Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« Where There's Smoke . . . | Main | Materialism and the moral argument Part 4 »

October 25, 2007

Comments

Blackie

Good answer Jimmy.

As always, the key is "properly disposed", and the only ones who will know that are the person and the Lord.

Thank you for a clear and concise...and thorough response.
Blackie

Mike Petrik

I'm still confused.
Isn't it fairly obvious that Fr. McNamara was talking about Sunday Mass?
Failing to fulfill one's Sunday obligation without good reason is normally a mortal sin, as is receiving Communion in an unconfessed state of mortal sin, right?
Isn't the question Fr. McNamara is grappling with "how late can one be for Sunday Mass while still fulfilling one's obigation so as to avoid a mortal sin that would impair one's ability to receive Communion?"
Unlike, Blackie I find Jimmy's explanation unclear on this point. It does seem to me that absent an intent to attend another Mass that Sunday, one can be sufficiently late for Mass such that one's attendance is inadequate to fulfill his obligation such that a mortal sin is present that would impair one's ability to receive Communion. The question of how late that would be seems to me to be an eminently understandable and practical one, and guidance would be appreciated.
I certainly agree with Jimmy as to non-Sunday Masses.

Marie

Further question. Let's say someone arrives very late at a Sunday mass through no fault of her own (let's say her car wouldn't start so she had to borrow a car). When she arrives, she doesn't know if she's going to be able to go to another mass. She receives Communion. She goes home, checks the mass schedule of nearby churchs and checks with the owner of the borrowed car. She is able to attend another mass. Can she receive Communion at the second mass?

studdunker

My question would be,

What if as an extraordinary Minister, I observe someone either chewing gum or snacking during Mass and then they present themselves for Communion, do I have the right or duty to deny them Communion?

Mom of 7

Mike has got a great point. If you fall short on your Sunday obligation- lets say you come in after the Canon, you have not fulfilled your Sunday obligation and therefore are in a state of mortal sin and can not receive the Eucharist.

WE surely cant turn the Holy Eucharist to fast food in the takeout line...

On another note: a Reply from The Bishop of Parramatta that is quite good...

http://www.parra.catholic.org.au/Bishop/Q+A-Arch/05aug-questions.htm


Question:
For reasons of respect, both for God and neighbour, I was always taught to be early for Mass and I have trained my children to do the same. However, latecomers to Mass have become a major irritant to me.

I feel I would be better off not going to Mass than to have antipathy towards them. And it always seems to be the same ones who come late. Surely, they are committing sin by their attitude to the Sunday obligation, if not from a lack of charity, at least disrespect to the Mass. Is their situation sinful?

Answer:
I sense your frustration and would lose my reputation as a kind and gentle Bishop if I was to elaborate my own feelings towards those who insensitively come late to Mass and disturb the Christian assembly, without regard for God, or fellow worshipper.


The Second Vatican Council called the Sunday Mass the "summit and the font" from which we derive our strength to live our lives and make our world a better place. Photo: Hamilton Lund.

Taking part in Sunday Mass is not only an important obligation, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches (n. 1389), but first and foremost a profound need of every member of the faithful. Those who deliberately fail in the obligation, of course, commit a grave sin. However, we have to be careful in apportioning sin to their actions, for we rarely know their motivation or circumstances.

Firstly, it is important that they be at Mass. Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Dies Domini said: "It is crucially important that all the faithful should be convinced that they cannot live their faith or share fully in the life of the Christian community unless they take part regularly in the Sunday Eucharistic Assembly." (n. 81)

The Second Vatican Council called the Sunday Mass the "summit and the font" from which we derive our strength to live our lives and make our world a better place.

I imagine if people had this understanding, this same sense of obligation and love of God, they would always be on time for Mass, participate as well as they could in the prayers and the hymns and would stay after Mass to make a good, sincere thanksgiving.

At the same time, they should be thinking about how they are going to pass on the "Good News" in the following week.

Because attendance at the Sunday Mass is so important for our spiritual good, I can only wonder why people would quibble whether it is an obligation or not.

However, is only for a very good reason that people would be excused from the Sunday obligation. It boils down to this: if you can attend Sunday Mass you must attend Sunday Mass. If you can't, and you have a good reason, then you don't have to do the impossible.

In the past there were distinctions made about being present for the Offertory, Consecration and Communion and if you were there for those three you satisfied the Sunday obligation.

Today, it is much more simple; you have an obligation to attend the Sunday Mass. If you want to start quibbling about being there for important parts, have a good talk to your Confessor - your soul needs it.

Some of the reasons that would excuse from the Sunday obligation are: sickness, distance, or having to care for the children. It is logical to assume that if any of those take away the obligation to attend Sunday Mass entirely, they would also be a legitimate reason for arriving late, or leaving early.

But, it does not mean that the same people are excused for coming late every Sunday, they might be obligated to do a course in child management.

To summarise: one day, we are all going to be judged and made to answer for our conduct. I imagine the question of Sunday Mass attendance would be less concerned with attendance, non-attendance, or lateness, than it will be whether we really believed, understood and loved the Eucharist to the point that we would never, in any way, show disrespect to this great Mystery.

Early Christian martyrs thought it important enough to die to ensure their attendance at Mass, far be it from us to use the excuse that we are tired, clock less, or unable to discipline children as a reason for non- or partial attendance at the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

M.Z. Forrest

I would speculate that seeking communion during mass would not always be appropriate if otherwise not impeded. For example, if I'm driving by St. Christopher's and I get an inkling that I might want communion, so I enter and get in line, receive communion, and then leave. If this is a wedding mass, clearly I have interupted the mass to receive communion. If we work from there, say I had to wait 5 minutes before they started offering communion. Would I still be considered to be interupting the mass to fullfill my own desire? It would seem that the offering of communion is particular to folks participating in the mass.

M.Z. Forrest

Just to be clear, I am objecting based on the appropriate time requirement, arguing that the seeking communicant is seeking during the time when the congregation and priest are having mass.

Martin

Traffic? They have traffic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?

Ben Bentrup

I think Jimmy is barking up the wrong tree on this one.

Note how Canon 843 ("Sacred ministers cannot deny the sacraments to those who seek them at appropriate times, are properly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.") directly conflicts with Canon 912 ("Any baptized person not prohibited by law can and must be admitted to Holy Communion.") in the case of people who are not properly disposed or who do not seek them at proper times. Jimmy does well to bring up Canon 18 ("Laws which establish a penalty, restrict the free exercise of rights, or contain an exception from the law are subject to strict interpretation.") which shows how 843 a 'restrictive' canon overrides and makes 912 irrelevant in those circumstances.

