“I’m so proud of my priest for taking such an unpopular stand…”

From a reader:

I just wanted to brag about my priest tonight. Fr. A has only been the
rector here for 4 or 5 months, so he’s been pretty slow to change
things since the previous rector was here for 14 years. Tonight he
took a very, very unpopular stand.

At our All Souls Mass, there was Fr. A, 2 deacons, and 4 EHMCs. After
the EHMCs had communed, Fr. A realized that there was one extra
person, so he sent one EHMC back to their seats – she was pretty
upset, but c’est la vie. The deacon nearby was very upset at her being
turned away, and after a brief chat with Fr. A, was even more upset
when her chalice got put in his hands!

I’m so proud of my priest for taking such an unpopular stand,
recognizing the overuse of EMHCs. May he continue to recognize and
correct such abuses in the future!

There are times when decisions must be made. Each situation has its own dynamic. Priests have to have good antennae.

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54 Responses to “I’m so proud of my priest for taking such an unpopular stand…”

  1. KAS says:

    I hope this person told the priest how much they appreciated their actions– to balance all the negative he will be getting for making changes.

    My prayers for him!

  2. Clinton says:

    I hope this person also writes to the bishop to tell him how well the new rector is doing.
    If Fr. A moves too quickly or upsets the wrong church clique, he might find himself in
    need of some support at the chancery. Brick by brick.

  3. jhayes says:

    That problem can be avoided by having one EMHC be a coordinator. That usually is done so the coordinator can find a replacement from the congregation if one of the scheduled EMHCs doesn’t show up. In this case, the coordinator could have told one of the EHMCs not to go up to the altar because two deacons were present instead of the anticipated one deacon.

    It would have avoided hurting the feelings of the EMHC, who may have felt rejected by being sent away after having already gone up to the altar and receiving communion there.

    The worst scenario would have been to have gone up to the altar and then be sent away before communion was distributed to the EHMCs, so I’m glad the priest avoided that.

  4. Mundabor says:

    What world do we live in if a EHMC fels “rejected” because he/she is told that he is not needed? Isn’t this supposed to be a service? What is this, an ego-fest for the benefit of the EHMC?

    I think there were still 3 EHMCs too much, by the way. To have to wait 10 or 15 minutes so that everyone gets communion is good for one’s soul as it leaves more time for prayer before or after receiving.

    Mundabor

  5. David2 says:

    Indeed, Mundabor; a properly-formed EMHC would rejoice at not being needed, even if only for the reason that it was evidence that the Church was adequately supplied with vocations to the Priesthood and Diaconate.

    If the lack of Sacred Minsters is so great that the hordes of EMHCs are actually required, then laity should serve with a heavy heart, lamenting and beating their breasts at the lack of Holy Priests; any lay-person who is eager to traipse up to the altar is unfit so to do.

  6. Supertradmum says:

    One woman I spoke with this past week, as dear friend of mine in southern England, has been a lector and Extraordinary Minister for years and has had no training nor “rite” of either of these ministries. There are four priests in the parish, so they do not need ExtraMs, anyway, and use them because every Saturday and Sunday, the Chalice of the Blood is offered. She knows that some people are taking sacrilegious Communion, as they are living in second marriages without annulments, or living together outside marriage, the most common reason, and she is about ready to resign. It is hard for some lay people to resign, however. (Even if the recipients are living celibate lives, they are creating scandal and need to separate publicly.) Also, in Walsingham, the ExtraMs still purify the vessels and there are at least two, if not three, ExtraMs at daily Mass, again, because of offering the Blood of Christ. Neither of these two parishes have “hordes” of Catholics attending, but in both cases, the priests want the Mass to end at a certain time.

    All these things indicate incorrect or no training. The entire “ministry” should be stopped. To me, it is all about the ego and people thinking that holiness is outward, liturgical ministry, which it is not.

