From a reader…
I am an instituted acolyte in a parish that does not properly understand the office. This past Holy Thursday, I served at Mass. My girlfriend and I arrived early to help the “liturgical director” in the sacristy. She asked if we would help her to consume the Blessed Sacrament so that the tabernacle would be empty for the Triduum. There were two ciboria in there! I knew this sounded very fishy, and I was able to deflect the issue and properly reserve the Blessed Sacrament elsewhere, as the rubrics demand.
I attempted to forget the issue, but it keeps nagging me, to the point where I wake up thinking about it. My girlfriend thinks it is the Holy Spirit. Should I relay this episode to the pastor?
On 16 January 1988, the ever-helpful Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a circular letter concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts. In this letter, regarding the observation of the the Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we find this directive:
48. The tabernacle should be completely empty before the celebration. Hosts for the communion of the faithful should be consecrated during that celebration. A sufficient amount of bread should be consecrated to provide also for communion the following day.
Following subsequent norms, the Blessed Sacrament, after the Mass on Holy Thursday, is to be reserved not in the normal tabernacle, but in another secure location, whence it is brought to the altar during the Good Friday liturgy.
One wonders (doesn’t one?) why anyone would wish to eliminate the Blessed Sacrament during the Triduum?
There may be situations in which “too many” hosts have been consecrated and there is a need to consume them reverently. These should be rare and should be marked by the utmost of reverence. I have in mind the scene in The Cardinal when the Nazis were invading the Cardinal’s residence and they consumed, reverently, the Blessed Sacrament before the household was killed.
The pastor should be made aware of this situation.
One a pastor’s obligations is to see to reverence and respect due to the Blessed Sacrament.
If the pastor has an employee who does not show the Blessed Sacrament due reverence, he should know that.
Be careful about terminology!
As an instituted acolyte, a ministry has been conferred upon you, to serve, in a stable manner, as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. This is not an ecclesiastical office. It does not give a man who is thusly instituted any right to an ecclesiastical office.
Hosts are not “things” to be disposed of.
Bless your reverence.