23 October 2008


For those who say, "well the old Mass is now the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. That means that it is not to be the norm, kinda like out of the ordinary, the exception."

If we use the word extraordinary to mean infrequent or the exception, can we use the same measurement of "infrequent" that is applied to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion?? (A weekly fixture at most Masses I've been to, and even at some daily Masses...) Because I'd love to have me a traditional Latin Mass every Sunday. Just asking.

While we're on the topic of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion... yeah, that's their proper name. I did a little non-scientific poll of the Internet, searching Google for "extraordinary ministers of holy communion" (18,300 results) and "eucharistic ministers" (114,000 results). Hmm... why don't people know the proper name for these people?

'Eucharistic minister' is inaccurate in two senses. First, only the priest is the Eucharistic minister. He is the one that brings about the Eucharist. To get down to the technicalities, Christ alone is the minister of the Eucharist, and the priest acts in persona Christi. EMHCs are only ministers of Communion- they distribute Holy Communion to their fellow laymen. The second problem is that important 'E' for extraordinary. The ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are the priest and deacon. Laymen may be deputed for this task only if the Mass would be "unreasonably prolonged." A short prolongation, however, is not grounds for their use. In fact, the Vatican recommends distributing under only one species (the Host) before resorting to EMHCs. I'm afraid that this is one more instance where an option in the Novus Ordo has become a near universal practice. Hopefully bishops and pastors will look more closely at this issue in the future.

Fore more information on EMHCs, see Redemptionis Sacramentum (154-160).


Blogger Anthony M Piferrer said...

I'd be all for referring to the Old Mass as the Super-Duper Wowies-Amazing Holiest and Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Do you think we can translate that into Latin to give it an air of officiality?

I hate going to Mass and having to choose which "extraordinary" minister from which to receive Communion. I sometimes find my way maneuvering towards the priest if it is logistically possible. I've heard that in some Masses, little children dressed very poorly are the EMHCs. Yech! And then there are the women. Oh the women. I prefer a guy if anything.

The simple fact of the matter is that I think people are just plain impatient. So what if Mass goes a little longer? What are you going to do? watch CNN? play Sudoku at home? eat out?

I think another big issue is the congegation of EMHCs around the altar during Communion, where traditionally the sanctuary is completely (and most beautifully) closed off to all but the clergy and their servers. Instead I see hippy circles around the tabernacle meant in some way to evoke the Last Supper but in reality looks like some bad spoof out of a Woodstock guitar-playing circle.

Phew I'm done.

October 24, 2008 12:34 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

What do you have against women? Why do you believe males make better EMHCs than females?

October 30, 2008 11:02 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Forma Bonissima Babae-Mirafica Sanctissima et Extraordinaria Ritus Romani

October 31, 2008 11:07 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Knox said...

Oh wow, that made me laugh so hard. I think I'll use it. Thanks, Cliff!

October 31, 2008 12:51 PM  

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