So then we know that 843 is the binding one. If someone is not properly disposed they are not to receive. To figure out what properly disposed means, Jimmy cites the Catechism which is all fine and good. It helps us understand the term "properly disposed" but nowhere does it say that that understanding is exclusive. There may be other reasons, such as Fr. McNamara cites, that make one unworthy to receive. Therefore, McNamara's interpretation is valid, and Jimmy is creating an argument where there should be none. (Had to type the last paragrpah fast since the kids came in, hope it works.)

Matheus F. Ticiani

Regarding the issue of what is required to fulfill one's Sunday obligation, I remembered that Jimmy had previously written about it. It may be this post

Tim J.

"As always, the key is "properly disposed", and the only ones who will know that are the person and the Lord."

No, not really. Anyone involved in manifest grave sin would not be properly disposed. A priest certainly has the right - actually, the obligation - to make that judgment.

Josh

I think Jimmy's got it right here. With regards to properly disposed, I would tend to argue that there is nothing canonically barring that individual from receiving communion. If someone comes to you and they're chewing on a candy bar (or chewing gum for that matter) it is clear that that individual is not properly disposed to receive the Eucharist. With regards to Canon 843, the minister is always to assume that one is properly disposed unless they have absolute evidence otherwise (eg. the candy situation above)

John Kasaian

As an E.M.E. I have a question: A canonical lawyer who is a priest in my diocese told us that we cannot withold communion from any baptised person no matter which Christian tradition they subscribe to, so long as they believe the Eucharist to be the Body of Christ.True enough, but
the problem I have with this is if they aren't Catholic, how then do they receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior?
Any guidence on this, Mr. Shea?

Ed Peters

Fr. McNamara, in my opinion, erred seriously the last time he treated this topic. I blogged on it (not mentioning his name) here: http://www.canonlaw.info/blogarch03.htm (Scroll to Nov 5).

I think he is wrong again. Jimmy's answer is correct.

And folks, this topic has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the Sunday obligation.

Studdunker,

I'm an EME too, and what the head EME told me with respect to chewing gum is that I should tell the person they need to swallow it. I didn't ask about candy...seems like it would violate the Eucharistic fast...

Kasia

Whoops - that last one was me. Mea maxima culpa.

Lino

Dear Mike Petrik,
I too thought (at first) "that Fr. McNamara was talking about Sunday Mass".
However, at the end of his article, he makes clear that (in his judgment) one must refrain from receiving even at a weekday Mass, if one has arrived very late. I was very pleased to read Mr. Akin's excellent explanation of how Fr. M was wrong about this, because I was once victimized in this regard myself. (When I went up to receive Jesus on a Saturday morning, the priest told me that I could not, because he had seem me enter after the consecration of the gifts. Actually, I had been in church thirty minutes before Mass started, but had needed to leave, during the Preface, to use the rest room.)

Dear Marie,
Yes. Having received Communion after arriving very late (with a serious excuse) at a Sunday Mass, one may again receive Communion at a second Mass that one has attended. The law allows for a second reception (between midnight and midnight), as long as the second is at Mass.

Dear M. Z. Forrest,
I disagree with your "speculation." If you have not received Communion on a given day, but you desire to do so and realize that the opportunity is there (at the wedding Mass), you may enter the church and receive Jesus. There is no law against it, and I'm sure that it would please Our Lord. It would not be an "interruption of Mass" on your part.

Dear Ben Bentrup,
You are wrong. Mr. Akin is right. He didn't say that canon 912 overrides 843, but only that 912 reaffirms the rights of the communicant.

A final note: Some of Fr. McNamara's comments in his latest article were wrong, as Mr. Akin explained. I have been reading Fr. M's column for about four years now, which is something I would not have done if he were often wrong. BUT he is occasionally wrong, most often when (as in this case) he goes beyond the law and gets more restrictive (or more liberal) than the Church herself, due to an over-reliance on customs he has observed or on sloppy private interpretation of a law (either by himself, a childhood pastor or teacher, a seminary professor, or a fellow priest).

I have written to Fr. McNamara several times. When I first wrote, I was very deferential, so he was pleasant and even quoted me in one of his columns. But when I later pointed out some errors that he had made and gave him logical arguments to show that he was wrong, he cut off correspondence. Like the rest of us, he too is fallible and a sinner. Unfortunately, he has a very wide readership, and many influential people are assuming that he is right, even when he is wrong. His errors then get propagated throughout many blogs, printed publications, parishes, and dioceses. I asked him to submit all his answers to the applicable Vatican dicasteries for approval before publication at Zenit, but he ignored me, even though he is right there in Rome. Too bad for all of us.

Ben Bentrup

Jimmy's argument has the flawed assumption: "The Code doesn't go the needed dispositions in detail, but the Catechism does, saying:...[here he quotes paragraphs 1384-1386]" His fault is to assume or argue that those paragraphs are comprehensive in saying what gives proper disposition, but no where in those paragraphs is that claim made. As other parties have pointed out, gum chewing may nullify proper dispostion although it is not mentioned in the Catechism. Lateness may be another. Jimmy admits that one is obliged to attend the whole of the Sunday mass, failing to fulfill that obligation culpably would require denial of the sacraments.

Fr. McNamara draws the line thus: "Therefore, the onus of the decision whether or not to receive Communion, in this particular case of a late arrival, falls primarily upon the individual Catholic rather than upon the pastor who can hardly be expected to be attentive to every late arrival." Thus, in the rare case where the minister or the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion is aware of culpability in the public lateness, then it should be denied, otherwise, Fr. McNamara seems to be giving the faithful good advice as when it would be ok to seek the sacrament and when one should refrain.

Where's the beef?

Lino

Dear Kasia,
I would agree with you about gum (swallow). About candy ... A diabetic might need this (almost like a non-prohibited "medicine"), so I would deny Communion only to a candy-eater who I knew NOT to be a diabetic.

Dear John Kasaian,
The priest/canonical lawyer who talked to you was wrong. It is not enough that a non-Catholic "believe the Eucharist to be the Body of Christ" before he/she can receive Holy Communion. Further things are required, as listed in Canon Law (too complex to get into here). It is far more difficult for a Protestant licitly to be admitted to (Catholic) Holy Communion than an Eastern Orthodox person. If I recall correctly, a Protestant cannot be admitted to sacramental Confession, except when he is in danger of death. By contrast, it is possible for an Eastern Orthodox person to go to (Catholic) Confession.

M.Z. Forrest

Lino,

You realize that this reduces the Eucharist to a ticket booth with the mass being just pre-game entertainment. I'm not claiming one couldn't seek communion after mass. So far I have not heard a convincing argument that the offering of communion at mass is extrinsic to the mass itself, therefore being its own entity that can have everything preceding and after it ignored. And I am most assuredly not making a Sunday obligation argument. Receiving the Eucharist during mass is participation in a rite. Regardless of any claims of rights, it strikes me as obnoxious to make a deliberate choice through commission or negligence not to participate in a substancial portion of the rite and then expect to receive communion.

