Why not distribute unconsecrated bread and wine at Mass to those unable to take part in the Eucharist?


#1

It is clear from many threads on CAF that the prohibition on taking part in the Eucharist for non-Catholics, and Catholics in some situations causes distress and confusion.

Could this not be overcome at least in part by the distribution to these people of unconsecrated bread and wine, with appropriate words being said (other than 'body of Christ etc)?

Leaving aside the obvious practical considerations (conventions for avoiding people getting muddled as to which was which etc) is there any reason why this could not be done? And if there is a rule against it, would it not be helpful if the rule were changed?


#2

[quote="Hokomai, post:1, topic:296517"]
It is clear from many threads on CAF that the prohibition on taking part in the Eucharist for non-Catholics, and Catholics in some situations causes distress and confusion.

Could this not be overcome at least in part by the distribution to these people of unconsecrated bread and wine, with appropriate words being said (other than 'body of Christ etc)?

Leaving aside the obvious practical considerations (conventions for avoiding people getting muddled as to which was which etc) is there any reason why this could not be done? And if there is a rule against it, would it not be helpful if the rule were changed?

[/quote]

What would be the point? It would cause great confusion, anyway. The Eucharist is Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Anything else is totally irrelevant. The practicalities cannot be left aside, either. How could anyone know which to give to whom?

As far as I know there is no "rule" against it, since it would never have even occurred to anyone to do this. But it would not be helpful at all. If it was done, it could only lead to utter chaos and, most likely, scandal - if what was given to non-Catholics looked identical to the Eucharist. It could even lead to the Faith becoming diluted.

Non-Catholics and those Catholics who cannot receive the Eucharist just need to deal with that. Not Catholic? No Eucharist. Living in a state of mortal sin? No Eucharist. Just ate food or drunk anything other than plain water and so have not kept the fast? No Eucharist. The very fact of the strict rules that govern the receiving of Holy Communion has drawn many, many people to convert.

We can receive God Himself into our bodies! Why on earth would we try to placate those who cannot receive Him by giving them plain bread?


#3

[quote="Joan_M, post:2, topic:296517"]
What would be the point? It would cause great confusion, anyway. The Eucharist is Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Anything else is totally irrelevant. The practicalities cannot be left aside, either. How could anyone know which to give to whom?

As far as I know there is no "rule" against it, since it would never have even occurred to anyone to do this. But it would not be helpful at all. If it was done, it could only lead to utter chaos and, most likely, scandal - if what was given to non-Catholics looked identical to the Eucharist. It could even lead to the Faith becoming diluted.

Non-Catholics and those Catholics who cannot receive the Eucharist just need to deal with that. Not Catholic? No Eucharist. Living in a state of mortal sin? No Eucharist. Just ate food or drunk anything other than plain water and so have not kept the fast? No Eucharist. The very fact of the strict rules that govern the receiving of Holy Communion has drawn many, many people to convert.

We can receive God Himself into our bodies! Why on earth would we try to placate those who cannot receive Him by giving them plain bread?

[/quote]

If memory serves, at least some of our Orthodox and Eastern Catholic brothers do distribute unconsecrated bread after their liturgies. No confusion at all that I can tell, certainly no higher incidence of improper communions either. :shrugs: and it is a nice friendly gesture towards those who cannot receive, makes them feel still part of the body.


#4

I dunno... it just wouldn't be 'The Mass' then. The Mass is essentially a sacrifice, albeit a ritual one that celebrates the blood sacrifice of Jesus, and certain requirements must be met. That's the way it is.


#5

[quote="Carolus_Martell, post:4, topic:296517"]
I dunno... it just wouldn't be 'The Mass' then. The Mass is essentially a sacrifice, albeit a ritual one that celebrates the blood sacrifice of Jesus, and certain requirements must be met. That's the way it is.

[/quote]

The Mass would still happen. In addition the distribution of unconsecrated bread and wine would take place.


#6

Why should non-Catholics get the Eucharist? Why should they be in our churches? Why should they get unconsecrated bread and wine? There is no reason for them to get it.


#7

[quote="Hokomai, post:5, topic:296517"]
The Mass would still happen. In addition the distribution of unconsecrated bread and wine would take place.

