Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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AGM
Posts: 15
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Parish / Diocese: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by AGM » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:48 am

If Communion Services “are not a good idea” I think there is a problem is that the Church’s practice does not match the theory.

In 1905 we have in SACRA TRIDENTINA "On Frequent and Daily Reception of Holy Communion" approved by St Pius X:

“6. But since it is plain that by the frequent or daily reception of the Holy Eucharist union with Christ is strengthened, the spiritual life more abundantly sustained, the soul more richly endowed with virtues, and the pledge of everlasting happiness more securely bestowed on the recipient, therefore, parish priests, confessors and preachers, according to the approved teaching of the Roman Catechism should exhort the faithful frequently and with great zeal to this devout and salutary practice.” From https://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWFREQ.HTM .

There are similar directions, referring to the above quote, in the 1967 Instruction Euchasticum mysterium, n. 37 at https://adoremus.org/1967/05/25/euchari ... mysterium/ .

So if the bishop is exhorting the faithful frequently and with great zeal to receive Holy Communion daily, why put up barriers to making this a practical reality?

If the only opportunity to receive Holy Communion in a parish is at 9.00 am then it limits who can receive Communion daily – no school children, no one working 9.00 to 5.00. Why not encourage Communion Services at 7.00 am and 8.00 pm so more people have the benefits of frequent reception of Holy Communion?

AGM
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Parish / Diocese: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by AGM » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:37 am

Sorry, a typo above. I should have put "1967 Instruction Eucharisticum mysterium" not "Euchasticum mysterium".

Southern Comfort
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Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by Southern Comfort » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:31 pm

AGM wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:48 am
If Communion Services “are not a good idea” I think there is a problem is that the Church’s practice does not match the theory.

<snip>

Why not encourage Communion Services at 7.00 am and 8.00 pm so more people have the benefits of frequent reception of Holy Communion?
Because, as stated above, the Church has now come to realise that an increasing emphasis on "getting" Communion not only risks taking the sacrament for granted but also risks devaluing the action of the Eucharist at Mass. We have people for whom the Mass literally does not matter as long as they can get Communion. The Church is saying that this is not a healthy attitude, and implies that services with distribution of Communion are exacerbating it. What this attitude does is objectivize the sacrament of Communion so that it becomes a thing, a commodity to be consumed, rather than the culmination of the sacrifice of the Mass. Eucharist is a verb, not a noun.

Church practice and theory have moved on, certainly since 1905 and 1967, and even since 1973. Theologians will now tell you that the fruits (to use the technical term) of receiving Holy Communion outside Mass are not the same as those gained when receiving within Mass. An excellent paper by Fr Ed Foley, OFM Cap, in 2002 explains this in great detail. In summary, because we receive under only one kind at a celebration outside Mass, the whole sacrificial dimension of Christ shedding his blood for the life of the world, plus the command for us also to be prepared to shed our blood for the world, is missing when the symbol of that self-sacrifice, the Precious Blood in the form of consecrated wine, is completely absent.
Foley on Eucharist and Communion.pdf
Once again, without the self-sacrificial dimension, the Eucharist is turned into a thing that nourishes me but which does not necessarily entail any commitment by me to missionary activity in the world. I can be complacently satisfied by receiving and do nothing else about it as a result.
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AGM
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Parish / Diocese: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by AGM » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:03 pm

Near the end of page 5 in the “excellent paper by Fr Ed Foley, OFM Cap, in 2002” Southern Comfort linked to it has: “Receiving communion outside of Mass, is a good and right and just thing to do. It is an intimate encounter with the divine presence, and a grace event.”

AGM
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Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by AGM » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:36 pm

The 1983 Code of Canon Law: “Canon 918. It is most strongly recommended that the faithful receive holy communion in the course of a eucharistic celebration. If, however, for good reason they ask for it apart from the Mass, it is to be administered to them, observing the liturgical rites.”

Southern Comfort
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Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by Southern Comfort » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:23 pm

AGM wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:36 pm
The 1983 Code of Canon Law: “Canon 918. It is most strongly recommended that the faithful receive holy communion in the course of a eucharistic celebration. If, however, for good reason they ask for it apart from the Mass, it is to be administered to them, observing the liturgical rites.”
Superseded by Redemptionis Sacramentum in 2004, as cited above.

