Wednesday, February 15, 2012
COMMUNION ON DEMAND!
The rubrics and General Instruction of the revised Roman Missal indicate that it is also preferable for the laity present at Mass to receive Holy Communion from host consecrated at the Mass they attend and not from the tabernacle.
This little tidbit of information is in great dispute as it concerns the laity but cannot be in dispute as it concerns the priest--not receiving at Mass communion from the tabernacle consecrated at a previous Mass. But is it in dispute for the laity by traditionalists?
But apart from that, since the recovery of permanent deacons and subsequently or at the same time the development of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Holy Communion from the tabernacle is given to people now independent of Holy Mass and in contrived circumstances that I find very concerning.
For example, there is now a formal liturgical book for "Communion in the Absence of a priest" which can be led by a deacon or lay minister. There is the liturgy of the word and then the Rite of Holy Communion. Many Catholics are pleased as punch about these services because these don't need a priest and the service is shorter and one still "gets" Holy Communion!
I would much prefer Morning or Evening Prayer and if a deacon is present Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Lay people can certainly lead Morning or Evening Prayer. But you do need a deacon for Benediction.
Communion apart from Mass should be rare and for emergency purposes only or for the housebound and hospitalized.
In the past when only priest could "give" Holy Communion, the housebound parishioner was lucky if they could receive once a month and normally on First Friday.
Today with Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, they receive much more frequently and sometimes exclusively from these lay ministers.
But I have witnessed in the past where some Eucharistic Ministers self communicate when they can't get to a daily Mass or Sunday Mass and that many people expect Holy Communion on demand each day!