Saturday, December 30, 2006

About Those "Ministers" of Communion

An old friend from FR now runs an interesting 'net site, and provides the following item. Now almost 10 years old and STILL observed only in the breach by most Milwaukee-area parishes.

No surprise.

Extraordinary ministers may distribute Holy Communion at eucharistic celebrations only when there are no ordained ministers present or when those ordained ministers present at a liturgical celebration are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion. (99)

They may also exercise this function at eucharistic celebrations where there are particularly large numbers of the faithful and which would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained ministers to distribute Holy Communion. (100)

This function is supplementary and extraordinary (101) and must be exercised in accordance with the norm of law. It is thus useful for the diocesan bishop to issue particular norms concerning extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion which, in complete harmony with the universal law of the Church, should regulate the exercise of this function in his diocese. Such norms should provide, amongst other things, for matters such as the instruction in eucharistic doctrine of those chosen to be extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the meaning of the service they provide, the rubrics to be observed, the reverence to be shown for such an august Sacrament and instruction concerning the discipline on admission to Holy Communion.

To avoid creating confusion, certain practices are to be avoided and eliminated where such have emerged in particular Churches:

extraordinary ministers receiving Holy Communion apart from the other faithful as though concelebrants;

— association with the renewal of promises made by priests at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, as well as other categories of faithful who renew religious vows or receive a mandate as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion;

the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass thus arbitrarily extending the concept of "a great number of the faithful"

In brief, every use of EEM's at Mass in Milwaukee is in direct contradiction to the norms above.

Every one.


Anonymous said...

Dad29 said...

That's nice. A PDF which describes EEM's, etc., etc., but no reference to the Vatican's document posted on this thread.

Strange, no? You s'pose that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is ignoring the document?

Or is there an authoritative document which over-rides the Roman one?

Anonymous said...

The document you quote is an Instruction. Roman Instructions cannot make law, instructions only interprets already existing liturgical law. Possibly that is why the Milwaukee pdf does not mention the instruction. The Milwaukee pdf quotes the relevant liturgical documents.

Dad29 said...

Roman "Instructions" on matters liturgical are to be obeyed, not ignored.

The competent local authority cannot ignore this prohibition:

the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass thus arbitrarily extending the concept of "a great number of the faithful"

can he?

See, under Canon law, ONLY Rome can regulate the liturgy. All deviations from GIRM and "instructions" from Rome must be specifically approved by Rome.