So, what happens where there's no/missing lectors, ushers or EMHC?

Well, this tops off a sloppy, sloppy Ash Wednesday…

Traditional Catholics may have a field day with this one! :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: (and I’ll probably wind up having nightmares about liturgical abuses again). Besides a little bit in the morning, which is completely unrelated…

I come home from work and my parents (mind you, one is a former Catholic, the other baptized Catholic, raised Lutheran) had dinner ready, which I told them beforehand that I was going to church. After Mass, I find it it’s chicken. Then my mom wants to give me Klondike icecream for dessert, and after telling her that we aren’t supposed to have snacks between meals, she says “Well, who makes these rules up?”. My dad said the same thing about 15 minutes before when talking about the chicken. He goes, “I bet God is laughing right now. I know because I was an altar boy!”.

Now about the Mass…

Apparently, either they must’ve forgotten about the lectors, ushers and at least one EMHC, since the priest (an elderly 87 year old priest) had to select impromptu volunteers. It started off when there was no lector. Fine. When it was time for the presentation of the gifts, there was this awkward silence (and on the poor priest’s face as he’s preparing the altar). Then he asks for the host, then realizes that there wasn’t a collection. So, after that’s done, the fun begins. :stuck_out_tongue: After the consecration, he realizes they’re one EMHC short. So, he asks for another volunteer (whether or not they were an EMHC, I don’t know… they didn’t look familar). This is the priest that gives the consecrated hosts to the EMHCs and people in the sanctuary before saying “This is the Lamb of God…”. Of course, some consumed the Host beforehand. That’s where I started grimacing. Now, maybe because this priest is very old, and there was no deacon present (granted, the msgr was there with the ashes), he had one of the EMHC clean up. They just stacked the bowls (ciborium?) quickly, and tried to put everything (including the cloth that could contain crumbs from the Body of Christ) into the bowls and whisked them to the sacristy. Now, why the other priest didn’t concelebrate, I don’t know. At least I didn’t see any glassware this time…

Oh, and when distributing the ashes, instead of saying something like “From dust you came, to dust you shall return”, the priest had himself and the EMHCs said “Stay free from sin and believe in the Gospel” – these were the two points from the priest’s homily. (sounds like something I’d hear in a Protestant church. :eek:) What does the Ash Wednesday rubrics say?

Sounds like this was a hastily scheduled “overflow” Mass and the usual person who schedules the ministers was not informed in time. Our Mass was packed, and I got to sit next to a squirmy three year old who kept asking, “Can we go home now?”.

Sometimes it happens that those who signed up can’t or don’t make it to Mass when they expected. I was impromptu lector yesterday because no one even signed up. At my parish we often require a “jumper” EMHC (someone who wasn’t scheduled serving at the last second - I don’t know what Father would do if no one jumped). I think it mostly comes down to people forgetting to check the schedule - another symptom of Catholics not realizing or appreciating the importance of Mass [sigh].

As for distributing at the wrong time - my parish priest has done that for a year or so now. He finally decided (just last week actually) to stop distributing to the altar servers early on my pointing out that they are at times disrespectful and his realization that he doesn’t know what’s going on behind him. (“I don’t know what they are doing to Jesus back there” is how he put it to me :D). Still, he says things flow better if he distributes to the EMHC’s during the “Lamb of God . . .” and they consume immediately after he does. I don’t know how these abuses get started but I try to remind myself that Father has the best intentions and he is not invalidating Mass.

Christ’s peace,
As for the other matters you mention - Keep the Faith and share it appropriately. In other words (and it sounds like you do this already) know what we are doing and why and explain such with kindness and patience.

Well, I think the answer to your topic question is “The priest does it”… :shrug:
well, except for the ushering…although I didn’t realize a collection is taken up on Ash Wednesday, and the usual week-day procedure is to have the cruets near the altar already…

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