I have deep misgivings about mega-Masses. Leaving aside the obvious problem of the effective range of a priest’s consecration, and leaving aside the problem of too many Hosts being consecrated, how can, I muse, Holy Communion be distributed to so many in any way that even slightly resembles “reverent”?
What signal do we send through this experience of Communion?
My solution would be, if Masses like this are necessary (and Popes seem to think they are) that there would be no distribution of Communion beyond the immediate ministers for Mass.
Now that I have that off my chest, here are some photos of distribution of Holy Communion during the last big mega-Mass in Rio during World Youth Day. I picked these up from the Italian blog Messa in latino (more there).
Disposable plastic cups, my friends. That’s what they used for distribution of Holy Communion. Disposable plastic cups.
A quick poll about this.
In the combox, do NOT make this into a referendum on World Youth Day. That’s not the point here.
UPDATE 7 August:
I received the following by email. I also invited the sender to post it as a comment.
I don’t post comments usually, but as a youth who attended WYD in Rio, I have to say that the event was stereotyped by your blog. I have no doubts that what you said in your blog is true and I understand people’s frustration with Masses that large. However, your blog post does not have an accurate representation of WYD from an individual’s perspective. [? Oh?] In the area where I was, though the Eucharist was not in precious metal as He should be, He instead was held in a ceramic bowl which is better than plastic disposable cups. People waited patiently in line for a long time to receive Holy Communion and a man was holding a sign saying that pilgrims could ONLY receive on the tongue.
People generally knelt to receive Him and no one jostled each other to get in line or be first. So while the majority of people may have been disrespectful, I just wanted to give you a little hope.
Fine. But this doesn’t change the fact of distribution of the Blessed Sacrament from disposable plastic cups.