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"Blessings" at Communion time

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Re: "Blessings" at Communion time

  • So...some PP have said it's not proper to receive blessings, and another said there is a lack of clarity on the issue.  As an adult Catholic trying to come back to the faith, I find a lot of peace in coming forward with my FI, who receives, while I get a blessing.  Is that so wrong?


    image

    Previously Alaynajuliana


  • Alayna, there's nothing wrong with participating in ways in which you are invited, and there's nothing wrong with finding comfort in it.  Some people feel strongly (and for good reasons) that the "blessing" isn't appropriate at that time of Mass, since everyone receives a blessing just a few minutes later.  Also, eucharistic minister's can't really bless you, so it's a misnomer to call it such (only the priest can bless you).  So that's why some people wish there wasn't a blessing option at communion at all, because it's confusing.

    So here's something I was thinking the other day...receiving a "blessing" at communion isn't just "receivinig a blessing that you'll receive in a few minutes anyway."   You are approaching the Lord in the Eucharist, and (hopefully) making a prayer of spiritual communion while also being blessed/prayed for by the minister of the Eucharist.  Why wouldn't you want to be close to the Lord (you are certainly much closer when you are standing inches from his body, rather than sitting far back in your pew), even if you can't recieve Him?  And by approaching the altar, you are able to bow to our Lord and make an act of reverence and adoration.  Is it absolutely necessary?  No.  But neither is Veneration of the Cross or receiving ashes, and we still do that, because it has some meaning.  Couldn't you just make an act of spiritual communion and adore the Eucharist from further back?  Sure, but isn't being closer better?  I mean, you can pray in front of the tabernacle, which you know holds Our Lord, but wouldn't you rather pray in front of a Monstrance, where you can see our Lord?  Just a thought :)

     

  • <span style="font-size:11px;line-height:14px;">[QUOTE] So here's something I was thinking the other day...receiving a "blessing" at communion isn't just "receivinig a blessing that you'll receive in a few minutes anyway."   You are approaching the Lord in the Eucharist, and (hopefully) making a prayer of spiritual communion while also being blessed/prayed for by the minister of the Eucharist.  Why wouldn't you want to be close to the Lord (you are certainly much closer when you are standing inches from his body, rather than sitting far back in your pew), even if you can't recieve Him?  And by approaching the altar, you are able to bow to our Lord and make an act of reverence and adoration.  Is it absolutely necessary?  No.  But neither is Veneration of the Cross or receiving ashes, and we still do that, because it has some meaning.  Couldn't you just make an act of spiritual communion and adore the Eucharist from further back?  Sure, but isn't being closer better?  I mean, you can pray in front of the tabernacle, which you know holds Our Lord, but wouldn't you rather pray in front of a Monstrance, where you can see our Lord?  Just a thought :)</span>
    Posted by Resa77[/QUOTE]<div>But I think the *majority* of people who come forward to receive a blessing are doing so not b/c they are Catholics not prepared to receive (unfortunately, I wish that were the majority), but because they are <strong>non-Catholic.</strong> I don't think those are the people who want to make an act of veneration to the Lord- chances are, they don't even believe it's Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist (if they did, then why aren't they Catholic?) They are the majority, and the ones who come forward to feel like they're "participating" or "getting something" or not being left in the pews.

    </div>
    Anniversary
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_blessings-at-communion-time?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:43598e8d-22df-48e4-a60f-53a2d658c676Post:e4954856-4839-4dd7-9f42-93d430e9b507">Re: "Blessings" at Communion time</a>:
    [QUOTE]So here's something I was thinking the other day...receiving a "blessing" at communion isn't just "receivinig a blessing that you'll receive in a few minutes anyway."   You are approaching the Lord in the Eucharist, and (hopefully) making a prayer of spiritual communion while also being blessed/prayed for by the minister of the Eucharist.  Why wouldn't you want to be close to the Lord (you are certainly much closer when you are standing inches from his body, rather than sitting far back in your pew), even if you can't recieve Him?  And by approaching the altar, you are able to bow to our Lord and make an act of reverence and adoration.  Is it absolutely necessary?  No.  But neither is Veneration of the Cross or receiving ashes, and we still do that, because it has some meaning.  Couldn't you just make an act of spiritual communion and adore the Eucharist from further back?  Sure, but isn't being closer better?  I mean, you can pray in front of the tabernacle, which you know holds Our Lord, but wouldn't you rather pray in front of a Monstrance, where you can see our Lord?  Just a thought :)
    Posted by Resa77[/QUOTE]

    A few thoughts:

    The line for communion is for those who are "called to His supper". It is for those to receive Him. Not for those who would like to receive "something else".