  7. jbosco88 says:

    I understand the use of maybe one EMHC as well as Father if there is a very, very sizeable congregation. But even then – is it really going to kill the congregation to spend maybe ten minutes in thanksgiving in their places or in silent prayer whilst waiting for Father to reach them during distribution? It is an important, intimate time with Christ.

  8. basenji says:

    I agree with everything about the EMHC. But whither the Deacon? I’m don’t walk around with a copy of the GIRM rolled up and stuck up my sleeve, but is his role at this point traditionally one of presenting the chalice?

  9. acroat says:

    Our pastor’s physical condition is not good (constant pain) & we do not have no extraordinary ministers. We are in awe of him for his sacrifice (we kneel at the alter so this adds to his standing time & pain). We all love him more for setting such an example of sacrificing for love of the Lord (& us too).

  10. Norah says:

    It may have been better to handle this at a meeting of the EMHCs and the deacons some time after Mass and not to have and argy bargy in the sanctuary just before people receive Holy Communion.

  11. Legisperitus says:

    So many good comments here that all I can say is “So many good comments here!” :)

  12. thereseb says:

    I attended Mass at Chislehurst. The Deacon sang the most beautiful plainchant Dies Irae. My first All Souls Mass in the EF – and such a spiritual experience. Utterly beautiful – with black vestments – Benedictine Arrangements – the lot. I apologise for going down a rabbit-hole and boasting – but my point is that our Deacon was, in my opinion, contributing much more than “person management” to the experience. EMHCs were surplus to requirements, needless to say.

  13. teomatteo says:

    “Tonight he took a very, very unpopular stand.”

    It is possible that it was not an unpopular stand. For other EMHC it was but for many in the pews it may have been quite popular, just not verbalized as such.

  14. . . . if one of the scheduled EMHCs doesn’t show up.”

    Does it occur to anyone to wonder whether the practice of scheduling EMHCs in advance–perhaps even listing their names in the parish bulletin–contradicts their very nature as extraordinary ministers?

  15. wmeyer says:

    As contrast, on Monday night at our vigil Mass, with (estimated) just under one hundred people in the pews, there were four, yes four, EMHCs in action. Extraordinary? Really? Someone’s understanding of the word extraordinary is confused, at best. I think in my parish, it is likely that the EMHCs–and many of the congregation–believe that EMHCs have some sort of right to participate.

    Henry Edwards: the scheduling could pass for delicious irony, were it not so likely to pass right over their heads.

  16. stmungo says:

    Thanks be to God that Father has taken such astand. Dear brother preists let us pray for each other in these difficult times. None of us has the hide of a rhinoceros and sometimes the blows that the laity deal are painful.
    Oremus pro invicem

  17. Thomas Crabtree says:

    The Mass I went to at 6:30am on All Saints had maybe 100 people at it. There were two lines down the middle aisle. And 7 ems….

  18. Lily says:

    “It may have been better to handle this at a meeting of the EMHCs and the deacons some time after Mass and not to have and argy bargy in the sanctuary just before people receive Holy Communion.”

    But there was an extra person… how would it have been resolved otherwise? A few months ago, I saw priest exclude HIMSELF from distributing Holy Communion because there were too many EMHC’s. It was the most ridiculous sight, to see him standing there, vested to distribute but with nothing to do because there were too many lay people distributing Holy Communion instead… :-/ Ridiculous is the only word I can think of to describe it.

  19. Liz says:

    God bless him!

  20. Bryan Boyle says:

    I think (and, boy, is that dangerous…) that it comes down to the attitude that us sinful laity have a RIGHT to be in the sanctuary at any time, for any reason, to execute some ill-defined ‘ministry’ in the name of more and fuller ‘active participation’. I know, and I fight the tendency myself, to view our ‘voluntary job’ of reader, EMHC, etc as something we’re entitled to do.

    We’re not. And if the catechesis regarding the role we’re undertaking is not clear, or even done to begin with, we can begin to view that temporary role as something we are entitled to do.