Southern Comfort
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Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by Southern Comfort » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:41 pm

AGM wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:03 pm
Near the end of page 5 in the “excellent paper by Fr Ed Foley, OFM Cap, in 2002” Southern Comfort linked to it has: “Receiving communion outside of Mass, is a good and right and just thing to do. It is an intimate encounter with the divine presence, and a grace event.”
And then he immediately continues YET which you conveniently omit.
Yet, the ritual of communion outside of Mass does not engulf us in the same sea of symbols as does the Mass. Rather, the symbolic efficacy of the communion ritual evokes koinonia, feasting, spiritual nourishment, antidote to sin and a myriad of other revelations and implied symbolic labors. But receiving communion outside of Mass does not put us on a trajectory of self-sacrificing mission, as much as it puts us on a trajectory back to the Mass; and it is there that we are renewed in the sacrificial mission of the church.
I think quoting extracts out of context is not helpful to this discussion. It's just as if you had quoted the sentence preceding the two you actually quoted without quoting anything else:
I would contend, however, that such symbolic efficacy is not at the heart of the act of communion.
which in turn would not make any sense except in the context of the total argument, which is that receiving Communion outside Mass is not the same as receiving it within Mass. Yes, it's the same Jesus, and yes, it's good to receive him in Communion, but no, the graces flowing from it outside Mass are not the same. That's the point of his paper, not saying that people shouldn't receive Communion.

It's the Church that now appears to be saying don't take Communion for granted, don't trivialise it by doing it in a sense on autopilot just because you can.

JW
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Location: Kent

Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by JW » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:09 pm

The Mass is 'source and summit', a Communion Service is not the same and will never have the same efficacy.

But the point is: what should happen when there is no priest to celebrate Mass in a community, especially on a Sunday? Should the people bother gathering together at all? What should they gather for? Or should that Catholic community be allowed to fade away?

(Incidentally, it occurs to me that if the Mass is so efficacious for Mission, this has not been apparent in Europe over the past 60 years, I suspect evangelisation is more the result of personal example and conversations than attending Mass from childhood onwards, witness the failure of Catholic schools to evangelise in England.)

I go back to the fact that Bishops are supposed to provide the Eucharist for people and they are failing us in this. Salvation rarely occurs in isolation from a church community and church communites have to be Eucharistic communities.

I do think a blanket ban of Services of Word and Communion is problematic, though there may be circumstances where it is inappropriate to hold such services. This is an area where thinking seems to be developing, let's wait and see.
JW

justMary
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Parish / Diocese: Republic of Ireland

Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by justMary » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:30 pm

In Ireland at the current time, there are many people who simply will not pray together unless they are going to get Eucharist: they give no value at all to the benefits of community or community prayer - all they want is My Little Eucharist.

On the other hand, I've have recently heart that at some of the edges of the country, where there is one priest between 4+ parishes, the people of a parish have simply decided that they will have their "Sunday" Mass on Thursday (or whatever day it is that the priest visits their church each week). I don't know if the particularly pious also travel to Mass elsewhere on Sunday - but many don't. Their pragmatism reveals a stark lack of understanding on the importance of Sunday - and in light of this (which has been observed in other countries before now), it seems wise that the bishops apply different rules on different days.

blackthorn fairy
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Parish / Diocese: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Wellingborough Northamptonshire

Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by blackthorn fairy » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:25 pm

Sorry - that left too early (struggling with new computer which does things off its own bat) Re HC under one kind only and no peace greeting, I meant to say that when I asked a parishioner I was told 'it's Father's wish'. There's no answer to that.

blackthorn fairy
Posts: 105
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Parish / Diocese: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Wellingborough Northamptonshire

Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by blackthorn fairy » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:35 pm

Sorry - new computer playing havoc! In fact, what I was typing has apparently disappeared. I'll start again. My original comment was to refer to the point made above (by I think Southern Comfort) that in services of the word and communion, it is under one kind only, unlike at Mass. I then made the point that on a visit to Ireland 3 or 3 years ago there was HC under one kind only (in a cathedral). When I asked the presiding priest afterwards why, he replied 'Ah, but in Ireland, we never took up that option', which rather stunned me.
I then followed that with a further comment that at a recent visit to a church in my diocese (no names no pack drill) not only was there HC under one kind only, there was no peace greeting either. A parishioner told me - it's Father's wish. There's no answer to that. Sorry if this has perhaps become another topic...

Southern Comfort
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Re: Services of Word and Communion in the absence of a priest.

Post by Southern Comfort » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:04 pm

blackthorn fairy wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:35 pm
Sorry if this has perhaps become another topic...
Yes, Communion under one or both kinds at Mass is a different topic. Perhaps you'd like to start a new thread?

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