    I don't think there is more to gain from being a few feet closer to the sacrament. I think being in the presence of the sacrament is equally the same for those sitting in the front row vs. the back row. If being physically closer to the altar/sacrament helps someone to focus, they can certainly sit up in the front row.... but it doesn't directly offer "more" blessings.

    I also wonder about those handling the Eucharist and whether it is a distraction to them to have people coming up that cannot receive.
  • A large part of attending mass is that you are supported by the community.  To me, that "blessing" or whatever you would like to call it, is just a little bit of extra support that helps me make it through my week.  I am, however, a tiny bit  jealous of my FI, who has such a strong faith and doesn't have as much of an uphill battle to be faithful as I do.  

    I don't think there is much harm in getting words of support from fellow parishoners.  This is a really interesting discussion though, so I'm glad it was brought up.  I highly, highly doubt Eucharistic ministers are so petty that someone coming up and not receiving is a "distraction", as per the last poster's query.  
    image

    Previously Alaynajuliana


  • It's not about being petty... I find I can be distracted at church by people in the pews, sounds outside.... someone that is handling the Eucharist really needs to be very focused on what they are doing. Having to alternate between giving out communion and giving a "blessing" breaks the focus of the Eucharist.
  • <span style="font-size:11px;line-height:14px;">[QUOTE]A large part of attending mass is that you are supported by the community.</span>
    Posted by Alaynajuliana[/QUOTE]
    I don't intend to be argumentative, but I am curious as to where this idea comes from. Do you have any theological documentation? Or is this just a personal "feeling?"<div>
    </div><div>I would encourage you to read up a bit on what the Church actually teaches about the Eucharist and liturgy. For starters, check out the 2nd chapter (the part explicitly about the Eucharist) from the Second Vatican Council's document on the liturgy- </div><div><a href="http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/v2litur.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/v2litur.htm</a></div><div>or the apostolic letter on the Eucharist from our beloved Pope Emeritus, Benedict. (a bit longer, but well worth the effort. Sorry I can't point you towards any particular sections to look at.)</div><div><a href="http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html</a></div><div>
    </div><div>My point is...if it were true that "a LARGE part of attending Mass..." was about being "supported by the community," then don't you think that would be at least mentioned in these very important documents? </div>
    Anniversary
  • The Mass is a sacrifice. It's purpose is to emulate Jesus' sacrifice. We should be focused on Him, not on ourselves. Being part of the Church community should be a foundation that is cultivated outside of mass. When we join together to worship, we are showing our community support for each other. We pray for each other as part of the Mass. Yes, we should "get something" out of it, but we do so by focusing on the Sacrifice of the Mass together. Our benefit is a natural side-effect.
  •  If I'm in a pew with several elderly people with cains and such, I don't want to make them climb over me. 

    dont you step out of the pew to let them out?  if you dont receive, you shouldnt make anyone climb over you - young, older or otherwise.  i always sit on the end so its easy to step out and then go back to kneeling once everyone is out. 
  • Calypso, I can't always sit on the end, since our Masses are pretty crowded and the ushers will keep asking you to move. I will usually get up and let people out of the pew, but I have had times where I got up to let people out and didn't have anywhere to stand to let people out because the usher wouldn't get out of my way, so in order to not create a spectacle and delay, just walked up and got a blessing.

     

  • because the usher wouldn't get out of my way,

    weird!!
  • I know, right?  I think we have some of the dumbest ushers at my parish lol.  I also hate how they try to make everyone move into the center of the pews.  I get it from a practical standpoint, but if I get to Mass early so I can sit on the end, I shouldn't have to move over to let people in.  Some people have legitmate reasons to sit on the end.

