Question about a priest during Communion, is this wrong


#1

Hello,
I have a question, probably a very dumb one,but I just need to clarify something, please bear with me. During Mass, there is usually the “main” priest. For example, if there is only one priest and lay Eucharistic priests, of course the only priest present is the “main” priest.
If there are more multiple priesst celebrating Mass, it seems that one of the them is usually the “main” one, who will do perform the consecration, etc.

Well, anyways, so it seems that the priest who performs the consecration always stands in the main (center) aisle of the church and gives out Communion.

I’m pointing this out because recently during a Mass, there was only one priest (as usual) to perform the Mass and then the lay Eucharistic ministers to help give out Communion, but the priest did not stand in the middle aisle, he went off to one end of the church, (for a moment I actually thought he had left the church and I think other parishioners were a bit confused as well). And no, he did not go out give Communion to an invalid or something, I have seen priests almost at the end of Communion walk to where an invalid etc., may need it. He just at one of the far ends of the church and I have no idea why. One of the Eucharistic ministers stood in the center aisle instead of the priest.

I had never seen this happen and I’m wondering if it is wrong for the priest not to stand in the main “location” as they usually do.

It did make me reflect on other times that I have been to mass and there were more than one priest present, and I came to the conclusion that whichever priest performed the consecration, was the one that stood in the main center aisle of the church.


#2

There is no such thing as a “lay Eucharistic priest.”

This sounds very strange. If I were you, I would ask the priest why he did what he did.


#3

I don't see why it matters which line the priest distributes to. It's not as if the center line is more holy than the outer lines. ;)


#4

No, there is nothing that requires or prohibits a priest standing anywhere specific when distributing communion-- in the middle or anywhere else.


#5

Our priest circulates among different stations in the church. There is nothing wrong with this. It allows him to give communion to all his people and not only those folks who sit in the same section week after week, year after year.


#6

[quote="kmuestwin, post:2, topic:286962"]
There is no such thing as a "lay Eucharistic priest."

[/quote]

I would suggest this is a typo, considering the OP used term "minister" further on in the post.

The correct title is extraordinary ministers of holy communion.

[quote="kmuestwin, post:2, topic:286962"]

This sounds very strange. If I were you, I would ask the priest why he did what he did.

[/quote]

why does it sound strange?


#7

I made a reading error. I thought he walked away during consecration not communion. Sorry.


#8

I would also note that it doesn’t sound as though he just walked away, instead he went to a side aisle and distributed Communion there instead of in the middle of the Church.

OP, no, there is nothing wrong with this at al. :slight_smile:


#9

Oh, yeah, that would be problematic! :slight_smile:


#10

Ooops, yes I meant “minister” not priest.


#11

[quote="kmuestwin, post:7, topic:286962"]
I made a reading error. I thought he walked away during consecration not communion. Sorry.

[/quote]

Indeed,that would have a been a big problem if he had walked away during the consecration, but no he didn't do that.


#12

Okay, thanks. I was just wondering because this had never happened before and he is a new priest, so I thought maybe he did something he shouldn’t. I don’t know it just seemed weird at that time.


#13

[quote="BlueRain, post:1, topic:286962"]
Hello,
I have a question, probably a very dumb one,but I just need to clarify something, please bear with me. During Mass, there is usually the "main" priest. For example, if there is only one priest and lay Eucharistic priests, of course the only priest present is the "main" priest.
If there are more multiple priesst celebrating Mass, it seems that one of the them is usually the "main" one, who will do perform the consecration, etc.

Well, anyways, so it seems that the priest who performs the consecration always stands in the main (center) aisle of the church and gives out Communion.

I'm pointing this out because recently during a Mass, there was only one priest (as usual) to perform the Mass and then the lay Eucharistic ministers to help give out Communion, but the priest did not stand in the middle aisle, he went off to one end of the church, (for a moment I actually thought he had left the church and I think other parishioners were a bit confused as well). And no, he did not go out give Communion to an invalid or something, I have seen priests almost at the end of Communion walk to where an invalid etc., may need it. He just at one of the far ends of the church and I have no idea why. One of the Eucharistic ministers stood in the center aisle instead of the priest.

I had never seen this happen and I'm wondering if it is wrong for the priest not to stand in the main "location" as they usually do.

It did make me reflect on other times that I have been to mass and there were more than one priest present, and I came to the conclusion that whichever priest performed the consecration, was the one that stood in the main center aisle of the church.

