Cleansing Fire

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Bishop Nickless Issues Communion Guidelines in Sioux City

July 21st, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Some highlights from Bishop Nickless’ guidelines on Holy Communion under both forms and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion:

“The time when Communion is distributed under both kinds has never been universal, i.e. everywhere and at every Mass.[14] The faithful who receive the Eucharist, receive the fullness of Christ’s Body and Blood, soul and divinity, under either species (of bread or of wine). There are appropriate times to invite the faithful to receive our Lord under both species, and other appropriate times to offer Holy Communion to the faithful only under the species of bread.”

“Where there is a large number of faithful present and the gathering is taking place in a building or venue other than a church, Communion is to be offered only under the species of the Consecrated Host. Exceptions to this norm may be granted only with the explicit written permission of the diocesan bishop.”

Interesting possibility:

“Priests in the Diocese of Sioux City might consider using intinction or offering Holy Communion only under the species of bread, so as to avoid such an “excessive use” of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.”

The following is an excellent idea:

“Once persons have been selected to serve as EMHC, the pastor shall submit these names on the proper form, with a letter of request to the Office of Worship, which will coordinate the bishop’s approval and mandate. … Those chosen must make a public profession of faith and be deemed responsible to carry out the mandate entrusted to them. … Parishes and communities should avoid practices in selecting Extraordinary Ministers where individuals simply volunteer themselves for this ministry.”

We see this far too often in Rochester:

“The EMHCs should not approach the altar before the priest-celebrant has received Communion, and they are always to receive from the hands of the priest-celebrant the vessel containing either species of the Most Holy Eucharist for the distribution to the faithful”

With the exception of allowing laypeople to bless throats on the feast of St. Blaise, I would love to see these norms put into place here in the Diocese of Rochester come 2012.

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One Response to “Bishop Nickless Issues Communion Guidelines in Sioux City”

  1. avatar JLo says:

    In Las Vegas pastors must submit the names of EMHCs to the bishop (Bishop Pepe), and the bishop’s approval is then sent back to the parish in the form of certificates for each of the EMHCs. The name of the EMHC, the term of service, and the PLACE of service is spelled out on the certificate, i.e., one did not have the bishop’s permission to serve in any other parish (other than when on pilgrimage, of course).

    Our parish then had a service during Holy Mass where all commissioned EMHCs said the profession of faith, were blessed by the pastor, and received a blessed cross to be worn when serving during Communion. At Holy Masses, EMHCs stood at the foot of the altar at the appropriate time until the celebrant had received, and then EMHCs mounted the altar to receive their own Holy Communion and the vessels. It was all so beautifully done.

    I must add that no woman during our time in the two parishes in which we were enrolled ever served on the altar wearing pants. It was just an unspoken tradition to wear dresses or skirts when serving at the altar.

    It’s all such a lovely memory of reverence for the honor of serving the Lord in this way.

    +JMJ

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