Skip to content

Bishop Forbids Lay 'Communion services'

By
5/14/2008 (8 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 (8 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 APRIL 2017
Young People.
That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.


Comments


More U.S.

Deacon Keith Fournier: Road to Emmaus - Jesus Walks with Us on the Road of Life Watch

Image of

We can learn a vital lesson from this account in the Gospel of Luke; one which can radically reorient our entire life. Jesus is always ... continue reading


How a pile of BONES in San Diego is upsetting everything we know about human arrival in North America Watch

Image of Did prehistoric humans slay a mastodon outside modern San Diego 130,000 years ago?

According to the conventional theory, humans migrated into the Americas just about 15,000 years ago, following herds of animals they hunted ... continue reading


The Saint Pio Foundation to Honor Hon. Rick and Karen Santorum and Father John Enzler

Image of Hon. Rick and Karen Santorum will receive the Saint Pio Award jointly.

The Saint Pio Foundation has chosen former Congressman and Senator Hon. Rick Santorum, his wife Karen, and Father John Enzler to receive ... continue reading


Secret shadowy terrorist group uncovered in the US, and you will be surprised to see who it is Watch

Image of The terrorist are our own children, recruited at college to incite violence and mayhem.

Following the election of Barack Obama, a move that displeased conservatives, how long did it take for conservatives to arm themselves and ... continue reading


Cherokee Nation sues drug distributors while CDC claims opioid deaths are underreported Watch

Image of The opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc across the United States.

As the CDC admits the opioid epidemic may be worse than originally believed, the Cherokee Nation files a lawsuit against pharmacies and ... 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.