Should altar servers remove the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle?


#1

I’m new to this forum so sorry if this has been asked. Out of curiosity, is it okay for an altar server to approach the tabernacle and remove the ciborium holding the Blessed Sacrament on behalf of the priest during Holy Mass?


#2

No, unless the priest has asked him/her to do so because he is too infirm to climb the steps, and there isn’t a deacon or EMHC available.
Or if the altar-server is also an EMHC and has been asked to do so or it is the accepted custom.


#3

Is the server an adult?


#4

No, servers should not be going in the tabernacle.

Also, an EMHC may not remove the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle, since they should not be in the sanctuary until the priest receives communion.


#5

No, servers should not be going in the tabernacle. Only the priest or

Also, an EMHC may not remove the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle, since they should not be in the sanctuary until the priest receives communion.


#6

Absolutely not… if the priest is unable to do it then let the deacon do so.


#7

I believe this would be ordinary if the server was also an instituted acolyte, but these are rare these days except for those in formation into the diaconate.


#8

sigh. I’ve seen this ignored so often.


#9

This is one of those, who, when, and why questions. In other words, we need more information about who, when and why.

Is the altar server a young person or an adult? Do they also server as an EMHC?

Was this during Mass? Or before?

Was the server asked to go? Or did they do it on their own?


#10

This is one of those important guidelines in the GIRM which most do not follow. Short answer is no, he cannot. But if you throw in some circumstances like an infirmed priest, the altar server could be a duly installed acolyte; then I would say maybe. This should not be the norm however. Another point to make, as much as possible, especially if the priest knows he cannot physically perform that function, needs to make his best effort to consecrate the proper number of hosts as to avoid the need to go to the tabernacle either to retrieve or repose. It is desirable to have participants at that Mass receive of hosts consecrated at that Mass, then consume the rest after distribution. Not always possible I understand.


#11

I agree Deacon; this is an underutilized ministry which is available for use in parish ministry. I have asked and pleaded with my pastor to train and install acolytes for service in the Mass, but to no avail. Our bishop has allowed this use lately without intention of moving on to diaconate ordination.


#12

That is a great step for your diocese, I would bet if the word gets out there would be a number of men willing to do this. I could probably get 4 or 5 men from my parish to participate if it were available here.


#13

Functionally, what would be the difference between EMHC’s and acolytes?


#14

The acolyte would be able to purify the Sacred Vessels for one.

They would also be trained in liturgy which would be a huge step up from your everyday EMHC.


#15

[quote="DCNBILL, post:7, topic:299038"]
I believe this would be ordinary if the server was also an instituted acolyte, but these are rare these days except for those in formation into the diaconate.

[/quote]

That's right, but I didn't mention it because it's so rare. But even so, if there's a deacon present, he should do it, not the acolyte.


#16

The Instituted Acolyte is an EMHC by virtue of his institution. If an EMHC is required, the I.A. would be the go-to person for that ministry, not another lay person from the congregation. The I.A. may purify the vessels but the usual EMHC may not.


#17

Also…

Only men can be acolytes. It’s also lifelong: once you have it, you have it.


#18

:thumbsup:


#19

Sadly, Deacons are just as rare as Instituted ministers in my diocese – rarer, in fact, since we’ve got none but we have an instituted acolyte who’s hoping to be ordained in the next few years.


#20

Question.

I am a server. The Tabernacle is in the Chapel behind the main Church hall. During communion at Mass, a server (adult) goes to the tabernacle and gets consecrated hosts to bring to the main Church room in case the Eucharistic Ministers run out of hosts.

Is this wrong?

Thank you.
James


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