Lino

Dear M.Z. Forrest,

I understand the good point that you are making. Please understand the comment that I directed to you (about reception at the wedding Mass) as pertaining to situations in which it was not possible for the person to have attended the entire Mass. Certainly, the person who entered the wedding Mass to receive (1) should do his best to prepare himself spiritually before entering the church and (2) should stay for the rest of Mass and to make a thanksgiving.

Sifu Jones

I think the reason it would be wrong to refuse a late-comer communion would be the extenuating circumstances issue -- what if they plan on attending a later mass at the same, or a different, parish? What if they plan on attending an approved private mass in someone's home for some reason?

What if they went to mass on Saturday night, and just decided to go again on Sunday and arrived late? And then of course there's the usual car trouble, etc.

In those cases, which are common, there is no mortal sin that you can assume from purposeful missing of mass. Since it's clear that extraneous of mass you can receive communion whenever it's reasonable, then assuming you have fulfilled your Sunday obligation elsewhere, or plan to, and are not in a state of mortal sin and have adequately prepared to receive, stopping by toward the end of a mass at communion time to receive is not grounds for denial.

SDG

Regardless of any claims of rights, it strikes me as obnoxious to make a deliberate choice through commission or negligence not to participate in a substancial portion of the rite and then expect to receive communion.

Why does it have to be either? Why can't a person just be passing by or through a church and decide to receive the Lord?

John

Interesting how this relates to the case of Archbishop Niederauer giving communion to the gay activist group in San Francisco. It seems that, based on the canons quoted, the Archbishop was correct to give them the Eucharist, as there was no objective way for him to know that they were in a state of mortal sin at the time.

M.Z. Forrest

SDG,

I was giving a limiting condition, not reaching a conclusion. IOW, I was speaking to those who chose to be late, not claiming that those who were late chose to be late.

Ed Peters

Sometimes, reading comboxes makes me just wanna scream.

Tim J.

"the Archbishop was correct to give them the Eucharist, as there was no objective way for him to know that they were in a state of mortal sin at the time."

Their dress was objective evidence of sacrilege, if nothing else. If you don't see that, there is no help for it.

Thomas

The general principles for the obligation to assist at Mass can be found in Prummer, vol. 2, nn 476-487, and in Nicolaus' revision of the Compendium Salmanticense, nn. 1.504-1.525. Maybe there is some issue of canon law which is new, but I think that everything is more or less straightforward.

Papa Beatus Pius IX

Ed, hopefully this will ease you:

"Mike has got a great point. If you fall short on your Sunday obligation- let’s say you come in after the Canon, you have not fulfilled your Sunday obligation and therefore are in a state of mortal sin and can not receive the Eucharist.

WE surely can’t turn the Holy Eucharist to fast food in the takeout line..."

This is outrageous. Let's use an example to illustrate. If a member of the faithful arrives 30 min late to a 9 am mass, say, and they come forward to receive communion, THEY HAVE NOT YET AT THAT POINT MISSED THEIR SUNDAY OBLIGATION. The Sunday obligation can be fulfilled at any point during the liturgical Sunday (approx sundown on Saturday until midnight Sunday night). So if someone shows up for mass Sunday morning, given they are properly disposed in every other way, they have not AT ALL become ill disposed to receive because they have not committed any sin by arriving late. They still have time on the clock to fulfill their obligation.

This is possibly the only link between the two issues Jimmy correctly distinguishes: ability to receive Holy Communion and fulfillment of one's Sunday obligation. Other comments have linked to Jimmy's past articles on the fulfillment of the obligation.

The Church deems it better that a member of the faithful receive communion when he can, even if on a Sunday and even if he did not attend the whole mass or communion service. Going with our example, it would be better that our overworked parents who had an emergency with the kids making them late for mass, it is better for them to receive at 9 am and not be able to make it to another mass that day than it would be for them to not receive communion at all. "But this diminishes the importance of the Sunday obligation," you may say. In this case, the Church as a loving and merciful mother, concerned with the salvation of souls, would grant to her children a share in the sacraments, even if - indeed ESPECIALLY IF - the particular member of the faithful is impeded from full participation in the life of the church on that given Sunday.

This holds true even more so for daily masses, where the question of obligation doesn't enter into the picture at all.

Folks, Jimmy is exactly right on this point, and anyone who argues otherwise is falling into the false and dangerous legalism of the Pharisees against which Christ fought, the same legalism which is offensive to a loving and merciful Church.

Brian Walden

About swallowing gum - doesn't that break the fast requirements?

Also, can't a person be denied communion if they're not dressed or acting appropriately at Mass - say a man who isn't wearing a shirt - even though that's not necessarily a mortal sin? Wouldn't chewing gum during Mass fall into that same category? Or is that taking it too far.

If it's not taking it too far, wouldn't the disruption a person creates by deciding to receive communion on a whim and arriving just before communion also be disrespectful. The Mass is one whole prayer in itself from the opening sign of the cross to the closing sign of the cross. It's our greatest prayer. While the letter of the law may not prohibit it, it seems to be contrary to the spirit of the liturgy to just show up to receive communion. Doing so should be the exception when there is a serious reason to do so. It shouldn't be the normally allowed circumstance.

I would argue with M. Z. that showing up in the middle of Mass is not an appropriate time to receive communion. It's disrespectful to the unity of the Mass. Similarly, no one would think of showing up in the middle of Mass to ask the priest to receive confession or anointing of the sick (unless you're on your dying breath and really need it then) - it's not the appropriate time. Wouldn't it be better to wait until after Mass ends and speak to the priest if you would like to receive communion.

If I'm wrong I submit to the authority of the Church.

Paul

John, the criterion is grave sin, not mortal sin. The gravity of the sin is the first of three criteria for a sin to be mortal and is the only objective requirement (the other two being by their nature subjective). Thus, all persons in a state of mortal sin have committed a grave sin, but not all persons committing a grave sin commit mortal sin. However, under the law, all persons obstinately persisting in manifest grave sin, even if the sin is not mortal, must be denied communion, which explains the Archbishop of San Fransisco hubbub.

genxsurvivor

I was going to argue a theoretical point about Sunday obligation but apparently even Fr. McNamara agrees that's not relevant to his point. If you read down his column he says that you shouldn't receive communion even at a weekday Mass if you arrive after the consecration. I don't see how that position withstands Jimmy's analysis.

Mike Petrik

Thanks Ed and Lino for your clarification. I took the easy way out and drew inferences from Jimmy's post without taking the time to "READ THE WHOLE THING." That said, I think Jimmy may have added to the confusion by writing:
"Fr. McNamara's thought on this point appears to go wrong because he conflates two separate issues: (1) what is required to fulfill one's Sunday obligation and (2) what is required to receive Communion."
After reading Fr. McNamara's post, I agree that he got it wrong, but don't see how any issue related to the Sunday obligation contributed to it.