     

  • Could you just slip into one of the more recently vacated pews for a sec until the usher was out of the way?
  • Honestly, I'm going to continue going to get a blessing when the usher is in my way, or when it will otherwise cause a practical issue for me to stay in my pew, because blessings are allowed at Mass.  If blessings stopped being allowed,  I'm sure I could find a way around it. Smile 

     

  • see im a b**** becuase i refuse to move in for people.  i will get up and let them slide into the pew, but i wont push in.
  • Calypso, that's why I love you :)

     

  • In Response to Re::[QUOTE]Honestly, I'm going to continue going to get a blessing when the usher is in my way, or when it will otherwise cause a practical issue for me to stay in my pew, because blessings are allowed at Mass.nbsp; If blessings stopped being allowed,nbsp; I'm sure I could find a way around it. nbsp; Posted by Resa77[/QUOTE]

    But they aren't allowed... Per the CDWDS. That's official from the Vatican.
  • Lalaith...

    I definitely don't find you argumentative, I find this board really interesting and enjoy the online communication!  I don't necessarily know if there is any truth to it in the CCC, but I was always told during mass at several different Catholic churches in the NorCal area, specifically the Stockton diocese, that even if we felt we personally didn't need to attend Church to be faithful, that we should attend because other parishoners might gain faith from being surrounded by others in the Church.  No wonder there's such a discrepancy in what different Catholics believe!

    Maybe that's not in the CCC, but it is definitely true for me personally that it is very encouraging to see others in the pews on Sunday morning!

    Riss...
    Why is it that if blessings are so explicitly frowned upon by the Church, that so many churches still give them?  Is it considered sinful, or just not an actual blessing the Church recognizes?  I feel like "blessings" are not harmful.
    image

    Previously Alaynajuliana


  • Perhaps the thought is that anyone who has the ability to get back into the graces of church and receive sacraments shoudl do it, and not just "get by" with blessings?

    if you have sin on your soul, confess it.  if you have an invalid marriage, find a way to make it valid.  if you want to be Catholic, get going on conversion.

    many Catholics really dont understand that the sacraments are a vital and essential part of the faith.
  • Lalaith, where does that say a person cannot approach the EMHC for a prayer of spiritual communion?

     

  • Or even to a priest to receive a blessing? If someone is able to receive, is in a normal marriage and not in mortal sin, I don't see how that would go against the letter? Furthermore, a private letter is not binding.

     

  • References to Canon Law, Vatican Norms and Catechism.....

    The practice of blessing individuals during Holy Communion should be, not only discouraged, but discontinued. (This includes the practice of laying on of a hand or hands, which has its own sacramental significance, such being inappropriate here, as a substitute to giving Holy Communion.) Church Law states, "Therefore no other person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority." Vatican II, General Norms [for the liturgy], A. 22(3).

    # 1124 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "The Church's faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles, whence the ancient saying lex orandi, lex credendi... The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.

    # 1125 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "For this reason no sacramental rite may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community. Even the supreme authority of the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy"

    Church law (reiterated in Redemptionis Sacramentum) states that the liturgy is to be celebrated as directed by the Church. Nothing may be added or subtracted. The silence of the Church on any matter is not to be construed as license to do it.

    Under no circumstances should an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist ever give a blessing during the Holy Mass. He does not have that authority. His action may lead to some believing that he is a priest.

    Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, § 2; Canon 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18).
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_blessings-at-communion-time?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:43598e8d-22df-48e4-a60f-53a2d658c676Post:8cd24629-9981-46c6-94c7-fca42c12bd4e">Re:quot;Blessingsquot; at Communion time</a>:
    [QUOTE]Lalaith, where does that say a person cannot approach the EMHC for a prayer of spiritual communion?
    Posted by Resa77[/QUOTE]
    see the link of the very first post...
    Anniversary
  • I read the link, but I don't see where it says a blessing isn't allowed.  I'll address the 5 points from the letter:

