Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Communion by Extraordinary Ministers
Communion by Extraordinary Ministers QUESTION from Karen December 26, 2001 Dear Mr Slavek,
I enjoy this forum very much and check back frequently, each time learning something new about my faith. I recently heard the term Cradle Catholic I'm not sure if this is good or bad, the point is I was baptised at the age of 3 months old, which by the way, was 40-some years ago. Having come from the old Church I find it very difficult to conform to some of the new ways. Every Sunday at mass we say we are not worthy to receive you... I have never felt worthy of touching the host in any way, shape or form outside of by mouth by the Priest. I always sit in the center section of Church so I know I will be receiving communion from the Priest celebrating Mass. Recently I was visiting a church where the Priest was distributing communion to the elderly in the front rows and an Extraordinary Minister was at the front of my row. She had no idea how to give me the host by mouth. She finally got it but I was amazed that she was so taken back by my not having my hands out to receive. The question is this, Do Extraordinary Ministers receive training on the subject of giving the host to someone by mouth? Anything you can tell me would help. There are still some of us who prefer the old ways (and as long as it is my choice to make) Thank You for your time
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on December 31, 2001 Dear Karen,
Ha ha yes Cradle Catholic normally has a kind of bad meaning. It is used to describe Catholics that have been Catholic.. well since the cradle, they usually go to church every week, but don't really know the faith too well. I suppose you could compare them to adult converts that generally are well informed of the faith, having studied it along with their old faith and making the learned decision to become Catholic. Whatever.
Extraordinary ministers need to be taught both ways of giving communion, but in practice this doesn't always happen. For example, when I was trained in my home parish, we were taught exclusively to give in the hand. The attitude was more like, Oh, by the way, there are some old-school people who always sit in the back that will only receive on the tongue, so just be aware of that. So really, it depends on who is giving the training that determines if these ministers actually are taught how to do it.
Keep receiving this way, by the way, I do and so do many of my friends. I truly believe it is more reverent to the Lord.
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