Priest Walking to people during Communion

My mother is currently visiting Puerto Rico. She went to Mass this past Saturday (Sunday Vigil) at the Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat, in Hormigueros, PR. She said the Basilica is very beautiful and very old (dates back to the 1500s). But she found it strange that during Mass, the priest would walk up to each person for communion instead of the people going to the priest. At first she thought he was just going to the elderly, but then he went to everyone.

My mother has been to Mass plenty of times in Puerto Rico, but this is the first time she has seen this practice.

Does anyone know the background regarding this practice and our common practice of “lining up” for Communion?

Thanks and God Bless!

Was the priest walking up to everyone at their seats, or were they perhaps kneeling at the altar rail? If it is an old Church, as you say, there might still be an altar rail, and people might be kneeling before it. The manner of distributing Communion to people kneeling, of course, would involve them being stationary and the priest going to them, and not the other way around, as the Communion line would involve.


I will double check with my mother. But I believe she said everyone stayed in their seats.

It seems that it would be rather hard for the priest to move in and out of the pews to bring communion to each person throughout the entire Basilica.

OK – so I spoke with my mother and I’m sorry to waste everyone’s time.

Turns out that there were actually two priests. One was standing at the front, doing communion as usual. The 2nd was walking around. The 2nd was most likely looking for elderly and disabled people for Communion. Then, after taking care of the elderly & disabled he most likely was just trying to speed up Communion since they did not have any lay ministers.

Please consider this thread closed.

Thanks and God Bless

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