People have asked me when I plan to bring back the chalices for Holy Communion. I will be glad to bring them back toward the end of this month when I can be sure that flu season is over. However, I do have one other concern I would like to address before we continue with the practice of communion under two species.
I have noticed that while Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion do walk up to the altar at the proper time to help distribute Communion, it may or may not be people who are actually assigned to the Mass. Most of the time, this is not a big deal since all the roles are fulfilled. However, it does cause some anxiety about whether or not someone should get up to help minister Communion. So, people delay in walking up to the altar, or, sometimes we do not have enough Extraordinary Ministers at Mass to cover all the roles. (Which causes me personally, as the celebrant, great anxiety when suddenly having to decide which roles will be fulfilled.) Also, the fact that we now have only two deacons who regularly cover weekend Masses, sometimes we need one more minister than the schedule indicates.
I would like to find a solution to these problems before bringing back the chalices. We can go in one of two directions. We can either make a more strict and exact schedule in which people really have to be at the Masses they are assigned to, and at the very least, the assigned minister who is unable to serve must arrange for a substitute. Or, we can set it up so that people can check in with someone before Mass begins. Then, the celebrant can easily see if all the roles are filled and adjust accordingly.
I am open to anyone’s thoughts on these matters and you can contact me by calling the parish office or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I do not want to be too hasty and just cause a larger problem in the future. So, I am open to hear about people’s experiences and how they think we can improve the way we assign Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to the Masses. If you think the current scheduling process is perfectly ok and the way you like, please let me know that too.
As a Church, the Eucharist should be the most important thing in our lives. It is Jesus Himself who is the bread of eternal life. It should be treated with respect and devotion, not as an afterthought or anxiously. I understand that sometimes mistakes happen in Mass and there might be confusion. But, we should do our best to minimize these times for the sake of the reverence we owe to our Lord at His altar. I hope you see my point of view in this matter and that we may all worship the Lord with great love and attention.
P.S. I do not have time to get into this topic in detail, but I feel I have to speak out about a recent topic in the news. Many news agencies claim that the Pope said that hell does not exist. This statement is simply false. It has been denied by the Vatican, goes against previous statements made by the Pope, goes against Catholic teaching and is from an unreliable source that often misquotes private conversations with the Holy Father. I would greatly doubt any news agency that reports this statement as credible. This is not the first time Pope Francis has been misquoted in the news. But, I hope people are learning why they cannot believe everything that is reported at face value.