JoAnna
Interesting how this relates to the case of Archbishop Niederauer giving communion to the gay activist group in San Francisco. It seems that, based on the canons quoted, the Archbishop was correct to give them the Eucharist, as there was no objective way for him to know that they were in a state of mortal sin at the time.

Um... no. Did you not read the entirety of Jimmy's post, specifically the part of the Catechism he quotes?

"1387 To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church. Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest."

Obviously, the two homosexuals dressed in nun's habits, face make-up, and other outrageous garb clearly intended to mock the Catholic Church are not conveying the "respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becmes our guest." The Archbishop was wholly incorrect in giving the Eucharist to them.

Elijah

I'm curious how this all relates to sacraments other than the Eucharist. A person that I know who is a cradle Catholic but has been away from the Church since grade school made an appointment with a local priest for what she thought was going to be her confession and return to the Church, but he sent her home without hearing her confession because he said she needed to think about her sins more and write them all down. I realize that Jesus gave the apostles the authority to retain sins as well as forgive them, so how does the right of the faithful to receive the sacraments apply in such a case. Meanwhile the person is terrified of dying before making it back to confession, though I think that her intention and attempt would suffice.

in defense of being right

I don't care about a priest's ego being offended that someone shows up after his homily. people leave after the homily i guess you are going to say that is wrong too.

if you have a natural irritation to so called tardiness...that that is a pet peeve you need to work on forgiving. your irritation is what is sinful.
what is tardiness but someone not showing up when you told them to. they didn't agree to your time frame...that doesn't make them tardy, it makes you rude and impatient and arrogant. its not like you rule the world and the world runs on your timepiece. don't be so arrogant. get in tune with how time really works. its not the way you think it works or should work.

also i think if the homilist were truly humble and honest he would admit that his homilies are not that great and need work. we aren't really there to listen to a homilest...we are there for jesus.

it really is a shame that the mass as a meal of sharing and communion has been lost. the eucharist is meant to be a meal with conversation not one way talk and jabbering by one person.

further defense

i would argue that if a person is irritated that someone showed up later in the day to receive the lord that the irritated whiner is the one who is clearly in the wrong.

i refer you to the portion of the gospel where the lord hired people to work on his farm and some got there early and some got there late....they all got the same pay. the early birds thought it wasn't fair that the late arrivals got just as much pay as those who labored all day long.

so you are angry at the lord for his genrousity in feeding his flock no matter what time they arrive????

hmmmm.....what does that say about your lack of preparation and undeservingness for receiving the lord in holy communion? i would argue that you were not properly disposed if you are going to whine and complain about the late arrivals.

final answer

if it really bothers you ,,,,just got in line twice. then you have twice as much as the late arrival.

to elijah

elijah

i would advise your friend to seek out a better priest as this one lacks common sense and charity.

more thoughts

also the mass should not be a time for argumentation,debate and wrangling.

it is meant to be unifying like a family dinner but better. unifying and happy as you would feel attending someone's wedding. mass is meant to be celebratory and comforting. not a time of squabbling and argumentation.

don't swallow the gum

on the writer who mentioned the issue of approaching the eucharist with gum in her mouth....hello.....she should not swallow it...she should either take it out of her mouth and save it for later or throw it away.

if i was the eucharist minister i would insist that the gumchewer take it out of her mouth... i would probably be so bold and stubborn as to insist she leave it on the napkin. i would make sure she swallowed the eucharist and not the gum.

i can't believe how dumb the eucharistic minister was to think its ok to swallow the gum before receiving the eucharist. she should know that eating at least one hour before eucharistic reception is forbidden....swallowing the gum seconds before the swallowing the eucharist is W-R-O-N-G!

perhaps our illustrious writer/reporter of this gum chewing observation is twisting things out of context...i think eucharistic ministers are better informed and trained than telling someone to swallow the gum.

Gumball

Chew on this: "Incidentally, for those who may be wondering, gum does not violate the Eucharistic fast, because GUM IS NOT FOOD. Gum is one of those non-food things like mouthwash, toothpaste, medicine, throat losenges, barium solutions, and breathmints that you put in your mouth (and may even swallow) for reasons other than wanting to provide nourishment to your body. It therefore is not food and does not break the fast."
http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2006/03/gum_at_mass.html

I don't think a person should show up for mass if they can't or won't receive eucharist. i think it is unjust punishment.

thought i should mention something....

...reminds me of protestant altar calls when they tell you to receive jesus in the heart. as catholics when we go to mass we receive jesus in our hearts and join our flesh to his.

next time a protestant tells you to accept jesus into your heart tell them you do at mass. and be prepared for an argument. that was the whole point of them telling you to accept jesus into your heart...they wanted to fight about the eucharist....well! give them that fight...invite them to mass and tell them they can accept jesus in their hearts but are not permitted to receive him into their flesh.

Gumball

And chew on this: "Chewing gum while there is still flavor means that one is still swallowing some of the suger or suger substitute. This does break the fast. Cheweing gum in Church is most inappropriate and a sign of disrespect. Your pastor is obliged to give good example to his parishioners and is further obliged to uphold the Church's teachings. To be concerned about breaking the fast is legitimate and not a scruple.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P."
http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=512118&Pg=Forum4&Pgnu=1&recnu=6

gumball retort

gum is not meant to be swallowed...if you swallow it you have broken the fast.

Gumball

More gum to chew: "The Eucharistic fast is before Holy Communion, not the Mass. It is a fast from food and drink, water is alright, as is medicine. The moral theology tradition teaches that to be food it must be a) edible, b) taken by mouth, and c) swallowed. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, candies, breath mints, lozanges and anything that is put into the mouth to be dissolved or chewed meets these conditions once the dissolved contents are swallowed. Chewing gum does not break the fast, but it is disrespectful of the Sacred Liturgy and once the juice is swallowed the fast is broken. The tradition also teaches that the fast is strict - one hour, that is, 60 minutes. Given that until recently the fast was from midnight, this seems very little to ask of Catholics."
http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/communion_dispositions.htm

Paul

I apologize to all the trads I questioned or even criticized---I just saw the Barney Mass and it is real.
It was Bizarre. A friend emailed it to me. I saw it on YouTube.

barney mass YEAH!!!!

i love barney
i have no objections to that mass. i think it was cute and as a catholic who gets it...i don't think there was anything wrong with it. i just see the whiny trads as not being real catholics. funny that the real catholic was dresssed up as barney and the fake catholics are the one's who complained...the truth is that the complainers are prostants...they aren't catholic at all.

