Our parish liturgist has sent out the following to all Altar Servers and Acolytes who assist at the Novus Ordo mass.
“Servers at Saint Mary receive both Species if they receive at all. If you receive the body, you receive the blood. Some servers are refraining from receiving the blood. Servers receive both so as to show by our actions that both are Christ. If anyone would like to have a longer conversation with me on this issue, I am happy to do so, but so long as it is morally permissible to receive both, we will.”
From my reading and formation I find his statements contrary to Church teaching, tradition, and practice. What do you think?
Let me get this straight. Servers are being told that if they wish to receive Holy Communion when they serve they must receive under both kinds?
Also, what is this about “morally” permissible? It is permissible under the Church’s law for Holy Communion to be offered under both kinds under certain conditions. It is permissible for people to receive under both kinds, if they so desire, when it is offered. What the writer (and I assume the pastor) are trying to do here is put head pressure on servers to receive in order to put head pressure on the congregation to receive under both kinds.
No. You cannot force any communicant, server or not, to receive under both kinds. The only person there obliged to receive under both kinds is the priest celebrant. Every one else, server and congregant alike, is free to receive or not to receive Communion even under one kind when both are offered.
I think this sort of head-pressure is irresponsible and oppressive. It violates the individual’s freedom and constitutes an intrusion into their personal, spiritual life. If the server is a minor, it may also violate the rights of the parents of the servers as to how the child should receive Communion.
I think the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments would be interested to read a bulletin with that printed in it. Perhaps a copy should be sent to the local bishop and to the congregation.
I can see that a priest and/or liturgist might be so convinced that everyone should receive under both kinds that he might want to persuade people. But to force or oblige them? The implicit message to the servers here is, “Receive under both kinds or you can’t be a server.”
I wonder if there is such attention paid in that place to people receiving Communion regularly in the state of mortal sin.