From a distressed reader:
I need your help as I am not sure where else to turn. I cannot find the correct answer for this.
The Parish we attend has undergone some changes and not for the good. The first abuse is the EMHC walking right up and standing behind the priest before he receives communion.
Today though I nearly fell out of my pew. The announcement was that several adults who have joined the church and been baptized as adults will assist our Pastor in the sprinkling rite.
These 3 people all gathered around the font and I thought they would hold the (?) basin for the Priest so he wouldn’t have to refill. All four of them split off into different directions sparkling the parishioners. Fortunately, the priest came to my section. I am sure, however, my gaping jaw allowed some holy water to splash upon my tongue.
This has to be wrong. Lay people cannot do this, can they? I nearly left I was so shocked by this turn of events.
Later after we renewed our baptismal vows, he asked everyone to turn to the person next to them and make the sign of the cross on their foreheads, as “when the Priest claimed you for Christ.” No one touched me and my 7yo looked hurt that I would not allow it to happen to him. I told him, he was already claimed and marked for Christ. He already stays in the pew during Communion lest one of the EMHC tries to “bless” him.
I’ll let the readers here help with this.
Pull this apart systematically.
Start with the EMCH’s and their role in relation to the role of the priest and his Communion.
Move to issue of the sprinkling rite: what does it mean and, therefore, what lay people should be involved.
Then, the sign of the Cross business.
What is at the basis of these problems? What error is at work in the background to these choices?