RULE 21 VIOLATION

RULE 21 VIOLATION

Papa Beatus Pius IX

Careful, friend. Not all traditionally minded people behave the same way. Many people who prefer the older form of the mass or even a more traditionally celebrated newer form of the mass are quite charitable and kind. Not all trads are self righteous, proud, or evil. I agree that there is a problem with many trads, and that righteous pride is a common problem among them, but many of the kindest Catholics I have met are ones who are more traditionally minded. Remember that judging others for being uncharitable is, in most cases, an uncharitable act in itself.

We, as Christians, should avoid calling anyone evil. Christ should bring us together, not tear us apart.

Papa Beatus Pius IX

We thank you, moderator, for ending that fiasco.

Where might I find your list of rules for regulating comments?

Mary Kay

PBP9, Da Rulz are on da left of your screen under Permaposts.

Alex Okondu-Ugba,O.P.

hi jimmy,
it really baffles me to note the extent and space devoted to arguing about late attendance and receiving communion. Much as I appreciate the efforts to go to Cannon Law and the Catechism to clarify issues, given our intellectual advantage and quest for proofs for many an issue, I still believe there should be a conscious effort to encourage Catholics, if they are not so simply in name but in fact, to take time in preparing for Mass be it Sunday or Weekday Masses. It truly gives room for rationalization whether or not I'm right or wrong in attending this or that part of the Mass, which unfortunately has characterized our postmodern world! Jimmy please encourage "perpetual latecomers" to take their spiritual life more seriously and not give them room to argue out their laxities to their spiritual nourishment.

Alex Okondu-Ugba, O.P.
Lagos Nigeria

jm

Growing up in a solid Catholic environment, (taught by good nuns and priests) we were told that to arrive late was a venial sin and to arrive after the Gospel on Sunday was a mortal sin and we could NOT receive Holy Communion. Even if there were a legitimate reason for being very late it is better not to create scandal but to go to a later Mass. Common sense and a respect for Our Lord seems so sadly missing today....especially in Barney churches. What a tragedy that few catholics, even priests today, know their faith.

FR RP

It IS a matter of good catchesis applied with a touch of charity. When I got to my present assignment, people habitually showed up late for Mass and left immediately after communion. It took about 6 months of catechesis, but neither the tardiness nor the 'dine and dash' are happening anymore. Instead of castigating them, I chose to do an extended per partum of the Mass, over several Sunday homilies, to get them to understand why the need to show the respect that is proper. Other things started to dissapate as well...inappropriate and immodest clothing, chewing of gum, bringing snacks in for the little ones, and Mass attendance went up as well.

I think too many times, driven out of a love for Christ and the Eucharist, we rush to presume malevolent intent on the behalf of those who are lacadaisical, apathetic, or slothful in thier practice of the faith. There is a middle ground between the awful mentality of 'at least they are there' and 'off with their heads'. It is harder work to re-catechize, but it is the only path to clean up behavior.

Lino

Dear Thomas (who expected us to have handy, for reading, Dominican Father Prummer's 1957 book and the even older "Compendium Salmanticense") ...
Please do not expect us to feel bound by the opinions of moral theologians, especially people who are not part of the Church's magisterium.

Dear Brian Walden,
1. I believe that a persuasive opinion is that chewing gum does not break the fast, since it is not "food" (nourishment). Nevertheless, I think that chewing gum in church is disrespectful, as it is a sort of inappropriate "leisure" activity.
2. One cannot be denied Holy Communion for not wearing a shirt, as I'm sure that many people in equatorial climes are doing this as we write these words.
3. A person who enters church in the midst of a wedding and goes to receive Holy Communion can do so without causing an "disruption." I don't know why you would assume that a "disruption" would occur.

Dear Paul,
Your attempt to draw a distinction between "grave sin" and "mortal sin" was erroneous. In fact, there are three synonymous terms: "mortal sin," "grave sin," and "serious sin." They all mean the same thing. The proper distinction that you were trying to draw -- but without using the correct terminology -- is the distinction between "grave matter" and "mortal sin." The "objective requirement" to which you referred is the "grave or serious matter" (not "grave sin"). If "grave matter" is present -- in addition to the two "subjective requirements" (knowledge and consent) -- then a "grave/mortal/serious sin" has been committed.

Dear Elijah,
A priest has no right to require a penitent to write down his/her sins. Even practically speaking, writing down sins (especially serious ones) could be highly inadvisable, sins one's privacy could be invaded. Your friend should be at peace and go to see another priest as soon as possible (without mentioning to him what the first priest said).

Dear jm,
If the "good nuns and priests" told you that it was a venial sin to arrive a bit late even if one had a serious excuse, then they were mistaken. If a valid excuse exists, there is no sin at all.

Dear "in defense of being right" (and numerous other lower-case handles),
You are so wrong about so many things that I think that it may be useless to explain them all. I think that you need time and prayer to come to conversion, so that you will be open to correction.
Good heavens! The parable of the laborers (which pertains to coming to conversion at mid-life or on one's deathbed) has nothing to do with this discussion -- except (ironically) as it may pertain to your own coming conversion!
I will only mention one thing, especially for the benefit of others: We are absolutely obliged NOT to be late for Mass intentionally (e.g., to avoid hearing what you consider a bad homilist). We should all strive to be in church well before Mass starts, if possible, to begin to prepare our minds and hearts to be mystically with Mary at the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary -- and with the Apostles at the renewal of the Last Supper.

Lino

Dear Elijah,
I should have added that, in my opinion, your friend should send a note to the bishop, explaining what happened and asking him to counsel the first priest against requiring a written list of sins.

Anonimo

Words of Ed P -- "Sometimes, reading comboxes makes me just wanna scream."

Well then, Ed, please pick one of these things to do:
-- Scream, and get it out of your system.
-- Don't scream, and accept the annoyance as a penance for your many sins.
-- Don't read comboxes, since they sometimes frustrate you and may be a near occasion of sin.

But there's one thing that you should NOT do, since it is a waste of your time and ours: Don't post a message telling us that "sometimes, reading comboxes makes" you "just wanna scream."

RULE 1 VIOLATION DELETED.

Esau

For example, if I'm driving by St. Christopher's and I get an inkling that I might want communion, so I enter and get in line, receive communion, and then leave.


So instead of folks arriving at Mass early, hearing Scriptures, attending the ENTIRE MASS; it would be acceptable for folks merely to drive by around Communion time, take in the host, and go bye-bye.

If that's acceptable, might as well have a Communion DRIVE-THRU for folks and we can knock out the pews when building new churches and have a FAST-FOOD set-up instead!

FR RP

I won't say where, but it was at a parish ina resort town, where I saw people drive up 35+ minutes late, get out of thier car, get into the communion line directly, take communion, and walk out without ever going into a pew at all. I actually, being young, in tose days, asked the persons ( a family actually)if they called that 'going to Mass'? They rather indignately said "Hey we're on vacation, you should be happy we came at all."

