From a reader:
My son is due to make his First Communion next spring. Since our family attends the extraordinary form of the Mass at St Kevin’s in Dublin, I was concerned that his teacher might not understand the differences between the two forms, and might assume he would receive in the hand and standing. I decided to approach the bishops’ conference in Ireland to clarify this matter for teachers, as I expect there will be many children in the same position each year.
After a year or so of to-and-fro communication, the catechetics commission of the Irish Bishops conference agreed to post guidelines aimed at teachers who have children in their class who will make their First Communion in the extraordinary form.
The guidelines have now been posted HERE.
It would be very helpful if this news could be spread as widely as possible in the English-speaking world so that other conferences may be "persuaded" to take such steps, which help to keep us in the mainstream.
The next step is to get the 1962 calendar on the liturgy pages of the bishops’ sites!!
"But FAHther! But FAHther!", and I am sure some of you are by now lilting. "Sure and what may they be, these guidlelines from their Lordships the bishops?"
Here they are with my emphases and comments:
GUIDELINES FOR THE RECEPTION OF COMMUNION
DURING THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS
Children who attend the extraordinary form of the Mass will receive Communion in a
different manner from their classmates who attend the ordinary form of the Mass. [SAd, but true.]
At Mass in the extraordinary form, Holy Communion is received kneeling and on the
tongue. Reception in the hand or while standing is not normally permitted. [That might be a little strong. I think people have rights, under the Church's law where permitted. But this is a good direction, at least.]
Communion is received under one kind only, to emphasise the Church’s teaching that Christ
is received whole and entire under the appearance of bread or wine.
Normally the child will approach the altar with joined hands and will kneel at the
Communion rails (although children making their First Communion may use a prie-dieu).
The priest recites the formula: “Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in
vitam aeternam. Amen.” (May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul to
everlasting life. Amen.) Note that the priest says “Amen”. The child should make no
The sacrament of Confession (or reconciliation) is often available before and during Mass in
churches celebrating Mass in the extraordinary form. Almost exclusively, confession will be
in the traditional form, using a confessional box, rather than face-to-face with a priest. [Sadly, this doesn't describe the situation also in churches where only the Ordinary form is used.]
For teachers who wish to know more about the extraordinary form of the Mass, details are
available at http://latinmassireland.org. The schedule of Masses for Ireland is also available.
If a teacher wishes to take a class of First Communion children to experience Mass in the
extraordinary form, that can be arranged in advance with the celebrant. Explanatory DVDs of the Mass are also available from the Latin Mass Society of Ireland.