The “Liturgy Guy” thinks that Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have become too ordinary, and he proposes a solution on his blog post:
He claims that EMHCs were established for “emergency situations” only. That is simply WRONG. There is no support for that position. The very documents he cites provide that they may be used when there is a large congregation. That determination (how “large” justifies their use), is completely within the pastor’s discretion. Always has been, probably always will be.
His “solution” (i.e. to reduce the need for so many of those dang EMHCs) by doing away with the precious blood, is to ignore the General Instruction of the Roman Missal which states that the people “…should share the cup when it is permitted.” The bishop of each diocese decides “when it is permitted”.
In short he is creating a problem by seeking to solve a non-problem.
I simply don’t understand why people have such a problem with EMHCs. On the other hand I am quite sure that there would be endless complaining and whining if Mass took 15 minutes longer on average because only I and the priest were distributing communion to 300 people.
Maybe a hard and fast rule would be good: 1 EMHC allowed for every so many people present (1:50 perhaps).
The problem with hard and fast rules is that a need for an exception almost always arises before the ink is dry.
I was at a daily mass where the EMHC to parishioner ratio was 1:3. Extremely unnecessary.
I think our parish has this well under control. We have a center aisle, two side aisles, and two wall aisles. There are two MHCs for the Hosts at the head of each of the two side aisles (four altogether), and four MHCs for the Cup, two (facing opposite directions) at the center aisle, and one at each of the wall aisles. People come up the side aisles in two rows to receive the hosts, and then they split toward the center and wall aisles, receive from the Cup (or not), and return to their seats. The portion of the eight MHCs are Es depends on how many priests and deacons there are at any given Mass. There is always at least one ordained man at the head each of the side aisles, and whenever someone comes forward in either of the lines with crossed arms (or a babe in arms), he takes care of the blessing. Things are done decently and in order.
We have 4 distributing the precious body and 6 distributing precious blood at weekend masses. During the week it’s 1 and 1. Weekend masses are usually pretty packed and the amount seems appropriate to me.
Well, then, I guess that we have too few EMHC’s at some of our Masses. 12 people (including the EM’s) distribute. Most people on this forum think that is far too many already!
But we can exceed 600 or 700 at the bigger Masses.
Perhaps if we had more vocations to the priesthood and a smaller shortage of priests, EMHCs could be used for hospital or home visits and in a rarer instance at Mass.
Of course, I’m spoiled…my parish has three priests and usually two distribute with an acolyte (sometimes all three plus acolyte), but only the host. We restored our communion rail, so communion goes fairly “fast”.
So long as i get to receive Christ…I don’t’ care who gives it to me.
The thing about being “spoiled” is the frequency with which we are permitted to receive…namely “daily”.
we’re ALL spoiled in that respect. And so few partake.
We have 24-26. I was episcopalian/Anglican before coming into full communion with
the Catholic church. We always received from a priest. I have accepted this is how it
is in the Catholic church, but I don’t really like it.
My friend who was an EMHC in her native state confided she told her friend (who was not Catholic) to come to her line and she would give her communion! She is one at our current church and said she would not deny it to anyone. Her husband finally spoke to her friend and told her not to get in his wife’s line and receive. She didn’t understand
why she couldn’t give it to her friend since she is not Catholic. She also receives communion when she goes to her daughter’s church. She has been Catholic 60 years since she married her husband, but I think in those 60 years she hasn’t really bothered to
learn that much about the Catholic faith. She always says she was baptized in a lot of different churches growing up and I think misses the pentecostal type of churches.
She said she promised her husband she would become Catholic when they married.
I understand the Mass would take too long if EMHC’s were not used so I accept it.
I miss the altar rails too. But I accept that too. No altar rails.
I have heard very good things about the Diocese of Nebraska.
Oh! Are there EMHCs present? We are supposed to see only Christ…
I agree with this! The priest consecrates, I couldn’t care less who distributes it. We do have one line-jumper in our parish, as if she thinks somehow the presence of Jesus is lessened if it isn’t handed to her by the priest.
Another problem in our parish is that our pastor has two parishes and a 7:30 at one parish and an 8:30 at the other parish. He does have an assistant but they have week days off so there is a need on some days to get to the next parish tout suit. My french is rusty but I hope everybody knows what I mean.
Why ascribe anything to the woman, let her receive in peace.
Does it fome with straws?
We have a constantly shrinking membership in the Church, and this is a major concern for some people? Talk about rearranging those deck chairs.
no, why would it. It is supposed to be held in the hand of the priest/deacon/etc and the Most Holy Body intincted into the Precious Blood and placed onto the tongue of the recipient.