Distribution of Communion after Mass
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,981
    Not wanting to derail the Good News thread, but to follow up this by @tomjaw
    I suspect that it is safer for a priest to not have General Communion as part of Mass and instead give people the option of receiving the Blessed Sacrament afterwards.

    Communion within Mass is clearly set out, and is a liturgical action, are there rubrics governing Communion after Mass? If not, it would seem contrary to the Canons of Trent, and to the bull Certiores effecti (to be found here) on page 117.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 459
    I've often received Communion outside of Mass, for various reasons: being attended by a priest at home, being in the choir and going down stairs after for Communion, for instance. There's a formal ritual, at least in the EF, hopefully in the OF. When I received from an OF priest he was EF trained so I don't know which rite it was (seemed the same to me, Confiteor and all).
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    These are unusual times, a pandemic is ongoing, and legitimate authorities have the right to safeguard the health of their parishioners. Trent again? That was a long time ago and much has changed and happened since including a church council and several popes.

    I hope the pandemic ends soon since I certainly don't want anyone getting sick.

    Besides, I am tired of looking at all the teeth marks on the back of pews from anguished Trads being asked to receive in the hand.

    We could, I suppose, go back to common practice 100 years ago when hardly anyone received.

    Thanked by 4tomjaw WGS JL Elmar
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,838
    We could, I suppose, go back to common practice 100 years ago when hardly anyone received.

    We have in most places just done that...
    Thanked by 2Carol StimsonInRehab
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    I remember when I was rather young, many did not receive. Being an easterner, I never quite developed the mania for constant communion some westerners have. But the point is, I believe, that we can weather this and be fine after it all blows over.
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 325
    I've honestly been stumped as to why Communion during Mass would be verboten but afterward would be just fine (presuming the reasons had nothing to do with government interference). Is it not wanting to keep people inside the church any longer than necessary?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,838
    I've honestly been stumped as to why Communion during Mass would be verboten but afterward would be just fine

    The bishop is responsible for the regulation of the Liturgy, so can try to ban (against Canon Law) Communion on the tongue. How people receive outside Mass is not on his radar, and it is a bit more difficult for him to punish the priest.

    As for historical examples, they had a number of reasons for not having general Communion at Mass. I am sure others can give the many examples...
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 325
    @tomjaw I understand all of that, but it seems like the places that are distributing after Mass are by edict of the bishop, still trying to mandate communion in the hand only even in that situation. I guess my question is: is there some public health reason to wait until after Mass, or else is this a power play on somebody's part?
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Elmar
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 275
    Why after Mass?

    -The whole operation takes much longer now that people have to stand 6’ apart in the aisle, instead of swarming together. With Communions after Mass, people who do not wish to commune may head out after the dismissal, having assisted at an entire Mass, rather than either 1) ditching early and very obviously during the priest’s communion, or 2) kneeling for eons while the rest of the people slowly walk single-file and socially-distanced to the altar and back.

    -It makes the situation easier for the ushers to control: certainly the usual early-leavers would have no intention of returning to their pew in an orderly fashion for once, but would tangle up the line and shove out whichever way is fastest, compromising 6’ distance.

    -It allows a smooth flow of traffic through the church: one pew at a time is led up one aisle to the altar, then down another and out the door.

    -If the priest has to clean his hands because someone drooled on him, he’s out of the usual Saturday night get-er-done mindset, and more likely to remember to clean up, and without feeling that he is holding people up.

    -It is preferable and rather more respectful to the musicians and any other people who have a liturgical part to play at Mass, but not in distribution of Communion: they have done their job and can receive the Eucharist or go along home, without being stranded in the sanctuary and/or singing all of Psalm 34 5 times, with the antiphon after each verse.

  • PLTT
    Posts: 101
    With due acknowledgement to the difficulties of musicians, respect to musicians seems rather secondary to the shape of the liturgy. I feel it inverts the principle, since all those with a liturgical part to play are servants to the liturgy.
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    It was not unusual for Catholics to receive Communion but NOT have attended the Mass on weekdays before VatII; they were known as "daily communicants" for that reason (although some also attended Mass daily.) So simply moving Communion to 'after Mass' is not a large leap.

    As a matter of interest: although the Milwaukee Archdiocese banned communion on the tongue initially, the command was ignored by priests in at least one parish, and after only 2 weeks, the ban was lifted.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    One benefit of distributing Holy Communion after Mass under the current circumstances is that it lets people receive the Sacrament without any concerns about whether they are visible in a live-streamed video.