[/quote]

Exactly. The liturgies of the Orthodox and Eastern Catholics are not any the less sacrifices by virtue of the fact that unconsecrated bread is distributed afterwards.


#8

[quote="LilyM, post:3, topic:296517"]
If memory serves, at least some of our Orthodox and Eastern Catholic brothers do distribute unconsecrated bread after their liturgies. No confusion at all that I can tell, certainly no higher incidence of improper communions either. :shrugs: and it is a nice friendly gesture towards those who cannot receive, makes them feel still part of the body.

[/quote]

They do, you are thinking of antidoron, this bread is cut from the loafts used to confect the Body of Christ, it is offered to fellow Christians present as a sign of fellowship and is also consumed by the faithful after Communion. Here is a little picture of one style of antidoron, although stylitically the look can vary and like the Host it is leavened bread :-

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jC-i26GSN_4/TETm4pzVsMI/AAAAAAAAJjM/wiamA2Xq3C4/s1600/antidoron2.jpg


#9

Since the senses alone cannot distinguish between consecrated and unconsecrated matter, to do this would erode and undermine belief in the Real Presence beyond anything that today’s usage of EMHC’s and communion in the hand might (in the eyes of some) be bringing about.


#10

Thank you JC - I found some interesting Google links. And here was me thinking I had a new idea!:newidea:


#11

[quote="Tarpeian_Rock, post:9, topic:296517"]
Since the senses alone cannot distinguish between consecrated and unconsecrated matter, to do this would erode and undermine belief in the Real Presence beyond anything that today's usage of EMHC's and communion in the hand might (in the eyes of some) be bringing about.

[/quote]

Well that's the Orthodox buggered up then and our fellow Catholics in certain portions of the sui juris Churches also. It might well cause problems to institute the usage in the Roman Catholic Church of course as it lack historical continuity there at the present time. As pointed out though it has not eroded belief in the Eucharist where it does have a historical continuity of usage and the EO and Eastern Catholics are well aware of what the Eucharist is and do not consider the antidoron to remotely approach that status.


#12

[quote="Tarpeian_Rock, post:9, topic:296517"]
Since the senses alone cannot distinguish between consecrated and unconsecrated matter, to do this would erode and undermine belief in the Real Presence beyond anything that today's usage of EMHC's and communion in the hand might (in the eyes of some) be bringing about.

[/quote]

Of course - except that those who ALREADY do distribute unconsecrated bread, as JC and I have pointed out they do, exhibit no lack of belief in the Real Presence. If anything they believe in it more strongly than Latin Catholics do.

Kinda blows a great huge hulking hole in your theory right there.


#13

[quote="JharekCarnelian, post:8, topic:296517"]
They do, you are thinking of antidoron, this bread is cut from the loafts used to confect the Body of Christ, it is offered to fellow Christians present as a sign of fellowship and is also consumed by the faithful after Communion. Here is a little picture of one style of antidoron, although stylitically the look can vary and like the Host it is leavened bread :-

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jC-i26GSN_4/TETm4pzVsMI/AAAAAAAAJjM/wiamA2Xq3C4/s1600/antidoron2.jpg

[/quote]

However, there is no mistaking it with the Eucharist, which is often given from
a liturgical spoon a lot if the time. Plus, the antidoron line is not the communion line.

So if one wants to pass out a blessed bread afterwards, why not? But nothing thlot can be mistaken as the host.

Disclaimer: I have not been to a bunch of Eastern Churches. I can only speak of the ones I've visited.


#14

For what purpose? Since the Eucharist is a sign of unity - wouldn’t this suggestion pretend the unity is in the appearance of bread rather than in the Eucharist?


#15

[quote="TrueLight, post:13, topic:296517"]
However, there is no mistaking it with the Eucharist, which is often given from
a liturgical spoon a lot if the time. Plus, the antidoron line is not the communion line.

So if one wants to pass out a blessed bread afterwards, why not? But nothing thlot can be mistaken as the host.

Disclaimer: I have not been to a bunch of Eastern Churches. I can only speak of the ones I've visited.

