The constant griping about EMsHC use by some


They don’t do that… The shortest EF Mass I’ve been too is 1.5 hours, and the Pontifical EF Mass I went to (which was on EWTN) went almost 3 hours


No low Masses where you reside? Interesting. I think the world (or at least US) record was just under 9 minutes.


Because of today’s culture, people are a lot holier now than they were in the past.


So some parishes may not have properly understood the usage of EMsHC and perhaps they use them more than necessary. So what? It is not a crime and it is not a sin. It is merely a poor application of the directives on the use of EMsHC.

Keep in mind that many EMsHC don’t just serve at mass. They also bring the Holy Eucharist to the sick and the homebound. And most dioceses [if not all…I just don’t know] have a formation program and you can only be an EMHC for a given amount of time.


There are a number of practical downsides to using too many EMsHC:

  • There are so many sacred vessels that people other than clerics and instituted acolytes (the only groups that are allowed) often purify them.
  • Scheduling EMsHC can become a nightmare. It can also become a source of power.
  • Staff time is spent on scheduling.
  • The more EMsHC, the greater probability that deleterious cliques will form.
  • The sacristy can really turn into a loud circus.

There are EMsHC who have been taking part in the ministry for 30+ years at my parish and it has taken a real toll.


Sounds like meddling in the pastor’s business. And true silence is interior, as anyone who read any work on contemplation knows.

Gangs bent on starting gossipy threads in the sacristy? :wink:

A toll on who? On people who are so worthy that they wish they could receive Holy Communion from the hands of the angels and can’t stand to see those same old sinners handle the Holy Eucharist with their sinful hands? :roll_eyes:


It really depends on the coordinator and the organization. Done well, even this is not a problem.

I will give you our parish as an example. Our seating capacity is big, perhaps about 1500.

We have 16 stations thus require 16 OM/EMHC. It is hosts only Communion. That’s really a lot, huh, especially for some of you who have never seen such a crowd.

We have four masses on Sunday - 7am, 9am, 11am and 5pm. The cathedral is always packed to the brim, plus standing room at the back and outside. If you attend second mass (9am), and if you finish by 10.15am, the entrance would be packed by the 11am crowd who would rush in immediately as soon the the second mass congregation is being emptied out, to get seats in the pews.

So how did the coordinator do his job? The answer is roster. The EMHC are given a station each on each Sunday. If they cannot serve for some reason, the coordinator must be informed so that replacement can be made (usually from volunteers EMHC from the Saturday sunset mass).

How about the ciboriums? It has to number sixteen for each of the distributor. Usually about 12 or so are consecrated during the mass and the rest will be from the reserved in the tabernacle. Just before the Lamb of God, a few EMHC would take the ciboriums containing the consecarted hosts from the tabernacle which is in the weekday chapel at the back and the give to the celebrant. I know the diehard tradionalists here will die hearing this. It has to be done because the celebrant would not come out of the sanctuary.

During Communion, the EMHC will receive from the celebrant and will be given a ciborium each and then proceed to their station where the ushers would direct them to where they should stand.

At the end of the Communion, any left over hosts will be placed in a few ciboriums and reserved in the tabernacle by the EMHC for the next mass. The cycle goes on.

No problem. The coordinator is placed with a responsibility to serve and to look into the details. Often it functions like clock work to the minute details.

The EMHC are well trained and show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread.

Nobody crowd the sacristy. The procession is from the weekday chapel. Only the priest would come out of the sacristy, so no crowding. One has to be a bit imaginative. Certain things need not have to be a big problem.


Lord, please send us 3-4 priests to distribute Communion! But then that would mean that some parishes would be without any priest, as they are now. Never mind, we will make do with what we have. And thank you Lord that we may still receive Holy Communion at all. Some do not even have this great privilege.


Thank you, I just want to cry.

Indeed it is and will be. Like the five loaves of bread, we will make do with what we have to serve and feed God’s people, who sometimes like sheep without a shepherd, that others may be able to have the service of a priest.


I think a lot of changes would take place in a lot of parishes if they had 3-4 priests to distribute communion.


I am almost sure of it. Not all, but most.


It’s very nice to hear that. When a parish (or cathedral) is really hitting on all cylinders, it will attract a certain type of person into liturgical ministry – the sort of people that have a real interest in the liturgy and a real desire to serve. Thing like “their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread” will already largely be up to speed.