    Firm believer here in the delegations to act in place of the proper member of the clergy as readers, EMHC, etc should be enforced as TEMPORARY duties. Not lifetime sinecures.

    (Full disclosure: I recently resigned as a reader at the end of the current quarterly schedule. Found myself getting too used to doing it. That means that I was comfortable and *expecting* to have those choice assignments. Asking to be taken off the schedule, while difficult, is an act of self-mortification in some ways. It would be good, I think, if more people understood that service at the altar is not a right for the lay person, but an undeserved privilege. There are some readers and EMHCs who have been acting as such for decades…)

  21. Tall bald deacon says:

    Who was responsible for the formation of these EMHCs? For that matter who was responsible for the formation of the Deacon who apparently took exception with the pastor? These aberrations don’t take place without reason. It sounds to me as if Father A is probably going to have to go back to square one and take care of things that should have been cared for some time in the past. Doing the red and saying the black sometimes seem so far away from us when we hear of liturgical nonsense like this.

  22. Lurker 59 says:

    @Henry Edwards

    I agree with what you said and thought of that right away as well. Ecclesiæ de mysterio Article 8 § 2 indicates that the habititual use of EMHC is to be eliminated. Scheduling EMHC makes them habititual. Sure there are instances where scheduling might be needed (parishes with no priest and deacon OR parishes with only one priest who is to ill or infirm) but that is not the case for most parishes. Typically one can only know if there is a “great number of the faithful” once Mass has started. Unless a parish building is rather large and there is a “great number of pews”, it is not Christmas or Easter (if that), and the priest is not psychic, no one should know if a “great number of the faithful” is going to show up for a particular Mass.

    Kudos to Fr. A for doing the right thing and upholding the rights of the deacon as ordinary minister and the rights of the laity to have a Mass celebrated properly.

  23. “Ridiculous is the only word I can think of to describe it.”

    Actually, the proper term is “reprobated”, which I understand is the strongest canonical term of condemnation:

    Redemptionis sacramentum
    [157.] If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons. (emphasis added)

    As for the particular instance at hand:

    [151.] Only out of true necessity is there to be recourse to the assistance of extraordinary ministers in the celebration of the Liturgy. Such recourse is not intended for the sake of a fuller participation of the laity but rather, by its very nature, is supplementary and provisional. . . .

  24. Lurker 59 says:

    @Bryan Boyle

    Yours is an example for others to live by. Thank you for your humility.

    As someone who used to go to Eastern Catholic services where there is a much better understanding of liturgical spaces, it drives me absolutely crazy to see EMHC in the sanctuary during Mass. As members of the laity who are not functioning in an ordinary liturgical roll, they do not belong in the sanctuary. Really for the sake of ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox, EMHC need to be brought into line with the rubrics.

  25. pberginjr says:

    Aren’t EMHC’s to remain out of the sanctuary until the priest and other clerics have received anyway?

  26. Lurker 59 says:

    @pberginjr

    Yes exactly. Ecclesiæ de mysterio Article 8 § 2, GIRM 162. Personally I would argue that there is no reason for them to go into the sanctuary even after the ordinary ministers have received. The laity do not receive the Eucharist in the sanctuary and if the EMHC receive in the sanctuary that causes them to receive in a way that is different from the rest of the laity, again a violation of the same norms.

    I am a member of the laity. So are EMHC. Priests please stop making me feel inferior to EMHC. They are not more special, or different than I who sits in the pew. Uphold my rights and my dignity as a member of the laity by treating EMHC as laity. When you falsely elevate them, you diminish me.

  27. Long-Skirts says:

    Henry Edwards quoted:
    Redemptionis sacramentum
    [157.]
    “The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.”

    THE
    ELEPHANT
    IN
    THE
    LIVING
    ROOM

    I’m Eucharistic
    Minister
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    You act as though
    That’s sinister
    I lead all down
    The aisle.