[/quote]

The fact the antidoron line is not the line for Communion is indeed an essential point to remember. Also the blessed bread should ideally be eaten in the Church and not removed from it to eat later (excepting the case of relatives or friends who are unable to attended and similar situations), the antidoron is not sacramental and is not the Eucharist but it is blessed and should be treated with reverence.

I have no problem with the idea of re-introducing such concepts in the west, but it would need to be done in such a fashion to avoidp possible confusion with the Eucharist.


#16

Ihave not seen this Eastern practice, can someone please explain the logistics?

The Divine Liturgy proceeds, at the time of communion those who are eligible to receive the Blessed Sacrament do so. Then after the Liturgy is over, there is a process for distributing the blessed bread that is not Communion - the antidoron. Is this correct?

Am I right to then say that the antidoron is distributed and consumed as part of the Agape meal that follows many/most Divine Liturgies? If so, then this process doesn't seem to solve the "problem" identified in the OP - that non-Catholics and those not properly disposed - do not get to receive during the Liturgy.

If it is distributed during the Liturgy, than people still need to self-select into the appropriate queue. With the size of the congregation at many Roman Catholic Masses and the beligerance of some non-Catholics, I can envision people deliberately getting in the wrong queue just to be ugly. Not to mention the misunderstandings of many Catholics who don't know the guidance for when one is disposed to receive and when not.

I don't see this practice being introduced to Roman Catholic parishes for a long time, if ever.


#17

[quote="Traditionalism, post:6, topic:296517"]
Why should non-Catholics get the Eucharist? Why should they be in our churches? Why should they get unconsecrated bread and wine? There is no reason for them to get it.

[/quote]

Why should they be in our churches??? To be welcomed into the love of Christ and learn more about our glorious devotion to God and our Savior; that's why. We should NEVER turn ANYONE away who seeks. We are commanded by God and Jesus Christ to not turn anyone away.

That being said; the unconsecrated bread and wine would be like recieving comunion (small "c") in a Protestant church. It would be an imitation of a sacrament, and would diminish the Euchrist. That cannot happen.


#18

[quote="Traditionalism, post:6, topic:296517"]
Why should non-Catholics get the Eucharist? Why should they be in our churches? Why should they get unconsecrated bread and wine? There is no reason for them to get it.

[/quote]

How else might they best be exposed to the True Faith than through personal witness of the Mass / Divine Liturgy?

Of course, Antidoron is equally available to those Eastern Christians who were not properly disposed to receive the Holy Eucharist.

The Eastern Christian custom of distributing Antidoron at the end of the Divine Liturgy is highly symbolic in many ways and of many things, yet does not imply any level of communion in the ecclesiastical sense. Rather, as the manna rained from heaven, so today does the Lord provide "our daily bread" for those who seek it.

BTW - as I recall, this custom is still practiced on a limited basis in some circles of Western tradition (e.g. le pain benit - see Liturgical Use of Bread).


#19

[quote="Hokomai, post:1, topic:296517"]
It is clear from many threads on CAF that the prohibition on taking part in the Eucharist for non-Catholics, and Catholics in some situations causes distress and confusion.

Could this not be overcome at least in part by the distribution to these people of unconsecrated bread and wine, with appropriate words being said (other than 'body of Christ etc)?

Leaving aside the obvious practical considerations (conventions for avoiding people getting muddled as to which was which etc) is there any reason why this could not be done? And if there is a rule against it, would it not be helpful if the rule were changed?

[/quote]

As you sign in as a Non Believer I am just wondering why this bothers you, after all the Catholic Church teaches what it teaches, and does what it does, in the way its prescribed for 2000 years, I will pray that you start to Believe and see that Our Way is not the Lord's Way. Let things that you dont believe in disturb you.:::yawn:


#20

This could only weaken the Church. Jesus makes clear that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. Read my signature. Does he say, "Eat some bread, drink some wine, and feel included?" There should be a deep HUNGER inside a person who cannot receive, and they should want to remedy the situations that stop them from receiving. Not get some empty substitute - what in the world would that do for them?

This is one of the most bizarre posts I have ever seen here! Started by an unbeliever at that!


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