Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What a busy day!

Yes, today was the day. At 12:15 this afternoon I led my first ever Eucharistic Service - one former Seminarian and member of this blog labelled me a 'raving lib' when I called him this afternoon to tell him then I told him I left out the peace and he suddenly became 'so proud' of me.

I went to Mass at Nazareth House this morning as usual (I can't get enough of those veiled nuns). The service was well attended, even by those who had been to Mass with me - is it any wonder I'm so Trad having grown up in this parish! I decided I should show the people where their money was going and preached. I did a fantastic reflection showing that today's first reading proves the faithlessness of Islam because they claim their descent from Abraham through Ishmael his illegitimate son and we claim descent through Isaac his legitimate son and promised heir. I then went on to explain that today's Gospel shows that even the devil has faith because he used to be an angel and knows God as well as any other angel but his jealousy causes his so called faith to become hatred of God. God created us because He loves us and so we must have faith in our creator and love him as well. That's how it went in my head, when I opened my mouth all sorts of rubbish came out - including some heresy at one point when I think I said God loves us because He created us rather than the other way around, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, once I had recovered from that I prepared the altar for the Communion Rite. The rubric told me to transfer the Blessed Sacrament from the Tabernacle to the Altar so I told the congregation to sit while I did so. I got to the altar and discovered to my horror that I had to lead the 'Pater Noster' followed by the sign of peace - they were kneeling! So, I did the 'Pater Noster' and skipped the peace going straight to the 'Ecce Agnus Dei...' which had been translated literally from the Latin so while I was surprised I didn't argue.

After that I exposed the Blessed Sacrament, led the Holy Rosary, did an hour's Adoration, came back an hour later led the Divine Mercy Chaplet and reposed the Blessed Sacrament.

Its days like this when I truly believe God is calling me to priesthood. Please keep the prayers up for me and all Seminarians as well as for more vocations.

God Bless!


Anonymous said...

to tell him then I told him I left out the peace and he suddenly became 'so proud' of me.

And a wry smile comes to my lips... ;-)

Christian said...

I am a student who strongly feels he has a vocation to the priesthood and have been told by several good priests and a vocations director that they think I have a genuine vocation. I would love to join a diocese and be an ordinary, secular priest. I am, however, having serious difficulties with this communion distribution thing. I am not sure I could in good conscience give out communion without consecrated hand. When an FSSP priest asked me about this directly I could but say nothing. I would be interested to know what justification you have as I am desperate to get around the problem as I don't want to end up in the FSSP just because of this issue. Any thoughts?

Orthfully Catholic said...


There are three kinds of Eucharistic Minister:

Ordinary - Deacon/Priest
Auxiliary - Acolyte (me)
Extraordinary - Commisioned Laity

The Ordinary Minister is just that, he alone distributes communion at Mass. An Auxiliary Minister can be asked to assist the Ordinary Minister where the congregation is too large for him to handle, he (women cannot become Auxiliary Ministers) can also expose the Blessed Sacrament and lead Eucharistic Services (or Administration of Holy Communion outside Mass as my Vocations Director corrected me yesterday) IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PRIEST. Extraordinary Ministers can be called to exercise their ministry if the Ordinary Minister requires help and there is no Auxiliary Minister.

What I did was perfectly acceptable in the eyes of Holy Mother Church. What is unacceptable is when Extraordinary Ministers are asked to exercise their ministry in ordinary circumstances, which happens daily in parishes around the world.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Please be assured of our prayers for your vocation. Get that application to your diocese ASAP!

John Kearney said...

Hey, Christian. I think you hold the Body of Christ in such respect that you feel so unworthy to take it in your hands. Sometimes we have such scruples that nobody can reassure us. In the end you must ask "What does the Church say?" The Church above all is the protector of the Blessed Sacrament so let her be your conscience. But never forget to have the same respect for this wonderful presence that you have now. To hold the Blessed Sacrament so highly is the sign of a true vocation. So get on with your vocation.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think its correct to distinguish between an acolyte and a lay minister of holy communion by saying that the former is “auxiliary” and the latter is “extraordinary”. Canon Law says that that “the ordinary minister of holy communion is a bishop, presbyter, or deacon” (CIC 910.1), and that “the extraordinary minister of holy communion is an acolyte or another member of the Christian faithful designated according to the norm of CIC 230.3 (CIC 910.2). When read in conjunction with CIC 230.1, CIC 230.3 would seem to suggest that the distinction between acolyte and lay minister lies in the fact that the former is stable and permanent, whilst the latter is a temporary designation and has to be renewed. In other words, you would retain the ministry of lector and acolyte even if you were not to be ordained and only the Pope can take it away from you.

It is perhaps worth commenting that the reason why we are in such a bind over this is that the stable and permanent lay ministries of lector and acolyte are, as you say, restricted to men (CIC 230.1), even though, one only enters the clerical state on reception of the diaconate (CIC 266.1). This is not a problem in more traditional cultures where lay men receive these ministries and exercise the functions of catechist and (extraordinary) minister of the eucharist in the absence of a priest or deacon. It is, however, a problem in the politically correct culture of Western Europe and the USA where the absence of female “priests” at the altar and “ministers” in the sanctuary is felt to be a sign of female “inferiority”. It would take a long time to expose the philosophical and theological fallacies behind this line of thinking, but one cannot deny that it is one of the reasons why the permanent lay ministries are not, in this country, used in the way that Paul VI (in the Motu Proprio Ministeria Quaedam of 15 August 1972) intended.

Sick of the Sanctimonious said...

Some of my favourite passages from the Gospels:
Judge not that you be not judged.

How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.

Orthfully Catholic said...

Dear Anonymous,

There were debates among the Seminarians at our seminary as to whether an Acolyte is an auxiliary or extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. The Canon Law Professor said he is extraordinary for the reasons you have pointed out, the Theology Professor who carried out our training said auxiliary. I'm going with auxiliary because I am an Acolyte due to my training for Holy Orders. I think an ordinary layman would still be extraordinary if he were not going forward for Holy Orders.

Sick of the Sanctimonious said...

What worries me more than anything is your reflection on 'the faithlessness of Islam'. Despite the threat from Muslim terrorists, there is no justification for such thinking. The Hebrew bible mentions this incident surely to show that Arabs have an understanding of Monotheism. I don't know where your seminary is, but they seem to not be providing a proper theological education.
I shall pray for you x

Dominic said...

I'm sorry, Orthfully Catholic, but Anonymous is spot on. There is no such beast as an "auxiliary" Minister, and your theology professor has no justification for using that term.

Terminology is important. Bishops and priests are Ministers of the Eucharist. Bishops, priests and deacons are ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. (See Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 154). In cases of real necessity Acolytes and even other lay members may serve as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion:

"This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not 'special minister of Holy Communion' nor 'extraordinary minister of the Eucharist' nor 'special minister of the Eucharist,' by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened." (Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 156).