    I see my son
    But twice a year
    He prays and studies
    Hours
    In cassock-black
    Men laugh and jeer
    Though mocking
    Just empowers.

    I’m Eucharistic
    Minister
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    You act as though
    That’s sinister
    And loyal
    I’ll dance awhile.

    Empowers him
    To pray say yes
    Receive and be
    Anointed
    These other Christs lay hands
    And bless
    Melchisedech
    Appointed.

    I’m Eucharistic
    Minister
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    You act as though
    That’s sinister
    Why we’re priests
    Rank and file.

    Through Masses, rosaries
    Teary eyes
    If Christ calls all
    My boys
    They’ll go but not
    Support your lies
    A meal with lots
    Of noise.

    I’m Eucharistic
    Minister
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    You act as though
    That’s sinister
    We’re having fun
    Just smile.

    Three years he’s slaved
    Four more to go
    Each year he’s
    Farther away
    And that’s so we
    Can learn and know
    His life for Christ
    He’ll lay.

    I’m Eucharistic
    Sinister
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    And all can be a minister
    Diabolically
    Disorienting
    To beguile!

  28. Hidden One says:

    Is there, somewhere online, a reasonably comprehensive resource on the proper use of EMHCs (as well as their duties and suchlike) according to the applicable ecclesiastical documents? Excerpts from all of the relevant documents, a nice summary all on one page… That sort of thing would be really useful; I don’t know of one and presently lack the time to make it.

    Consider this, motivated WDTPRSers: Having such an online resource – if it does not already exist – might make it a lot easier for priests and perhaps even bishops to know, understand, and act on the Church’s legislation concerning EMHCs. (It would also make it much easier for lay people to file well-documented complaints.)

  29. jesusthroughmary says:

    Does it occur to anyone to wonder whether the practice of scheduling EMHCs in advance–perhaps even listing their names in the parish bulletin–contradicts their very nature as extraordinary ministers?

    I have mentioned this contradiction in some previous thread on this topic. Even my holy, orthodox pastor has them scheduled, though – there seems to be no way to get out of it when Masses are only 90 minutes apart, and the only thing that people hate more than changing the Mass is changing the Mass schedule.

  30. Mary Jane says:

    ~400 people at my parish’s Sunday High Mass. 2 priests distribute the Eucharist. Communion time: 6-7 minutes.

    Gives us, the choir, a chance to sing some polyphony. ;-) Also gives people the chance to reflect and pray.

  31. Bryan Boyle says:

    @Mary Jane: that’s less time than it takes currently at my parish for 1) the Priest to commune, 2) distribute the Body and Blood to the Deacon, 3) distribute the Body to the Holy Horde of EMHCs standing in a semi-circle around the altar, 4) the deacon to offer the chalice to the EMHCs still standing around the altar, 5) both the Deacon and the Celebrant to distribute the multiple ciboria and chalices to the EMHCs standing around the altar, 6) distribute communion to the 4 or 5 altar servers (funny how they’re last…I would have assumed that they would come before Extraordinary Ministers based on their liturgical role, but, I digress…), and finally 7) wait for the Holy Horde of Extraordinary Ministers to wander off to the far reaches of the sanctuary steps to distribute Communion in the hand to the lineup waiting for them.

    In the misguided interest of ‘decreasing’ the time…have we actually (along with the Usher’s robotic control of pew-by-pew allocation of the communion line…) made it take longer?

    I’ve always felt that this robotization of the whole thing actually took away from receiving.

  32. irishgirl says:

    I remember one time, going to a [I think] Thanksgiving Day Mass in an out-of-town parish which had a VERY traditional pastor (a few years older than myself).
    The EMHCs in the parish remained in the congregation until the ‘Lamb of God’ was said or sung, then they approached the sanctuary.
    On this occasion, the priest was the only one who was going to distribute Communion. He made a sign with either his head or his hands, and the two women silently went back to their seats in the congregation.
    I thought to myself, ‘Bravo!’ Father took it upon himself to show by his actions that he was the only one to distribute Communion and not let the laity usurp what he was ordained to do!
    And an additional ‘Bravo!’ to ‘Father A’!