Other parishes aren’t so fortunate. My own parish struggles to fill its reader and EMHC slots today, because so many people have been treated poorly in the past by the “coordinators.” A few Sundays ago someone I know well was sitting right behind me. The captain (I know) for the Mass walked down to ask him to fill a slot on the fly (I was wearing Bermuda shorts and said “no.”) He declined in the nicest way possible. Very gentlemanly about it. Yet she started to dig into him right there in front of others. So ironic! She’s struggling to fill slots and the very reason she’s struggling to fill slots is because she and others have treated people poorly for years and they simply don’t want anything to do with her anymore.


Laity and religious using such disrespectful terminology in describing the Body of Christ are yet to discover the truth of celebrating the Paschal Mystery.

Jesus, on being tackled by the Pharisees because His Apostles were eating without washing their hands, replied
it is not what goes in the mouth that makes a man unclean, it is what comes from the tongue . Because what comes from the tongue starts in the heart, and truly reflects the heart.

The only respectful, and correct terminology is
The Body of Christ.

What do you truly believe, in your heart?


Be careful – I did not type “manner in which they handle the consecrated bread” as you suggest. I responded to someone who did.

You are wrong however to suggest that “The Body of Christ” is the only “the only respectful, and correct terminology.” “The Blessed Sacrament” is perfectly fine as well.

I feel quiet disgust (I used to feel anger) when EMsHC refer to the different species of the Blessed Sacraments as: “wine”, “wafers”, “cup” “eucharists”, “bread”, etc.



As can be read with these two quotes, yes you are correct, in that your defense in such disrespect, for the Body of Christ, is in repeating the quote of another, however; in your response, (first quote), you diid not correct that chatter with the correct terminology, rather, you wrote, you typed or copy pasted, (not quoted using the quote function) the same error.

Be careful yourself. The nature of the topics you post places a specific responsibility squarely on your shoulders. That responsibility is utter accuracy in both posting and replying.
Be careful , credibility is easily lost.

Hope this helps
I will pray for thorough fastidiousness in picking up these errors that surely insult Our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Back in Traditional days of the 1960’s, only a minority of Catholics approached the altar for communion on most Sundays. The idea of virtually universal recipiency is a latter day idea.

Further, when I was a kid, the other priests of the parish came out from the back for communion distribution. I don’t know what their clue was, how they were notified it was time, or if the priests just synchronized their watches to show up, as they weren’t seen at all until the appropriate time.

The whole Communion protocol worked like a well oiled machine, the men knew where they were, how to accomplish the task, and did it without a word between them and w/o tripping over each other or getting in the others way


Simply noticing something is not sinful or wrong. I tend to keep my eyes downward when I am the only one left in the pews, but before I did that, I would notice that the entire congregation would go even though I knew some people in my confirmation class who had not told certain sins in confession because they told me they didn’t.

They were young people and hadn’t been told that if one is in mortal sin they cannot receive the Blessed Sacrament. Many people are actually not told this. I had learned it from my mother. I went to a nearby parish a while ago and the priest did a sermon on this very topic.


That’s been my experience.


I really only attend the EF Mass during Solemn High Masses at our Cathedral Basilica. They don’t have the EF every week, only on Holy Days and a few other select fests, like All Souls. The Pontifical Solemn High Mass they had was for the 10th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum. Aux Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago was flown in to celebrate that mass.

And honestly, I would rather attend good OF mass than the Low EF Mass. I’m not a fan of the Low Mass, the primary thing that draws me to the EF is the music - so the Low Mass doesn’t really do anything for me.

And even the low masses that I’ve been too, they still take just as long, if not longer, than the Ordinary Form without music. Remember, unlike before Vatican II, the priests who celebrate the EF have a devotion to that liturgy, so they take their time with it and show it great reverence - as if they were a museum curator taking care of something they were charged to preserve.


Do Roman Catholics today believe in liturgical absolution, i.e., if you go to Mass, all your mortal sins are forgiven by the prayers said there at Mass?
I read in different places that about 80% or more of all married Catholics in the USA use some form of artificial birth control? Has the rule on artificial birth control been changed or is there liturgical absolution which allows almost everyone to receive Holy communion without going to confession?

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