1. Doug

    So I’m curious. What is the reason that Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion shouldn’t give blessings to non-communicants? I must admit, I am an EMHC, and while it’s the custom in our Parish to do this, it makes me uncomfortable, because I’m not a Priest or a Deacon (although I’m planning to enter our Diocese’s Diaconate program next year, if they’ll have me).


    • Hi Doug; thanks for stopping by and commenting. Simply, there’s no provision for such a blessing in the GIRM, so there’s no formula for how to administer it. In my experience, most EMHCs don’t know what to do, because they have received no specific training on this issue. Often, they just make up something to fulfill the expectation. Worse, you get lay people mimicking priests and deacons, trying to administer trinitarian blessings with the sign of the cross, which is totally inappropriate. I think a helpful maxim is, “If it’s not in the GIRM, don’t do it!” For a priest’s perspective, I highly recommend Fr. Cory Sticha’s recent post, Why I refuse to bless children at Communion.

      Also, please be assured of our prayers for your diaconate discernment. Pax Christi!

  2. Nick Bigelow

    Good read, Lisa! Sing To The Lord is fantastic for any participant in music ministry. I admit I haven’t read all of it, but it’s one of many resources which will answer the “Psalm vs. Song” question.

    One issue I have had with reading the GIRM is deciphering what parts are required and what parts are strongly suggested. I’ve been told while reading the GIRM aloud among priests and deacons (also at a Liturgy meeting) that “we don’t do it that way, and that’s okay”. Nonetheless, it is the #1 liturgical guideline and worth checking out.

  3. Kasey Eoriatti

    I love your ardent desire to always speak the truth and defend the faith. Knowing the real truth can only bring joy; never kill it. Great job!

  4. Marcia

    Oh Lisa Lisa Lisa. I’m so sure that our husbands are nearly twins. We have a copy of this in our house. :) We might not be kill-joy, but we are fairly evaluative of what we see in the Masses we attend. I’m going to look at the “teaching Mass” part for myself with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Mass we will do next April. Thank you.

  5. Lisa Bourne

    Kill joy? More like faithful. If upholding any aspect of the Church is synonymous with the state of being a kill joy than I’m happily guilty as charged right along with you. No, rather it really speaks to the sad state of things today in the Church. With the insufficient catechesis of the last 40 years in the U.S. it’s no wonder the laity at large have no idea what should and shouldn’t be taking place at Mass, let alone what the GIRM is. I’m praying to the saints for intercession with the Lord to pull us out of this state, stale since the 60’s.

  6. Elizabeth Seton

    My local Catholic Church has an empty cross hanging over the altar instead of a Crucifix. I have read that masses held without a Crucifix are illicit. Many people have addressed this issue with Monsignor, but the cross has not been replaced by a Crucifix. What suggestions do you have? The Archbishop has seen the cross and has not issued a statement.

  7. Rosemarie Kinney

    I had a few questions about the liturgy in my parish church. 1) shold we be holding hands while praying the Our Father? 2) The Blood of Lord is poured from the chalice to a number of vessels for distribution by lay eucharistic ministers. 3) Our parish hall is being used as our place to conduct mass as it was built first and we have no plan for a church building in the near future. The chairs are metal folding chairs with no kneelers. The floor is tile. There is not room between chairs for an adult to kneel. There are no plans for kneelers and no plans for spacing the chairs so that an adult could kneel if he/she wanted to. What is the remedy? After hearing of the GIRM I looked into it online. I still do not have answers to these questions after looking at it. I even got more confused by some things… I saw something about sipping the Precious Blood with a tube and using a spoon to distribute the Body of of Lord..never heard of these things. Can you offer some guidance?

Join the conversation!