  33. What Mundabor said. The mark of a true servant’s heart is the willingness, without resentment, to be dispensed with. If you get upset about having to stand down, then it’s time to ask yourself whom you are really serving.

  34. amenamen says:

    If I were king of the forest …

    Perhaps there are times, when the President is out playing golf, when the Vice President sneaks into the Oval Office in the White House, turns on the teleprompter and smiles at the imaginary cameras, and issues a declaration of war, or two, and announces the creation of a new federal agency. This would be so cool, he thinks. And I sound so “presidential.”

    Then the President comes back from the golf game. “Sorry, Joe, not in my lifetime.”

  35. jhayes says:

    @Hidden One, If you are in the USA see this:

    USCCB Liturgy Guide – EMHCs

    It gives references to the GIRM and the USCCB Norms of 2002, which received the recognitio of the Vatican. 2002 is later then most of the documents mentioned here, so the recognitio confirms that he interpretations of those older documents by the USCCB are correct for the USA.

    Most US dioceses also have their own Norms regarding EMHCs, which are particular law for that diocese. You can often find these through a link on the diocesan website

  36. jhayes says:

    Sorry, bad link. Use this one:

    USCCB Liturgy Guide – EMHCs

  37. If I was Supreme Legislator…

    Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may only be used:

    1. To distribute Communion under the species of bread alone.

    2. One EMHC may be used for every 200 communicants beyond those “covered” by ordained ministers.

    For example:

    1 priest, 400 communicants = 1 EMHC

    1 priest, 1 deacon, 400 communicants = 0 EMHC

    1 priest, 800 communicants = 3 EMHC

    The reason for 200 per “minister” is time. Quick distribution takes about 4 seconds per person. At that rate, one can distribute to 200 people in about 13 minutes.

  38. wmeyer says:

    PatrickThornton:

    Your rule 2 is exactly what is now lacking. Clearly, the lack of a metric is a major factor in the degree of misuse.

  39. Cassie says:

    First, @amenamen – AMEN! ha ha Very good.
    Second, kudos to Father A. I will say a few extra prayers for him, that he may suffer with patience the onslaught of complaints that could be headed his way, especially since he’s arrived in a parish where the Deacon seems to be confused about his own role as an Ordained Minister.
    I have had the very humbling privilege to serve as EMHC in two different Dioceses. Never did it occur to me to be upset if my EXTRAORDINARY service was not necessary. I might be a tad embarrassed at having to sit back down and thus possibly have attention drawn to me , but that is just my vanity. (With frequent confession I’m working on it!)
    I have seen situations at my current (and did I say wonderful?) parish, when an unexpected Ordinary Minister is present and an EMHC approaches to serve with some hesitance, sometimes gets as far as receiving communion, but once Father gives the signal that he’s got it covered, the EMHC humbly returns to his/her seat.
    IT’S NO BIG DEAL, REALLY!
    Sorry. I get a little cranky when the laity self-ordain.

  40. Stephen D says:

    I only receive from a priest. If more people did the same, it might give the priest and EM’s food for thought. I have seen a (presumably) non-Catholic person join an EM’s queue for a blessing (presumably in error) and being ‘blessed’ by her when the priest was standing besider her! Communion is over in no time in our church because of the (over) use of EM’s giving little time for thanksgiving. This is now totally out of hand and something must be done.

  41. wmeyer says:

    I am not quite as rigid — I will receive from the priest or from a deacon. But at very populous times, like the midnight Mass, I will perhaps not receive, as it will be almost impossible, in the crush, to receive from other than an EMHC.

