Receiving the Holy Eucharist


#1

Today I was at a funeral at our local Catholic Church. The priest said something that disturbed me. He began, " In the Catholic Church we unfortunately have closed Communion. For the time being, those who are not practicing Catholics, may come up and receive a blessing…He then commented that he hoped this would soon change.
Am I incorrect in understanding that the priest is “open” to allowing anyone to receive the Sacred Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ?
IF this is so, who says this is soon to be an option?
IF this is an option, does that not reduce the sacred Eucharist to communion (not Communion)? Isn’t this the main distinction of our Catholic Faith?
In my opinion, the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist needs to be devoutly received with an open heart of thanksgiving and sacred honor of the miracle that transpires in the transubstantiation.
I believe we need to be encouraging Catholics to go to Confession more and truly, reverently be disposed to receive Christ’s Body and Blood.
What do you think? Are we as Catholics headed down a scary path? IF priests are agreeing to open up Communion to anyone, do they not understand the ramifications?
God bless you all. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you, bless you and may Our Blessed Mother wrap her Holy Mantel around you.


#2

I'd hope that your priest was either simply praying in a round about way for the re-unification of all Christians and it came across wrong--or that someone mentions his remark to the bishop as this smacks a little of a pompous man on the hairy edge of teaching heresy to me. Did he mention where his opinion on this matter of "opening" Catholic communion to all came from?


#3

Not knowing the priest, I can't comment on what he meant, but I can say that if he is hoping for open Communion (ie. allowing people to unworthily partake of the body and blood of Christ), then he's out of luck and incorrect about his views.

You may go back and ask him on his views and if his views are not in line with the Church then you should mention it to him and that the Church's stance on the matter won't change. If he refuses to alter his stance, then contact the bishop.


#4

[quote="angelssong, post:1, topic:343083"]
Today I was at a funeral at our local Catholic Church. The priest said something that disturbed me. He began, " In the Catholic Church we unfortunately have closed Communion. For the time being, those who are not practicing Catholics, may come up and receive a blessing...He then commented that he hoped this would soon change.
Am I incorrect in understanding that the priest is "open" to allowing anyone to receive the Sacred Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ?

[/quote]

I hope not. You should perhaps politely question the priest whether you understood him correctly. If he does in fact advocate "open Communion," you should report this to the bishop.

IF this is so, who says this is soon to be an option?

Nobody in authority in the Church says this.

IF this is an option, does that not reduce the sacred Eucharist to communion (not Communion)? Isn't this the main distinction of our Catholic Faith?

It is not an option. Yes, the valid Eucharist and the other six Sacraments are the distinctive of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.


#5

You need to remember that priests are part of ‘the church learning’, the same as the laity. The Bishops are part of ‘the church teaching’, & they can only teach the dogma, theology, practice that comes from the Pope (the defined catholic faith, which the Pope & Bishops are supposed to transmit). Priests in & of themselves cannot make decisions about the facts of the catholic faith - they have to be instructed the same as everyone else. If you hear something strange from a priest, i suggest you take it up with the Bishop. Even if you had many priests saying something, that does not mean they have the ability to change anything.


#6

My initial thoughts are that a funeral is a hugely emotional occasion, and the time for many irrational thoughts and feelings. Did the deceased perhaps have a largely non-Catholic family who may have had very hurt feelings that they would not be able to receive communion at their loved one’s funeral - particularly likely if they are faithful members of whatever denomination they belong to. So was the priest, perhaps with an unfortunate choice of words, trying to lessen the hurt feelings? Particularly as you say he said, “those who are not practising Catholics”.

I know, for example, that as things stand now, only one of my daughters and very few of my friends will be able to receive communion when the time comes for my requiem Mass, and I do hope that the priest conducting the Mass will be sensitive to any hurt feelings that may cause.

^ This you would need to ask the priest what he meant, and possibly also to explain why he expressed that only Catholics may receive communion in the Catholic church in the way he did.