Preach actual love of Christ and the Eucharist, and these thing come to a screeching halt...or at least the have in every assignment I have had.

Esau

I won't say where, but it was at a parish ina resort town, where I saw people drive up 35+ minutes late, get out of thier car, get into the communion line directly, take communion, and walk out without ever going into a pew at all. I actually, being young, in tose days, asked the persons ( a family actually)if they called that 'going to Mass'? They rather indignately said "Hey we're on vacation, you should be happy we came at all."


FR RP,

Unfortunately, what you've described here has become common practice in some parishes I've attended.

It's all too sad, really, that folks are treating The Holy Eucharist like FAST-FOOD!

The priest might as well be taking their order in a kiosk and ask them at a drive-thru console, "Do you want the Holy Blood of Christ with your order?"

If these folks don't respect The Body & Blood of Christ in the appropriate manner, why do they go at all? I mean, do they even believe this to be the case?

M.Z. Forrest

If someone can show me in the GIRM where participation in the Liturgy of the Word is optional, I will drop my objection. Otherwise, I have to conclude that folks are making unauthorized changes to the mass.

A Non

If you preach, how will it get to them if they don't go to the homily?

M.Z. Forrest

Here is the GIRM:
28. The Mass is made up, as it were, of two parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. These, however, are so closely interconnected that they form but one single act of worship.40 For in the Mass the table both of God’s word and of Christ’s Body is prepared, from which the faithful may be instructed and refreshed.41 There are also certain rites that open and conclude the celebration.

FR RP

by preaching again after communion...when things have gotten a bit crazy at that particular Mass. I'll tell you...you only have to do it once

Esau

If someone can show me in the GIRM where participation in the Liturgy of the Word is optional

Thank-you, MZ!

The Mass is made up, as it were, of two parts: the Liturgy of the Word AND the Liturgy of the Eucharist


This has always been the case since the Early Church!

Look to the writings of such folks as St. Justin Martyr.

Brian Walden

Dear Brian Walden,
1. I believe that a persuasive opinion is that chewing gum does not break the fast, since it is not "food" (nourishment). Nevertheless, I think that chewing gum in church is disrespectful, as it is a sort of inappropriate "leisure" activity.

I don't claim to know how the canon defines food, but I was asking about swallowing gum. There are lot's of foods that provide minimal to no nourishment, does that mean soda or cotton candy doesn't break the fast? If gum isn't food, what is it? It's made to be chewed on and it's edible. It's not medicine.

2. One cannot be denied Holy Communion for not wearing a shirt, as I'm sure that many people in equatorial climes are doing this as we write these words.

People from cultures who don't normally wear shirts may be dressed appropriately for Mass. I'd assume it's pretty unanimously understood that people in the U.S. who don't wear a shirt at Mass are dressed inappropriately. Maybe I'm wrong. I know that someone without a shirt would be denied communion at St. Peters.

3. A person who enters church in the midst of a wedding and goes to receive Holy Communion can do so without causing an "disruption." I don't know why you would assume that a "disruption" would occur.

It's Mass. People don't have a right to barge in on Mass for reasons other than to participate at Mass. Showing up just to receive communion is against the spirit of the law even if it may not be against the letter. It separates communion from the single act of worship contained in the Mass. If a person just wants to receive communion they should arrange for it outside of Mass like they would with any of the other sacraments.

Elijah

Gum could be looked at as a medicine actually, one that combats halitosis. Then it may even be a sign of respect for one's neighbors at mass because it would be intended to spare them the effects of halitosis, especially if one likes to sing loudly. I say this semi-facetiously, but I really only chew gum for the purpose of breath freshening; I don't use it as a candy or treat, but rather like 'mouth deoderant'. I don't chew it at mass, but only because it would certainly offend other people; I don't think that I would be being disrespectful of the Lord to chew it any more than I would be for blowing my nose or leaving for a minute to go to the bathroom if I had to.

Gumball

The FDA considers chewing gum to be food. And without even swallowing the rubbery part of the gum, one can consume as much as a teaspoon and a half of sugar from a single piece of gum. In addition, whether it's "food" or not, studies have found that chewing gum can help reduce a person's hunger and appetite. One might ask if that is in keeping with or is it contrary to the notion of fasting.

Paul Madrid

Lino, that's interesting that "grave sin", "serious sin", and "mortal sin" are used synonymously; I've always seen the first two solely in the context of what you call "grave matter", i.e. that a person who commits a "serious/grave sin" with knowledge of gravity and freedom is in peril of their soul, thus making the sin "mortal." I'm perfectly willing to accept a change in terminology as long as our meanings are clear.

My point, however, was that "grave sin" in the context of canon 915 can only mean "grave matter." Otherwise, the canon would force communion ministers to judge whether the two subjective criterion are present, which is something that the communion ministers would not be competent to do, ordained or not.

in re: to arriving late

the first shall be last
and
the last shall be first

chew on that one

FR RP

It is best to summarize that the gum should be left in the car. However, neither the CCC(1387-1388) or Codex (916, 919) refer to the failure to keep the communion fast as mortally sinful. Per Mr. Madrid's argument, as use of free will and full knowledge must be factored in. In a day and age where the rude has become commonplace and catechesis sloppy ( seriously, how many even know of the communion fast?), gum chewing is seen as a totally benign activity.

When this problem reared its ugly head in each parish, I instructed the EMs to tell the person to remove the gum and not put it back in their mouth. After preaching about the act of reception of communion, the congregants could no longer plead ignorance. I haven't seen gum in the mouths of anyone in CHurch in years. Word travels fast.

It is better to presume that a person is acting out of ignorance rather than malice. It becomes a time to engage in the Spiritual Work of Mercy- Instructing the Ignorant. (Charitably mind you) But the two go hand in hand. IN other words, it does little good to presume ignorance and hen not correct it charitably. Someone might ask what I would do if I KNEW a person was being definane; simply, out of concern for the state of their soul, I would not abet them in the committing of a mortal in. But I would have to KNOW this to be the case.

FR RP

In RE...
what?

Either this is a horrible example of prooftexting or a non-sequitur. Either way it is nothing worth chewing on.

Esau

I don't think that I would be being disrespectful of the Lord to chew it any more than I would be for blowing my nose or leaving for a minute to go to the bathroom if I had to.

YEAH!

I can't believe that they don't even allow vendors at Mass to sell and dish out hot dogs and soda pop as well!

Heck, the Mass should become as sacred as an outing at ballgame!

HOORAY ELIJAH!

Esau

Elijah,

What gum do you chew at Mass?

I hope it's double-mint.

That way, when you receive the Lord at Communion, He'll not experience your bad breath as well!

bill912

Smells like trolling to me, Father.

FR RP

Brian,
someone without a shirt would be denied ENTRANCE to St. Peter's.

