Skip to content
Catholic Online SHopping 20% off RE-Grand Opening SALE

RE-Grand Opening
FREE Shipping over $49 (lower 48)

Bishop Forbids Lay 'Communion services'

By
5/14/2008 (9 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

"I, as Bishop, am declaring that no weekday Celebrations of the Word with the distribution of Holy Communion will be allowed in this Diocese"

Highlights

By
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/14/2008 (9 years ago)

Published in U.S.


ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY (CNA) - Bishop of Rockville Centre William Murphy has issued a pastoral letter restricting the practice of Communion services at parishes and schools in his diocese.

He said the ban on Communion services would bring the archdiocese into conformity with the liturgical norms of the Church.

Writing in an eight-page letter sent on Friday, Bishop Murphy reflected on the importance of the Eucharist. "The Eucharist is the greatest gift Jesus left us... The celebration of the Eucharist gives us our identity as well as our life," he said.

The bishop said that Communion services, in practice, often sever what he called "the connection between receiving the Sacrament and celebrating the sacrifice."

"The two go hand-in-hand," he continued. "Receiving the Sacrament is the culmination of participating in the sacrifice."

"There is an inherent interconnection between sacrifice, Real Presence, and Communion," Bishop Murphy said.

"In the popular mind, all too often the purpose of Mass is still seen as an action simply to consecrate hosts; some people think their participation in the Eucharistic Prayer is all about watching the priest and then receiving Holy Communion," he wrote.

Bishop Murphy said that the internal "offering" of ourselves both differentiates a Mass from a Communion Service and provides context for the laity's "full, conscious, and active" participation in the Mass.

He ordered the Communion services in the diocese to end by July 1. Bishop Murphy explained in his letter that the Communion services were originally intended for use on Sundays only in remote, missionary parishes where priests could rarely visit.

According to Newsday, for the past thirty years, students at the elite Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY could receive Holy Communion during a 15-minute Communion service just before lunch. Schools like Chaminade have said they conduct the services because they lack the time to celebrate Mass amid classes. Some schools lack priests to celebrate Mass.

At some parishes in the diocese, church workers hold the services on weekday mornings because no priest is available for Mass.

In his pastoral letter, Bishop Murphy said that in 1997 his predecessor Bishop John Raymond McGann had instituted a moratorium forbidding any new Communion services from being offered on weekdays, though the moratorium allowed parishes with existing services to continue to hold them.

Since that moratorium, Bishop Murphy said, liturgical legislation has clarified that "Celebrations of the Word, especially the use of the Church's Liturgy of the Hours is encouraged, the distribution of Holy Communion is not a part of such service nor should it be."

Celebrations of the Word include all of the designated Mass readings for the day but no Eucharistic prayer or consecration. At Communion services, the Mass readings are followed by the reception of Communion Hosts consecrated by a priest at a previous Mass.

Bishop Murphy said celebrations involving Communion services could no longer be held on weekdays.

"I, as Bishop, am declaring that no weekday Celebrations of the Word with the distribution of Holy Communion will be allowed in this Diocese thereby bringing our Diocese into conformity with the liturgical norms of the Church," he wrote.

"This new policy must not be seen as 'taking something away' from the laity," the bishop insisted. "All of us are called to offer our proper roles in the Liturgy and none of us is other than servant of the Church when we fulfill any role in the Liturgy"

According to Newsday, several schools and parishes who hold Communion services have said they would follow the bishop's instructions. Some, however, said they were disappointed the services would end.

Others saw the bishop's letter as an opportunity to reflect on the importance of Holy Communion and to counter its casual reception among some Catholics.

"I think it's positive and something to be embraced," said Father James Williams, president of Chaminade, Newsday reports. "The bishop is the teaching arm of the church."

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for AUGUST 2017
Artists.
That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.


Comments


More U.S.

New Jersey Mayor dismantles shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe Watch

Image of The shrine has been dismantled.

Hector Loya, mayor of Passaic, New Jersey, has ordered the removal of a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which he says is illegal because ... continue reading


Mother shares heartbreaking photo of her dying daughter as she pulls the plug following overdose Watch

Image of Cheryl Towery took this photo as her daughter was about to die.

Cheryl Towery has shared a dramatic photo of her dying daughter, as she prepared to pull the plug on her life support. Her daughter, Elaina ... continue reading


There is a secret plan for America, and what we're seeing is just the start. The sinister plot has begun Watch

Image of Removing a statue or a flag that many find offensive is one thing. But there is a much larger movement afoot that aims to do away with the Constitution as we know it. The question is, what comes next?

To the uninitiated eye, there is a movement afoot in the United States to remove monuments to the Confederacy. Few people care about what ... continue reading


The Assumption or Dormition of Mary Reveals the Fullness of Redemption Watch

Image of The Assumption or Dormition of Mary. It is not just about Mary. It is also about all of those who say Yes to Jesus Christ. We will experience the fullness of redemption in the Resurrection of the Body and life in the coming Kingdom.

Mary's response reveals the meaning of life. We were made to give ourselves away to the Lord who has given Himself to us - in a Holy ... continue reading


PRAY: Calls for prayers during ' abhorrent acts of hatred' in Charlottesville Watch

Image of Violent protests in Virginia left at least one dead and dozens injured.

The head of the U.S. bishops conference called for prayers after one person was killed and over a dozen injured during a white nationalist ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.