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Monday, May 11, 2009

Blessings In Communion Line?

I was at Mass the other day and witnessed what has become a very common act. I watched a lay person (An EXTRA-Ordinary Minister of Communion) trace a cross on the forehead of a woman as he spoke the words of a blessing.
I began to think that for most catholics, this act probably confuses the difference between a blessing by a clergy and the blessing by someone else.
And, by the way, why is a layperson giving a blessing in lieu of communion?
So what does our Diocese say about this issue:
Worship and Prayer Guidelines (2006) #69
"The custom which leads children who have not yet received first Eucharist and others not permitted to receive Holy Communion to seek a blessing as others receive Communion is unnecessary and should not be encouraged.
When a person does present themselves in such a way, Extraordinary Ministers may hold up their hand in a gesture of blessing, but they are not to make the Sign of the Cross nor use any words of blessing; an expression such as "Christ's peace be with you" might be appropriate.
No minister of Communion, Ordinary or Extraordinary should ever touch a communicant; this is extremely unsanitary and can also be considered inappropriate."
For additional reading on this subject click here

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