On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I ended up at a different church from my usual parish. I should explain first of all that I tend to prefer the more traditional approaches in all things liturgical while it was obvious that the church I attended preferred more “contemporary” approaches.
While there were many “strange and wondrous” aspects to this Mass, mostly I was curious about something that I had seen occur at one other church:
At Communion time, the priest and the deacon distributed the Hosts. At their right, a layperson (there were two adult altar servers but as I recall they stayed in their seats), held a plate (sorry, not sure of the correct term for the plate (not a ciborium) that holds the Hosts) containing the Hosts. As each person came up to receive, the priest or deacon said, “The Body of Christ” at the same time reaching for a Host from the plate held by this layperson and placed the Host in the person’s hand (or in my case, on the tongue).
As far as I could tell, there was nothing physically wrong with the priest or deacon that they could not hold the plate themselves. In my cynical mind, this practice made the whole thing seemed more like “Trick or Treat” rather than receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord.
As I said, I had seen this happen only one other time, again at a more “contemporary” parish. What would be reason for having a layperson hold the plate of Hosts at Communion time? Again, I’m cynical and a traditionalist by nature. I wonder if it could be a way to discourage Communion on the tongue or something?
Any light that could be shed on this would be appreciated. Thanks and God bless.