[/quote]

Your priest probably realized that he never ministers to the sides of the church, and he wanted to do that for a change. Some people will follow the priest to whatever station he ends up in if they don't want to receive from an extraordinary minister. It's perfectly normal but him moving to the side may throw some people off their game.

:)


#14

Your priest probably just wanted to mix it up a bit. It seems people always sit it the same spot every Sunday and receive communion from the same person. Our preist is in a different place almost every Sunday.


#15

The real reason that priests usually stand in the same place is really for one reason: logistics.

The logistics for communion are planned before Mass begins for any complicated situation. So, the priest always stands say centre right. So you plan an EMHC with the Body for centre left, and then you plan where to put the EMHC (Blood), and others who may be on the wings of the church or the back even depending on the church setup. If the priest goes somewhere unexpected, it can throw things off a little bit.

Of course, you can plan to have the priest go somewhere else, which just requires the priest to coordinate with whoever organizes the EMHCs.


#16

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:13, topic:286962"]
Your priest probably realized that he never ministers to the sides of the church, and he wanted to do that for a change. Some people will follow the priest to whatever station he ends up in if they don't want to receive from an extraordinary minister. It's perfectly normal but him moving to the side may throw some people off their game.

:)

[/quote]

Seems like a superstition that some people will have regarding willfully taking the Holy Sacrament only from creature A rather than creature B. It's an understandable one, and touching in that people will innately want to get as close to perceived holiness as they can. They go up to get a bucket of holiness but want that extra drop, too.


#17

[quote="curlycool89, post:15, topic:286962"]
The real reason that priests usually stand in the same place is really for one reason: logistics.

The logistics for communion are planned before Mass begins for any complicated situation. So, the priest always stands say centre right. So you plan an EMHC with the Body for centre left, and then you plan where to put the EMHC (Blood), and others who may be on the wings of the church or the back even depending on the church setup. If the priest goes somewhere unexpected, it can throw things off a little bit.

Of course, you can plan to have the priest go somewhere else, which just requires the priest to coordinate with whoever organizes the EMHCs.

[/quote]

This is true, because I have seen the confusion that ensues when an EM doesn't show up, or there are new people pressed into service unexpectedly. There is planning that happens behind the scenes that we, the receivers, don't always see.


#18

[quote="Stylites, post:16, topic:286962"]
Seems like a superstition that some people will have regarding willfully taking the Holy Sacrament only from creature A rather than creature B. It's an understandable one, and touching in that people will innately want to get as close to perceived holiness as they can. They go up to get a bucket of holiness but want that extra drop, too.

[/quote]

I think it's just people who wish we didn't have EMs. I have to say that I prefer to receive from the priest if possible. He is in persona Christi while the EMs are not.


#19

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:17, topic:286962"]
This is true, because I have seen the confusion that ensues when an EM doesn't show up, or there are new people pressed into service unexpectedly. There is planning that happens behind the scenes that we, the receivers, don't always see.

[/quote]

It's a little scary how much goes on behind the scenes to make a Mass work. Especially if you want to make it more complicated (incense, for example, requires extra preparation, extra maintenance, and additional material that needs to be ordered).

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:18, topic:286962"]
I think it's just people who wish we didn't have EMs. I have to say that I prefer to receive from the priest if possible. He is in persona Christi while the EMs are not.

[/quote]

The priest is not in persona Christi while distributing at communion. He is in persona Christi while performing (confecting) sacraments, not all the time.


#20

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:18, topic:286962"]
I think it's just people who wish we didn't have EMs. I have to say that I prefer to receive from the priest if possible. He is in persona Christi while the EMs are not.

[/quote]

Not a few of the EMsHC would rather be displaced by ordinary ministers and relegated to the assembly, too. With so few priests and deacons and so many Masses to cover, though, it takes some of the load off of the clergy, especially the older ones and the ones with very large parishes to cover.

If you pay attention at all to what you are about, you find that distributing Holy Communion is actually rather tiring. If no one were willing to receive Holy Communion from a layperson, that would fall on one priest for entire parishes, week after week. By the last Mass of the weekend, the priest might not have much gas left in the tank.

The priests I know who move around do it so that they will be able to distribute Holy Communion to all their parishioners from time to time, not just the few who habitually sit in a certain section. They're trying to be fair about it, that's all.


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