    1.  Blessing is given at the beginning and end of Mass -- this implies that a blessing isn't necessary, but doesn't say it's not allowed.  Many priests, for instance, give a blessing at the beginning and end of the their sermon, which is actually liturgically unnecessary and actually incorrect, but I wouldn't so so far as to say it's wrong.
    2.  Lay people can't give blessings -- Okay, but priests can, so what if this was isolated only to priests?  Further more, just because a lay person cannot give a blessing, this does not mean that cannot say a prayer for someone.  The term "blessing" is a misnomer in this situation.
    3.  The laying of hands by those distributing communion is discouraged -- First, it's discouraged, not forbidden.  Second, I've never had anyone lay hands on me at communion for a "blessing," so I don't think this necessarily forbids a "blessing"  at communion, as much as it discourages the laying of hands.
    4.  Giving a blessing to someone in an invalid marriage sends a bad message -- Plenty of people who receive blessings aren't in invalid marriages.  This would be like saying we shouldn't have communion at Mass because invalidly married people shouldn't receive communion.
    5.  People who aren't able to receive communion shouldn't approach to receive communion or a blessing -- this doesn't say that someone who can receive shouldn't approach for a blessing.


    All in all, I don't see anything in here that would indicate that I shouldn't receive a blessing from my priest at Mass during communion.  Please point out to me if I'm missing something.

    Riss, I think your point that no one can add to the liturgy is a good one.  That definitely makes sense.

     

  • <span style="font-size:11px;line-height:14px;">[QUOTE]I read the link, but I don't see where it says a blessing isn't allowed.  I'll address the 5 points from the letter: 1.  Blessing is given at the beginning and end of Mass -- this implies that a blessing isn't necessary, but doesn't say it's not allowed.  Many priests, for instance, give a blessing at the beginning and end of the their sermon, which is actually liturgically unnecessary and actually incorrect, but I wouldn't so so far as to say it's wrong. 2.  Lay people can't give blessings -- Okay, but priests can, so what if this was isolated only to priests?  Further more, just because a lay person cannot give a blessing, this does not mean that cannot say a prayer for someone.  The term "blessing" is a misnomer in this situation. 3.  The laying of hands by those distributing communion is discouraged -- First, it's discouraged, not forbidden.  Second, I've never had anyone lay hands on me at communion for a "blessing," so I don't think this necessarily forbids a "blessing"  at communion, as much as it discourages the laying of hands. 4.  Giving a blessing to someone in an invalid marriage sends a bad message -- Plenty of people who receive blessings aren't in invalid marriages.  This would be like saying we shouldn't have communion at Mass because invalidly married people shouldn't receive communion. 5.  People who aren't able to receive communion shouldn't approach to receive communion or a blessing -- this doesn't say that someone who can receive shouldn't approach for a blessing. All in all, I don't see anything in here that would indicate that I shouldn't receive a blessing from my priest at Mass during communion.  Please point out to me if I'm missing something. Riss, I think your point that no one can add to the liturgy is a good one.  That definitely makes sense.</span>
    Posted by Resa77[/QUOTE]<div>
    <div>Point 4: I believe you have misread it. It is ONLY referring to giving blessings at communion; it is saying nothing about giving blessings to people in invalid marriages at other times.</div><div>
    </div><div>Points 2 and 5: I'm glad to hear you are so concerned with following the Church's law <em>only</em> and <em>exactly</em> to the letter. So, I take it from now on you are *only* going to go up and receive a "blessing-thingy" from a <strong><em>priest</em></strong> and at a time when you <strong><em>could be receiving communion?</em> ;-)</strong></div><div><strong>
    </strong></div><div>Finally, you take issue both with their use of the term "blessing" as well as the phrase "laying on of hands," and you use that to continue justifying what you wish to do, but by my interpretation, by using those general phrases they are trying to encompass <em>all</em> of what might happen in this situation. What should they have called it? "People are not allowed to go up and get a ...something-or-other..." 
    </div></div>
    Anniversary
  • I don't think I've ever received a blessing at a time when I couldn't receive Communion, actually.  I often don't receive communion when I am in the state to receive.  I get your point, though, that one shouldn't try to follow ONLY what is EXACTLY said, and not consider the spirit behind it.  I won't go so far as to say blessing at communion aren't disallowed, but I can also concede that just because something isn't expressly forbidden, that doesn't mean it's a good thing. Smile

     

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