Expert Answer Forum

around the altar, again QUESTION from Mrs. H. September 23, 1999
Dear Mr. Miskell: Our daily Mass is celebrated in a chapel (no tabernacle present) and Fr. asks us all to gather around the altar for the entire communion rite. He also passes the body & blood of Our Lord around the table and everyone self-communicates. He has agreed to give Holy Communion to my children and me, but only does so under one kind, the body. This priest is a wonderfully joyful and caring person and I don't want to offend him by asking him about these practices; however, I certainly don't want to offend Our Lord. Advice? Thank you. Mrs. H. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on September 23, 1999
Dear Mrs. H., Thanks for your question. I sympathize with you and I understand the position you find yourself in. These situations are often made more difficult because they often involve a priest who is in every other way a very likable, good, holy, charming and all around charismatic guy. What to do? Well of course the first thing to do is to pray specifically for this priest - by name. Try this for two weeks straight, even if you don't feel like it. During this time you might make a personal Eucharistic Novena just for him. Assist at Mass and receive Communion for nine consecutive days and offer this up for this priest. I've done this before and although things never quite worked out the way I would have scripted them, I was delighted nonetheless with the results. (Isn't God awesome?)After this, you might show him a little tract titled Questions and Answers On the Celebration of the Holy Mass. (You can e-mail me and let me know where to send it.) Before showing him the tract though, first tell him how much you appreciate him and how important he is to your spiritual well-being. Be sure to tell him this often. Tell him you happened upon this tract and it made you wonder about the routine done at daily Mass. Ask if he thinks we could have a deeply meaningful, intimate and relevant daily Liturgy while remaining in compliance with the wishes of the Church. Don't be hard on him and don't expect him to come around to your view right away. If he doesn't come around right away, don't run off. He's still providing valid Sacraments and his intentions are not malicious. Offer up your frustration just for him every time he does it. Many American priests learned in seminary that they can do such things in spite of what the Magisterial documents say, so the behavior / attitude is deeply engrained. Some priests also get a bit edgy when laymen question these things as they perceive it as an invasion into an area which belongs exclusively to them. It takes time and prayer to get them to change in the direction of obedience. I assure you that you, and your priest will be in my prayers. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

You have successfully subscribed!