From a reader:
I was hoping you might be able to shed some light on a question which has been bothering me since my reception into the Church a little while ago. Everytime I receive Commnunion from one of the EMHCs, she tries to raise her hand over my infant son to bless him. What’s going on here? Is this licit? I’ve seen this practice many places within this diocese (Baltimore) but have a hard time believing this is authorized.
The first question to be asked is whether the EMHC is really needed. (I think not.)
The second question is whether Communion time is really the time for blessings. (I think not.)
That said, no lay person should attempt to imitate what a priest does.
Anyone can ask God to bless anyone else. Everyone should ask God to bless others.
But lay people should not make gestures, in imitation of priests, and give the impression that he or she is trying to bless in the manner of the priest.
The way lay people ask blessings and the way priests invoke God’s blessing are very different.
Lay people: don’t imitate priests in this regard.