  42. Mundabor says:

    “It is hard for some lay people to resign, however. (Even if the recipients are living celibate lives, they are creating scandal and need to separate publicly.) ”

    “Oportet ut scandala eveniant”, smart people used to say. A resignation because of frequent sacrilege, known for certain and not checked by the priest, would in my eyes be salutary indeed. Also, the priest(s) in question would have some explaining , and perhaps some improving, to do …

    Mundabor

  43. teomatteo says:

    I still would like to see a priest who requires all EMOHC to arrive at mass 35min. before the start and together recite the rosary before the Blesssed Sacrement. Simple but profound and inspiring for those arriving to mass. And i’d have the readers/lectors as well. Anyone in the sanctuary ‘lets be prepared!’

  44. Jerry says:

    @Lurker59 – “Priests please stop making me feel inferior to EMHC. ”

    Only we can control our feelings in response to external events. Based on your comments, the Litany of Humility may be of some help.

  45. eulogos says:

    “He sent one EMHC back to their seats”

    Please. He sent one EMHC back to her seat. And if for some reason you did not know the sex of the EMHC involved, it would be “He sent one EMHC back to his seat.” Please please please use “their” only when you are referring to a plural noun.

    She had no reason to be upset. But we can’t blame people too much for what they have not been taught.
    Susan Peterson

  46. Lurker 59 says:

    @Jerry

    The problem is that the way priests are incorrectly using EMHC is known as “clericalization of the laity”. Such usage of EMHC diminishes my role as a member of the Church’s laity in the Divine Liturgy and creates a barrier between me and the ordinary ministers. For the vast majority of poorly catechized individuals the incorrect usage of EMHC gives the impression that their involvement in the Church is not as important.

    External stimuli does cause us to experience certain thoughts, emotions, and internal responses. Liturgical abuse does have real effects, both corporeal and spiritual, upon those who are subjected to such abuse. Even when individuals do not understand the liturgy and its parts, liturgical abuse still effects us because the liturgy conforms us to its symbolism. When the symbolism is disordered, those that are subjected to it become malformed in their spiritual formation.

    So again, I say, “Priests stop making me feel inferior to EMHC”.

    In the same Synod Assembly, however, a critical judgment was voiced along with these positive elements, about a too-indiscriminate use of the word “ministry”, the confusion and the equating of the common priesthood and the ministerial priesthood, the lack of observance of ecclesiastical laws and norms, the arbitrary interpretation of the concept of “supply”, the tendency towards a “clericalization” of the lay faithful and the risk of creating, in reality, an ecclesial structure of parallel service to that founded on the Sacrament of Orders. CHRISTIFIDELES LAICI 23

  47. Bill Russell says:

    The real need for Extraordinary Ministers is rare. There should not be Communion under both species if it requires EMs. In the middle of Manhattan I have often been at the Church of Our Saviour where I have never seen EMs. The Pastor, Father Rutler, is usually the only priest at all the Masses on Sunday, and he manages to administer Communion to large congregations all by himself. The length of time is perhaps only a few minutes longer than if there were EMs – and in the period of Communion the faithful have time to make a quiet thanksgiving. Perhaps this helps to explain why that parish leads the archdiocese in having the most young men in seminary . Fewer EMs, more future priests?

  48. “Does it occur to anyone to wonder whether the practice of scheduling EMHCs in advance–perhaps even listing their names in the parish bulletin–contradicts their very nature as extraordinary ministers?”

    It depends on the canonical meaning of the term “extraordinary,” as well as how it is practically applied.

    I should say that I am no fan of this role as it is currently played out in North America. It is my understanding that the Holy See called for their regular use to be “eliminated” some years ago. I have also been in the position, even in some “conservative” parishes, of seeing extraordinary ministers demonstrate an abysmal lack of understanding regarding the nature of their role.

