Weird thing at the Holy Mass

Hi, I am a byzantine catholic and I attend mass 4-5 per week and once a roman mass (novus ordo). First time I attented at a roman mass was when I came to high school, (I was living in a small city where roman mass was in hungarian and I didn’t understood nothing, I live in Transylvania)
Anyway, the weird thing I saw is this, at the eucharistic moment when the priest is giving the body of Christ, people get settled in 2 lines, at the first line the priest is giving the eucharist and an deacon keeps a salver (something like that), but the weird thing is at the second line, where a women is giving the eucharist and the priest keeps that little salver. The women is not an minster, she’s kinda old. She helps the priest at the altar with other sort of things, and something that is really not “normal” in my view is that after the ending of the mass, she was putting the chalice in tabernacle. She has the right to do that? :confused:

Sorry if you get confused, my english is not very well

Weird, but not a problem.
Keep your eyes in Jesus Christ.

I don’t understand what you mean by salver. Do you mean the ciborium, which holds the hosts for distribution? Or do you mean a communion-plate, which is held under the host to catch it and any particles if they should fall?

The OP’s concern is that someone other than the priest is putting the Blessed Sacrament back in the Tabernacle.

Freakxt747, no, she shouldn’t be doing that, the priest should be doing that himself.

Unfortunately, I have found in my travels that the priest is rarely the one to repose the Blessed Sacrament after Communion. It’s usally done by one of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and I’m not sure why. In some parishes it could be because the priest would have to leave the sanctuary to do so but even in my parish, where the Tabernacle is directly behind the altar, an EMHC routinely reposes the Blessed Sacrament.

By the way, your English is much better than my Transylvanian! :slight_smile:

It is fine for a woman to be giving communion as long as the priest does too.

She shouldn’t be putting the hosts back in the Tabernacle, but that’s not a huge problem. It doesn’t make the Mass not a Mass or anything.

Sorry, I talked about this communion-plate, I didn’t know the term :blush:

I would agree, except for:

If I am reading it right there were 3 clerics (2 priests and a deacon) and one member of the laity (who just happens to be a woman). It sounds like 2 people were distributing while the other two assisted. I guess how I am reading this is that a member of the laity is distributing the holy species while a priest is assisting her by “… keep[ing] that little salver.” If that is the case it would make me very uncomfortable.

It reminds me of a diocesan pro-life mass where our bishop was presiding. While there were 8 - 10 priest (not con-celebrating) and a good dozen permanent deacons present, holy communion was distributed by the bishop, the 3 con-celebrating priest and 4 EMHCs. Its difficult for me to see laity distribute communion when there are plenty of clergy available. Use EMHCs when necessary, but they should not distribute while a regular minister assists them.

A layman saying what a bishop should or should not do sounds so odd and backward. Try to take a spiritual lesson from whatever you experience at Mass.

The bishop was not following the rubrics, nor were the people at the Mass mentioned in the OP. The layman is just speaking the truth.

If there is no need for *Extraordinary *Ministers, they should *not *be used. If there are ordained men there, *they *should be helping with the distribution of Communion, *not *lay people. And for a priest or deacon to hold the salver while a layperson distributes? That’s just silly.

I really don’t see that as a problem. I mean, you saw it happen once? That may have been the sole incident concerning that matter. It may be a problem if it happen every time. But, we must understand that the most important thing is the most Holy of all Sacraments, the Communion, I believe. And done that way was not so bad. They did what they had to, and no pastor will ever on purpose offend that Sacrament.

Jesus allowed even a donkey to hold Him, and it was an occasion of great joy.

**Keep your eyes in Jesus Christ. ** :thumbsup:

Sometimes we get hung up on things.

I’m sorry, I am going to disagree with others here. The lay person, or the extraordinary minister is to help the priest not the other way around. The priest should be the one putting the chalice in the tabernacle unless they have permission from the priest. Maybe she did that day but pretty much what I have been told regarding EMCH is they are not to put the chalice in the tabernacle. That is reserved for the priest. You could just casually ask someone.

