiving' Communion. We don't 'take', we 'receive'.


#12

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