Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Blessings by Eucharistic Ministers at Mass
Blessings by Eucharistic Ministers at Mass QUESTION from Patrick Bell June 29, 2001
I have been a Eucharistic Minister (Extaordinary) for seven to eight years. Our previous parish priest asked us to send children or members of other faiths to him for a blessing at communion time rather than us giving them the blessing. Yesterday at a meeting for Eucharistic ministers, the question was asked as to whether or not it was alright for EME to bless these people. The answer from the priest was yes. I searched the EWTN previous answers on the subject, and all seemed to say that the answer was no, but there was no verification in the four answers that I printed out, as to where to find a proof of this. Would you give me an answer to this question and also where to find proof of the answer?
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on July 6, 2001
Dear Mr. Bell,
Niether the priest nor an extraordinary minister may bless children (or adults) at Communion time. It is a practice that is foreign to the Roman Rite. Is is not found in the instruction.
When the GIRM was written, the authors were unable to know what sort of abuses would be introduced in the future, so they were unable to explicitly prohibit each one we see today. Instead, Vatican II fathers have ruled that NOBODY may make additions to the liturgy. Adding a blessing at communion time would be an example of an illicit addition.
This personal blessing is unnessecary anyway, because everyone recieves a blessing immediately prior to dismissal.
OUTSIDE of liturgy, children may be blessed by parents by tracing a cross on the child's forehead. I encourage parents to bless thier young children daily.
Thank you for your question,
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