From Ben Vallejo...
Let me tell you about a Eucharistic horror in the Diocese of Pasig!
During Communion at a Mass in that diocese, I made a sign (clasped hands in prayer) that I would like to receive the Sacred Host the old way. The Extraordinary Minister of Communion DROPPED THE HOST since he did not want it on my tongue! [How he dropped It, we can only imagine!]
It was good that my reflexes were good and I caught the Lord in my left hand!
Now I do know that Catholics can receive the Host orally even in churches where the indult of receiving it on the hand is given. A Catholic need only to have his hands clasped in prayer (as in the way people have done for 2000 years!)
And BTW, the late Cardinal Sin (when Pasig was part of the Archdiocese of Manila) gave an indult for communion in the hand for public health reasons. Now with the reason gone, why is the indult still there?
I am sure that you are not the only one who experienced this horror, Ben. And I can only imagine the feeling of disgust at the attitude of the EMHC.
Let me share with you a somewhat similar experience. And this one does not even involve an EMHC but a PRIEST!
I went to Mass with my wife. I DO NOT receive Communion in the Hand. So, I put down my hand but they are clasped. From the queue, I could see how the priest distributed the Hosts. He would grab a number of Hosts in his hand and flip it to the hands of the communicants. He is handling the Hosts as if they were poker chips! I could also see that he is not saying "The Body of Christ" when he gives Them. When it was my time to communicate, I said "Amen" even if I did not hear him say "The Body of Christ". I was sticking my tongue out but I could not feel the Host touch it. When I opened my eye, I saw the priest inserting the Host into my clasp hands!
Now for the love of God, I do not consider this guy a priest anymore. He is downright unworthy of the priesthood!
I reasoned to my wife that I will report this to the bishop but my wife told me to let it go and pray for old guy. By the way, this happened in the cathedral in the South. I haven't seen the priest anymore.
Things to ponder regarding our experiences, Ben:
1. There are certain cases when the priest can distribute Communion yet there is a platoon of EMHC distributing Communion. Watch Studio 23's Mass every Sunday morning and you'll see what I mean. During this years' Chrism Mass in our diocese, the same thing happened. Imagine...Chrism Mass...all priests of the diocese, secular or religious is in attendance. YET...EMHCs distributed Holy Communion aside from the bishop and 4 priests! Is it really a necessity to have the EMHCs, even if they are the EXTRAORDINARY MINISTER to do the task of distributing Holy Communion or are the priests really are into the "laicization"of certain roles of the ordained priesthood even though this is considered an abuse in Redemptionis Sacramentum? In articles 157 and 158 of RS it says:
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
158. Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged. [Usually Communion service in Sunday Masses in the Philippines do not last more than 10 minutes. So is there a need for EMHCs?] This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.For all I care, there are only three reasons that I could think of why this happens:
1. Those priests are too lazy to do their jobs.
2. Some priests act dumb as if they do not know anything about Redemptionis Sacramentum,which
unfortunately most do not.
3. That dreaded "active participation"of the laity.
2. EMHCs are not properly disposed liturgically and theologically; thus the need for stricter regulations of this great privilege of holding the Lord and distributing Him for Holy Communion. I personally know some EMHCs in our parish. Most are retirees. Some would love to join a lot of lay organizations. Some are only after the position of being around the sanctuary. All of them...and I mean ALL of them...I asked during a casual conversation about the parts of the Mass(OF), and you know what? They could not even tell me! How come our priests and bishops trust these men who could not even answer a simple question about the Mass?! Some EMHCs lay hands and bless the children who come with their parents for Communion. Lay men cannot make a blessing and make gestures as if they received Holy Orders! I cannot even hear some say the words "The Body of Christ" audibly!
The words of the Lord come to mind..."Do not give to the dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls to the pigs..."
3. The ordinary practice of receiving communion is through the mouth. Receiving by Hand, which I abhor in the strongest possible terms, [SIGN THE PETITION!] is an INDULT, meaning it is an option. It is not the norm but an option. Most of our EMHC are on auto-pilot. What they see as common, is the right thing. So it most receive in the hand and our priest promote the practice, THEN PROBABLY, they surmise, it IS the ordinary way. No one can force you to receive by the hand!
I have been invited a countless number of times to be an EMHC and I politely declined because:
1. I do NOT agree to this practice.
2. I AM AGAINST COMMUNION IN THE HAND. If ever I become an EMHC, I do not want to be forced to give Communion in this way.
Do we expect our bishops to act this decisively? DO NOT EXPECT THIS. Not in the near future.
With this seemingly cold hearted, go with the flow attitude of our bishops regarding liturgical abuses, better document it. Get a photo or a video and I'll upload it on my blog. If I can, I'll write a letter to Cardinal Levada of the CDF to report the abuses committed in our country which our dear bishops do not even dare lift a finger to address properly. National politics come first usually.
Enough of the talk. Let us walk the talk for our priests and bishops. If they will not do it, then we will.
Ben, if you can have the name of the EMHC, report it to the parish priest. Hope your priest acts on it! If not, we'll think of a better way to get your priest's attention.
To Ben, Catholic Defender, Gerald...to members of SLAP (Survivors of Liturgical Abuse in Parishes) and GULP (God's Undercover Liturgical Police) and all those who read my blog...
Let this be our inspiration to stay vigilant...