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9 years ago  ::  Jul 09, 2009 - 1:46PM #1
Thomas A Quinas
Posts: 1,970

When I was in gradeschool I went to my grandmother's funeral service in upstate New York.  When it came time for distribution of Holy Communion my Dad allowed me to go.  I was just following my sister (and others) and would have felt left out had I not followed the rest, even though I didn't understand the significance of what was occuring.  As I remember I didn't even know enough to stick my hands out when receiving the host, and so I cherry-picked it out of the priest's hand.  Returning to the pews I asked my father (no longer a practicing Catholic then or now) what to do with it, and he said to eat it.  So I took a bite out of it like a potato chip  at witch point my sister snickered almost bursting out into hysterical laughter.  This upset my aunt godmother (committed Catholic) who took care of the funeral arrangements.  The priest said it was OK, that I wasn't to worry and I received from him again even though he knew I hadn't made first communion.




This occured again nearly two decades later when my uncle lost a long bout with cancer.  I only learned afterwards that I was to make confession before receiving, and two or three years later learned the sacramental nature and the reasoning as to why this is done.  I've come to be given a profound reverence for the blessed sacrament and currently am more cautious about not profaning it in any way.  Though I may not have believed way back when what the Church taught regarding the Eucharist, out of respect I would have abstained from receiving had a priest (or anyone else for that matter) explained it to me.




At my current parish I've since attended two funeral services whereby the presiding minister explained beforehand the concept of a closed communion service and what Catholics (are supposed to) believe.




An excert from this article:




Rev. Arthur Bourgeois, who preached the homily, however, said he did not have a problem with the prime minister receiving communion.  "Usually, to partake in holy communion in the Catholic Church, you have to be a member of it," he said, "but if you're not, exceptionally sometimes at major occasions (it is different)."




This statement (unless one is Eastern Orthodox) is in opposition to Catholic Doctrine as I understand it (no one outside the Church is ever to receive under any circumstance):




Neil MacCarthy, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Toronto told the National Post that the Prime Minister probably should have been briefed that non-Catholics are not supposed to take Communion. He said at most funeral and wedding masses, when there will be a large number of non-Catholics in attendance, a priest tell the guests that only Catholics can take a Communion wafer but others can receive a blessing.




I understand that in this day in age many (if not most) Catholic laymen along with a sizable percentage of clergy don't even believe in the real presence, and so opinions will vary as to how seriously these types of incidence should be taken.  If people read this who happen to be legitimately concerned about these and other sacrileges then I'd urge them to pray that clergy everywhere will fulfill their God-given mandates to shepard their flocks properly and not subject the Body and Blood of Christ to yet more profanation. 




PS I'm not suggesting priests ask each person receiving if they're Catholics "in good standing", and I can understand if Eucharistic ministers don't watch every one receiving to make sure they chew and swallow, but this particular incident according to the homilist's own words is a result of improper theology and not adequately informing funeral participants of proper guidelines.




Best wishes,





Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be.. -- St. Therese of Lisieux. For applicable reads: Uniformity with God’s Will by Saint Alphonsus Liguori ... or ... Story of a Soul
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8 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2009 - 9:10PM #2
Posts: 2,887

Mass consists of two parts, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.[136] Because the Church teaches that Christ is present in the Eucharist,[125] there are strict rules about its celebration and reception. The ingredients of the bread and wine used in the Mass are specified and Catholics must abstain from eating for one hour before receiving Communion.[137] Those who are conscious of being in a state of mortal sin are forbidden from this sacrament unless they have received absolution through the sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance).[137] Because the Church recognizes their celebration of the Mass and priestly ordination as valid sacraments, intercommunion with the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Assyrian Church of the East, Polish National Catholic Church, and certain other churches—in "suitable circumstances and with Church authority"—is both possible and encouraged.[138] The same is not true for Protestant churches. In very limited circumstances, however, Catholic ministers may give the sacraments of Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance), and Anointing of the Sick to Protestants.[note 4] Catholics are not permitted to receive communion in Protestant churches because of their different beliefs and practices regarding Holy Orders and the Eucharist . (Copyright)

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