Monday, January 7, 2013

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion: Necessity or Convenience

This weekend, I read an article by Fr. Rick Hellman; Extraordinary Ministers No More *Gulp*. Fr. Hellman  decided that the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass in his parishes (2) were more of a convenience than a necessity. He states:

This weekend we made the move to refrain from the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Thanks to this internet age in which we live, the appropriate teaching on this was hard to escape. Up to now, I hid behind my “ignorance”, but once I received the truth, the culpability of my dissent became more grave. I could no longer cower behind my lack of knowledge. My conscience got the better of me as I realized my dissent would now be direct.

I posted the link on my facebook page, and there were a few comments and questions as I suspected there would be. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to blog about this to try to help "clarify" some things, but it turns out that Fr. Z has already done this. (What a shocker.) Fr. Hellman linked to Fr. Z's blog post, The question of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Please, please read Fr. Z's post.

I realize that many times, people will, as I did in this instance, read an article without checking the included links. I seriously urge you to read the articles which I have linked in this post. Pretty please?

Some may find many topics which I post are "difficult" and my involvement in many of the ministries (especially liturgical) in my parish may perhaps lend one to misunderstand some of what I "say".

With that in mind, I want to make a few points.

I like to post articles which draw attention to a more reverent attitude toward the Liturgy, the Sacraments, and especially the Eucharist. My posting of such topics is not intended to be a criticism of valid and acceptable liturgical practices. I have a preference (and true belief) for many things that some would say are "traditionalists" views. However, most real "traditionalists" would not call me that at all (and I'll leave it at that for now). While Liturgical decisions as this are in the hands of our bishops, then our respective pastors, I have a personal opinion which questions if the US bishops have taken too much into their own hands. But that's for Rome to decide.

Also, I strongly urge you to take advantage of the wealth of information available about our Faith. Here are some very good starting points:

Redemptionis Sacramentum - Because of the nature of this topic, if you do not read any other links below, READ THIS ONE.

General Instruction Of The Roman Missal - for the United States

Adaptations to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal - for the United States

USCCB Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion 

Catechism of the Catholic Church (searchable index) - This one should be a permanent bookmark.

Okay, one last thing; did I say READ FR. Z'S BLOG POST?

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