    That said, once the decision is made to use them, on what appears to be a regular basis, there is a price to pay by someone. A person who rearranges his schedule to be available, but who is turned away enough times, may begin to wonder if such an effort is appreciated (and you don’t need much of an ego to take offense at that). This is especially so, in parishes where one might be scheduled for any Mass, as opposed to that which one might otherwise attend. If that happened to me often enough, I would hardly think it worth the trouble.

    The best remedy, and in light of the above, the most humane remedy, is to make the role of extraordinary minister just that: extraordinary. In other words, the assumption is not that they will be needed, but that they will not be. Hundreds of people drinking from a common cup may convey a certain romantic appearance for some people, thus justifying more functionaries, but it also conveys a host of germs, in a situation which those same people would never think of doing elsewhere.

    All told, once you cross a line to where EMHCs are “needed,” there is a cost. For my money, it is rarely worth it.

  49. I should add that, since the permission for EMHCs to purify the vessels has been removed, there are many situations where it would simply be impractical for them to function at all. Even if they are relegated to sick calls, they would be restricted from purifying the pyx used to carry the Sacrament, a task which prudence demands be done immediately (as opposed to depositing them all somewhere for a priest to deal with later).

  50. irishsmile says:

    If you really appreciate it when your priest speaks out to correct a liturgical abuse or gives a homily that is brave and true to Catholicism then please, please write to the bishop and praise the priest. Believe me, that same correction/homily absolutely brings letters of complain against the good priest for his action. Too often, many Catholics don’t realize how important it is to support a good priest! Be pro-active and write something positive. As the mother of a priest, I know.

  51. Hidden One says:

    @jhayes

    That document is a good start, but it could use more. It’s a bit skimpy on primary source citations and quotations, for one thing. That said, I’m in Canada, so I don’t even know how much of it actually applies up here, in this land of strange indults and rubrics.

  52. jhayes says:

    manwithblackhat said:

    The best remedy, and in light of the above, the most humane remedy, is to make the role of extraordinary minister just that: extraordinary. In other words, the assumption is not that they will be needed, but that they will not be. Hundreds of people drinking from a common cup may convey a certain romantic appearance for some people, thus justifying more functionaries, but it also conveys a host of germs, in a situation which those same people would never think of doing elsewhere.

    Msgr. Moroney of the Vox Clara Committee was interviewed this morning on NPR about the new translation. I was interested to hear him say that the reason “cup” had been changed to “chalice” is because “chalice” is specifically a cup “from which many people drink – and in this day and age with the restoration of holy communion under both kinds that’s all the more appropriate that we use a word that reflects accurately the same words that Jesus used at the last supper.”

    My transcription – you can listen to the interview here:

    http://www.wbur.org/2011/11/04/catholics-new-prayer-book

  53. Lurker 59 says:

    @jhayes

    The stress that Msgr. Moroney is giving in the interview is not that that the translation is being done so the English reflects what Jesus said or did (nor what is in scripture) but so that the English is conformed to the Latin. Quoting him, Remember always, it is a translation of the Latin, and Roman Catholics only do liturgy by translating the Latin text……you are not necessarily translating an accurate translation. He was saying that chalice is used because it is the translation of the Latin calix. He then goes on to explain two Latin terms for cup and ends with your quote on why calix is an appropriate Latin term. (I cannot find his definition of calix as a cup from which many people drink in any Latin dictionary that I have access to)

    I am clarifying this so that people who don’t listen to the interview understand that Msgr. Moroney is interested in accurate translations from the Latin and not translating according to any sort of philosophical, theological, or liturgical agenda for good or for bad.

  54. jhayes says:

    @Lurker 59

    About a month ago there was an discussion of the cup/chalice choice on Fr. Ray Blakes’s Blog that attracted a number of interesting comments.

    http://marymagdalen.blogspot.com/2011/10/poculum-cup-calix-chalice.html

    As Fr. Blake said “Of course in the Latin calix = cup, if we merely translate word for word but it seems we should construe that what is being said is that the Roman Canon is the measure against which we should view other Eucharistic Prayers.”