From a reader:
The EM’s at our parish, upon strolling up to the altar without genuflecting, or even bowing, proceed to clean their hands with a bottle of Purell, which they pass among themselves. They repeat this act after they have distributed Holy Communion. I have a visceral repugnance for this practice. But is this practice licit? Is is sacrilegious?
The employment of extraordinary ministers of Communion is, most of the time, repugnant. First, it means that there are not enough priests. That is bad. Second, it usually isn’t necessary to have them. That is an abuse. Third, they are often employed under the pretense of getting people involved by getting them to do something that pertains to the clergy. That is condescending clericalism.
What was the question again?
Oh yes. Right.
I think ignoring the Blessed Sacrament is a bad thing. Ignoring the altar is also wrong. I don’t remember anything in the Praenotanda about setting our squirty bottles of hand cleanser. I don’t recall any rubric governing its use.
NO. Wrong wrong wrong bad bad bad.
If extraordinary ministers are to be employed, let them be reverent and discreet. I think passing around a bottle of hand cleanser is TACKY.
Perhaps they are trying to put the congregation at ease about their germs. To which we respond: Blech! Who are you trying to kid? Use the wretched stuff before hauling yourself out of your special pew, for pity’s sake.
Perhaps all the anxiety about the proper liturgical use of the hand sanatizer made them forget any sign of reverence?
Was the sanatizer the liturgical color of the day?
Okay.. I’ll stop now.