#7

I think the USCCB sums it up in a nicer, clearer way:

For Catholics
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.

For our fellow Christians
We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21).

Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 § 4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 § 3).

For those not receiving Holy Communion
All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.

For non-Christians
We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family.


#8

[quote="VivienneJ, post:6, topic:343083"]
My initial thoughts are that a funeral is a hugely emotional occasion, and the time for many irrational thoughts and feelings. Did the deceased perhaps have a largely non-Catholic family who may have had very hurt feelings that they would not be able to receive communion at their loved one's funeral - particularly likely if they are faithful members of whatever denomination they belong to. So was the priest, perhaps with an unfortunate choice of words, trying to lessen the hurt feelings? Particularly as you say he said, "those who are not practising Catholics".

I know, for example, that as things stand now, only one of my daughters and very few of my friends will be able to receive communion when the time comes for my requiem Mass, and I do hope that the priest conducting the Mass will be sensitive to any hurt feelings that may cause.

^ This you would need to ask the priest what he meant, and possibly also to explain why he expressed that only Catholics may receive communion in the Catholic church in the way he did.

[/quote]

I agree that almost nobody should be held liable for what happens at a funeral. My own niece and nephew made their first communions accidentally and with no preparation and way before they were supposed to at my Dad (their Grandpa's) funeral Mass--and my sister didn't even realize they'd done so until someone later found it necessary to bring it to her attention. And yes, when questioned--both kids realized they weren't supposed to go to communion that day--and neither really knew why they had done so--or at least couldn't explain what had come over them. People get caught up in the moment at funerals--I'd give almost anyone a pass for almost anything done on the spur of the moment at such.:shrug:


#9

[quote="angelssong, post:1, topic:343083"]
Today I was at a funeral at our local Catholic Church. The priest said something that disturbed me. He began, " In the Catholic Church we unfortunately have closed Communion. For the time being, those who are not practicing Catholics, may come up and receive a blessing...He then commented that he hoped this would soon change.

[/quote]

I see it in a different way. Could the priest have meant----he hoped they would go to confession, and return to the Catholic church?

You're going to have to ask the priest what he meant. Please don't speculate about his personal opinion.


#10

Kind of on the edge of heresy, aren’t we? :shrug:

Maybe you should have a little chat with the priest, just to be sure that he meant what you think he meant.

I’m sorry you had to hear a priest say that. Personally, if I heard my pastor say that, I would be up-in-arms. I can tolerate (barely) the laity believing this, but not priests. If the priest doesn’t change his position, contact the bishop.

Always be on patrol for heresy. :onpatrol:


#11

I’m kinda like you–I’ve become, shall we say sensitized, to heresy too. Once back in about 1978, I had a priest tell me to my face–and with my sister present–that issues such as artificial contraception were basically at a woman’s discretion to use or not as she felt she needed to and no sin was involved–and that he was pretty sure that Rome would eventually come around to accepting abortion as well, as it actually served an obvious social need! Can you even imagine? I was 26 years old and it shook my faith to the core. I don’t blame anyone but me, because the truth is, I should have known better, but I promptly went out and went on the pill and not long after left the church entirely for over 30 years. My sister had a tubal ligation on GOOD FRIDAY one year! Priests sometimes don’t realize the impact that they have on people–especially the young or those insecure in their faith. I now pray that that priest found his way back to God in his lifetime. If still alive, he’d be an old man now–and strangely, I now worry about what ever happened to HIM, as I found my way back to the church and so did my sister, at least mostly–but he must’ve been struggling with his faith too–I was just too young and stupid back then to see further than my own nose.


#12

Why is it bad that she had it on Good Friday? It would have been equally bad if she had it on any other day. She should not have had it in the first place.

Let us pray for all who do not accept the teachings of the One, True Church. :signofcross:


#13

Of course it was bad–but the idea of Good Friday always has struck me a particularly wrong. Rather like having an abortion—on Christmas Day. Oh well, I guess you missed my point…


#14

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