Esau

someone without a shirt would be denied ENTRANCE to St. Peter's.

I don't think that I would be being disrespectful of the Lord to not wear a shirt at Mass any more than I would be for blowing my nose or leaving for a minute to go to the bathroom if I had to.

Esau

Is REVERENCE at Mass suddenly become optional, too -- much like the Liturgy of the Word has?

Brian Walden

Brian,
someone without a shirt would be denied ENTRANCE to St. Peter's.

Maybe, that's the answer, Fr. Have ushers at the doors to politely remind people to discard their gum before entering the church. That way the whole situation is avoided.

And thank you for teaching the basics in your homilies. Everyone knows that the laity are largely under-catechized. I can't understand why more pastors don't use their homilies to teach faith and morals 101. We need to be taught.

Elijah

Esau,

'What gum do you chew at Mass?'

My post, which isn't so long that you shouldn't be able to read the whole thing, clearly states that I don't chew gum at mass.

Esau

Elijah,

I just have a pet peeve with folks chewing gum at Mass as well as those who think that it's okay to do so.

I know I sounded harsh, but if folks can actually muster to maintain good manners in front of polite company; they can surely muster good manners in front of Our Lord.

God bless.

Elijah

Well, Esau, I'm willing to play by the cultural rules of what's acceptable at mass. I just think that folks should realize that that's all they are. Your suggestion of hot dogs and soda isn't so far off from the early Eucharistic celebrations, which were full blown meals, including common foods of the day, as I know you already know. It's true that those had to be done away with, but still, considering the original vision of the apostles, it isn't so far fetched to think that eating and drinking at mass could be done without disrespect - the first mass was the last supper after all, where there was apparently much 'sopping'. ^^

Esau

Well, Esau, I'm willing to play by the cultural rules of what's acceptable at mass. I just think that folks should realize that that's all they are.

Then, by your argument, folks should be allowed to come to Mass naked or in slippers and in their boxers, burp loud like heck, bring some cotton candy and install a big screen television in church to watch Sunday's game while at Mass.

Your interpretation of what occured in early Eucharistic celebration is a modern, liebral revision of what actually occured.

If that's what you believe -- fine.

However, even in the Jewish community, the Last Supper celebrated by our Lord known to us was actually a solemn event for the Jews.

You read into it with such a liberal gloss in order to rationalize all these disrespectful acts to submit to a lesser standard for the Lord.

However, even in Scripture, it is accentuated how important it is to keep reverence for the House of God!

I would suggest you actually read the Bible.

Susan Peterson

I have a lifelong problem with being late. I have missed the opening question in seminar(which was the most important part of the college program I attended), change of shift report in nursing homes and hospitals, been late to meet someone I loved etc etc. I don't understand the cause of this problem but I have been struggling with it my whole life and it has caused me a lot of pain in many situations, lost jobs and relationships, almost like an addiction.

Lately I am not late to church too much on Sunday as my husband comes with me and gives me regular bulletins on how long it is before we have to leave home and really pushes me out the door on time.... but to daily mass, when I have to get ready to go to work and pack my lunch and all before I leave, I am still late often. Most people are very understanding and most priests say, just come as soon as you can. But at one of the churches I go to daily mass at (one in the cluster of 6) there is someone who is made furious by my lateness. He almost refused to shake hands with me at the peace, wouldn't make eye contact or smile...while doing so with others. Then one day he asked me if I got stuck in a traffic jam... in this little town at that hour of the morning, that was a preposterous question meant to highlight that I was without excuse. I have stopped going to daily mass the days it is at that church, as a result. It certainly isn't disrespect for God or the Mass or the Eucharist which causes me to have this problem. I don't know what it is, but I think everyone should realize that dealing with time isn't equally easy for everyone.

Back when I was bringing kids to church on Sunday, I did have problems making them come with me. My husband, then not of any religion, would sometimes support me in making them come, and sometimes not, depending on his whim or whether I was in his favor at the moment. When he did support me it was nearly as bad, as there would be scenes when he chased a kid around the outside of the house, caught him and dragged him to the car and threw him in, so that we arrived not only late but with someone crying and perhaps dirty from being dragged across the grass. (Eventually under those circumstances I gave up making them go.) Earlier on when the kids were younger my husband would sometimes offer some bribe to a child to stay home just as we were leaving for church. (ie Do you want me to pitch a baseball for you to hit?-something he never otherwise did). People come to church from imperfect families, from families with serious problems, from families with conflict over religion so that every Sunday involves a major battle. Some who come late may be careless, some may have a lifelong problem with lateness, some may have major family problems. You can't really tell what is up with them unless you know them well.

As for just going in and taking communion when it is not a matter of the Sunday obligation...well, when I was in the hospital having my first son the priest showed up the next morning after my C section at the crack of dawn, it seemed, and popped the host in my mouth before I could even properly wake up. So, if that was allright, I guess going into church during a mass and just taking communion can't be intrinsically bad.

Susan Peterson

Esau

But at one of the churches I go to daily mass at (one in the cluster of 6) there is someone who is made furious by my lateness. He almost refused to shake hands with me at the peace, wouldn't make eye contact or smile...while doing so with others. Then one day he asked me if I got stuck in a traffic jam... in this little town at that hour of the morning, that was a preposterous question meant to highlight that I was without excuse.

Susan,

This person was just completely awful.

I hope he didn't take communion in light of the fact that he didn't reconcile with you at Mass.

Even St. Paul talks about this in his Epistles about how folks should be reconciled first to each other before receiving the Lord.

Esau

Elijah,

This was what I was talking about:

1 Cor 11: 20-29

20 When you come therefore together into one place, it is not now to eat the Lord's supper.
21 For every one taketh before his own supper to eat. And one indeed is hungry and another is drunk.
22 What, have you no houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the church of God and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? Do I praise you? In this I praise you not.
23 ¶ For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread,
24 And giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me.
25 In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.
26 For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.
27 Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.


You could see here how even St. Paul takes the Eucharistic Celebration seriously!

Thomas


Dear Lino,

A one volume easy-to-read Prummer was published in English. Jone is out there. Grisez might have something.

You are not bound to believe moral theologians, but generally the ones I mentioned (Prummer, Nicolaus and maybe Jone, who is not as good) know more about the issues and what is relevant than anyone who has written comments. It just seems to me to waste time to debate about things that brighter and more learned people have discussed at length. It is as if people are reinventing the wheel.

Elijah

Darn. I guess I'll never realize my dream of a nudist mass if I can't convince Esau that gum chewing might be a cultural issue instead of an intrinsically evil offense to God. But, being a biblically illiterate liberal, I should have expected defeat.

Esau

No worries.

I'll make sure when I receive the Lord in my mouth at Mass that I am chewing two sticks of gum in my mouth so that the double-mint will be a welcome odor to the Lord.