What? :shrug:

Rules and guidelines are set so that Our Lord is shown the utmost respect. When we have the attitude of, “Oh well, he once rode on a donkey, why not” we end up thinking we can do any old thing.

And plus that donkey, was a very specific donkey.

I think you meant keep your eyes on Jesus. It is because of people keeping their eyes on Jesus that causes them sadness when they see him abused.

It is those little things, that we think we are getting “hung up on” that spoil the vine and cause pain when they get ignored because they rarely stay little…

I was agreeing w/ Andremiguel.

Indeed. I was referring to Usige’s post about the EMHCs serving with the bishop. Very respectful of Our Lord is to allow a bishop to be a bishop and for the laity to be the laity rather than becoming the self-appointed Overseers of the in persona Christi, which can be a disordered good.


I understand that but he is right. If there are ordained men there, they should be the ones serving communion not the extraordinary ministers.

Well, there’s the bishop right there, though. Shouldn’t one focus on Who is being brought forth rather than who is bringing forth? All the coulda-shoulda-woulda from the back-pew drivers is an unfortunate disservice to themselves as well as to the Church. While wanting a proper and uplifting liturgy is commendable, it can become a disordered good which will result in purgatory; better to be free of disordered good sooner than later, no?

The concern is not with the laity serving with the bishop, but rather that the laity were serving instead of the clergy that are the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion.

Immensae caritatis

In order, then, that the faithful who are in the state of grace and rightly and devoutly wish to share in the sacred meal may not be deprived of this sacramental aid and solace, Pope Paul VI has decided it opportune to authorize special ministers who will be empowered to give communion to themselves and others of the faithful, under the exact and specified conditions here listed.

I. Local Ordinaries possess the faculty enabling them to permit fit persons, each chosen by name as a special minister, in a given instance or for a set period or even permanently, to give communion to themselves and others of the faithful and to carry it to the sick residing at home:

     a. **whenever no priest, deacon, or acolyte is available**;
     b. whenever the same ministers are impeded from administering         communion because of another pastoral ministry, ill-health, or old age;
     c. whenever the number of faithful wishing to receive communion is so         great that the celebration of Mass or the giving of communion outside         Mass would take too long.

II. The same local Ordinaries possess the faculty of granting individual priests in the course of their ministry the power to appoint, for a given occasion, a fit person to distribute communion in cases of genuine necessity

(emphasis added)

When members of the clergy are available they should serve unless there are pastoral reasons for them not to. For instance we have a retired priest in his late 70s or early 80s that occasionally fills in for our pastor. Because of his advanced age he is concerned that he might drop the host during distribution so he “sits out” distribution. Perfectly fine with that, but the preference is that extraordinary ministers only be used when no other ordinary ministers are available. In the specific case that I presented this was was not true. There were roughly 24 ordinary ministers for a mass of approximately 250 people. Even if half of them could not serve for one reason of another there were plenty of ordinary ministers to distribute to the 250 faithful gathered there. My point was that when people see EMHCs treated with the same preference as ordinary ministers it distorts the original reasons Pope Paul VI allowed them to be named in the first place; namely only when there is great need and no other options available. I assume that is why I have never seen EMHCs used in a mass at the Vatican.

The OP mentioning that a member of the laity appeared to be assisted by a priest just strikes me as odd. If the “assisting” priest was unable to server in their own capacity then the deacon should have served and the priest and EMHC should have assisted the ordinary ministers.

Yes, the bishop was right there but that doesn’t mean we know if he knew what was going to happen or if it was planned by someone else. You are right we should focus on who is being brought to us but we should also be very concerned about how he is brought to us. That is why these rules were set up because someone cared about how Jesus is brought to us. :slight_smile:

I am not sure if I understand your comment about purgatory. There are many reasons we go through the purification of purgatory so we may achieve the holiness needed to enter heaven and those reasons and judgements are left for God, so I think I will refrain from comment on that one.

God bless.

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