In fact, I'll also make sure that I don't wash my hands -- as this is also a cultural issue and not intrinsically evil offense to God -- as well as come in my boxers to church while, at the same time, having beer in hand and some popcorn for the show and take along my iPOD as well to listen during the service.

matt

A little late on the scene here, but a few thoughts. As Jimmy has pointed out, it is canonically forbidden to refuse communion simply for late arrival. That does not necessarily mean the person is properly disposed, but under normal circumstances that is entirely an inner forum. Lord knows that a significant portion of mass attendees are contracepting and recieving communion but again, it's not manifest so it is not grounds to deny...however, it is certainly within the rights and obligation of the pastor to instruct the communicants on what they ought to do to be disposed for communion, and having a lax attitude to arriving at mass on time is fair game. It is left to the conscience of the faithful and the Lord to judge their decision in the matter.

Another good point is that the Liturgy is incomplete without the Word and the Eucharist, but communion may be taken without Mass in any event, so there is no reason to not receive communion even if you only arrive at the moment. It seems disrespectful to do this without cause though, and especially to leave right away i think would be problematic. On Sunday's of course, it's clear that arriving after the start of the Canon is clearly not fulfilling one's obligation, and arguably even missing the first reading would render the obligation unmet. Stay for the rest of mass, and go to the next one (where you can receive as well) to fulfil the obligation.

God Bless,

Matt

RC

matt wrote:

On Sunday's of course, it's clear that arriving after the start of the Canon is clearly not fulfilling one's obligation, and arguably even missing the first reading would render the obligation unmet.

The first reading? Hm, I don't buy that. The old conventional rule of thumb was: when the priest uncovered the gifts to begin the offertory rite.

It's certainly possible that the pastoral authority of the Church could override that consensus opinion, change the cut-off point, and move it to an earlier point in the Mass. However, as long as authority hasn't explicitly done that, we have to interpret the rules about Sunday obligation as favorably as possible to the faithful involved.

the norm

the question is best answered by the individual's spiritual director who should ask, were you late to mass? why? is this becoming a haibt? if so we should talk...one cannot grow in grace by trying to make their life from a cookbook

Lino

Dear friends,

I have been troubled by noticing that three different people on this page have used a form of the phrase, "to take Communion." I would like to aks/persuade everyone not to use this phrase, because it is not accurate and is not the phrase that the Church teaches us to use.

Except for a priest/bishop, we do not "take Communion." We "receive" Communion. We can see this both in the original Latin and in the official English translation of the "G.I.R.M." (General Instruction of the Roman Missal), found at the front of each Sacramentary. Many, many times one can find references to non-priests "receiving" "holy Communion/the Sacrament/the Body of the Lord/etc.," in the GIRM, but never can one find a reference a non-priest "taking" Communion.

Here is one good example from the Latin original of the GIRM: "Communicandus respondet: Amen, et Sacramentum recipit ..." -- which means, "The communicant responds, 'Amen,' and RECEIVES the Sacrament".

In English, the word "take" denotes reaching out and grasping something, on one's own. That is not what a non-priest does in a Catholic church. Conversely, the word "receive" denotes a certain degree of passivity -- of acceptance to the action of another who places the Sacrament onto one's tongue or palm.

My experience has been that the use of the phrase, "take Communion," is prevalent in protestant communities, but is almost always avoided in the Catholic Church. The reason for protestants' use of the phrase is that Jesus said, "Take and eat," and protestants do not distinguish between the ordained priesthood and the universal priesthood of the faithful. They believe that they can "take" -- and not have to "receive" -- their bread and wine or grape juice. But we know that we (non-priests) must never "take" the Lord and must always "receive" him from the Lord's ministers.

Thank you for considering my plea.

thank you lino

lino brought up some interesting thoughts for reflection...

the lord said to take him and eat
that's what we do when
he asks us to accept Him.

as a catholic i have always said take communion or i have to go to communion.

if you think of it as the word of god
we take the words and digest them
we listen to them
we are OPEN to listening...we are in receptive mode
taking is being in receptive mode...but a bit more active...than just sitting there lamely...it requires us to get up and walk to the cup, the source of life, rise and do not be afraid

as the bride of christ we take the lord into hearts and homes...we recieve him and we digest (ponder) his words and his flesh

when he OFFERS his Flesh our response is that when we take his offer--we are accepting both him and what he has offered. we have accepted his life...body and blood, soul and divinity.

so, we take the deal as they say. we take what is given to us.

when a man and woman are joined in holy matrimony they are asked...do you TAKE this man/this women to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband?

jesus at the last supper tells us to take him. jesus at every offering commnads us to take him.

protestants don't have communion

one other thought....protestants do not receive the body and blood of the lord at their communion services. they are not taking communion....they are not accepting the lord's offering. their communions are not valid. even they will tell you that their communion is not the body and blood of the lord.

only catholics will tell you that their communion if of the body and blood of the lord. you will never hear a protestant claim to have taken the body and blood of the lord. they don't believe in it. and they are being truthful actually...their ministers do not have the POWER to change ordinary bread and wine into the body and blood of christ. which is why they are truthfully correct that their service is only symbolic. they however cannot say the same thing about a catholic communion. they would be lying if they did.

Ann

It seems to help people arrive on time if mass always starts exactly when it is supposed to. I think tardiness is more of a problem at places where mass begins a couple or even five minutes late. Tardiness is an issue for assemblies, presiders, sacristans, ministers, etc. The tower bells announce the opening hymn at our church, at it seems to bring everyone in on time.

matt

RC,

Matt:
On Sunday's of course, it's clear that arriving after the start of the Canon is clearly not fulfilling one's obligation, and arguably even missing the first reading would render the obligation unmet.

RC:
The first reading? Hm, I don't buy that. The old conventional rule of thumb was: when the priest uncovered the gifts to begin the offertory rite.

It's certainly possible that the pastoral authority of the Church could override that consensus opinion, change the cut-off point, and move it to an earlier point in the Mass. However, as long as authority hasn't explicitly done that, we have to interpret the rules about Sunday obligation as favorably as possible to the faithful involved.


I don't buy what you say either, the fact is you have not cited any authority, while I'm aware of the commonly referred to standard, I don't believe it has any force of law.

The Canon says we are to be at Mass. The Church has made clear that the Sacrifice of the Mass entails the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. How is it that one could miss the entire Word and still have met the obligation? I think you are mistaken in calling for a permissive standard, I believe the Church calls for us to take the safest path when in doubt. The safest path is clearly to assume you have not met your obligation if you miss a significant portion of the Liturgy of the Word. Why is this so hard to accept? Did Christ not tell us to take up our cross? How much of a cross is it to assist at a whole Mass.

God Bless,

Matt

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31