This is from the minutes of a Pastoral Council Meeting at St. Noel Church in Ohio in a discussion on the GIRM.
Fraction Rite – The GIRM mandates that the priest is the only minister to break the bread and that the priest or deacon pour the wine. The American bishops are asking for an indult with regard to the pouring of the wine, which would allow Eucharistic ministers to pour. It is felt that if the priest were the one to pour, in larger parishes this would slow down the Communion Rite.
The staff recommended that we continue to have a Eucharistic minister pour the wine until we get an answer from Rome on whether the indult will be granted.
This makes no sense to me. If you have a practice that is explicitly against the GIRM do you keep on doing it till a possible indult is given? Maybe it is just me, but I would think that you would immediately stop the practice until such a time as an indult is given, if ever. If the Bishops really are asking for an indult on this I would like to know a sane reason why. We need to get away from the concept that active-participation in the Mass means everybody physically doing something at the altar.
Communion For Ministers – Our present policy of having the presider and ministers receive after the assembly was implemented in 1995 after consultation with the parish and a group of about 50 parishioners over a period of four to five months. The decision was made, as a parish, that the presider and ministers would receive last as a sign of hospitality.
The Rite is very clear that ministers receive from the priest and the priest receives first. Because the Rite is so strong on this issue, the staff recommended that we follow this mandate.
Wasn’t that so nice of the staff for them to recommend going along with the GIRM? It always amazes me the argumentation on these issues. Such as worrying about the ministers receiving first will be seen as inhospitable. Did you ever see anybody get up in a huff and leave after witnessing a EEM receive the Eucharist first?
Position of the Assembly During Communion – This was the recommendation that the staff had the most debate and discussion among themselves. There is a clear directive by the Diocese that the assembly should stand until everyone has received Communion, because that was the position in the early Church. The staff felt that there would be elderly and disabled people who would not be able to stand this long, and, therefore, you would have people standing and
Oh No!!!!!!! You would have people standing and sitting, what a scandal. I will not stand for it.
Since we presently all sit, showing unity, staff recommended that we continue to do so.
Debate and discuss among yourselves all you want, but please follow the plain instructions in the GIRM. They fail to understand that the sign of unity is not just among members of their parish church but among the whole Church universal. They are out of unity with those churches faithfully following the GIRM. Those who are physically unable to stand, kneel, etc are already excused from those actions according to the GIRM.
This just goes to show that for the most part it doesn’t matter how many documents the Vatican issues and how clear they are. There will still be many that just pick and choose what to implement based on their tastes. This church’s council is probably representative of what goes on in the United States and elsewhere. Well-meaning people who decide what is best for their parish based on their preferences and understanding. The GIRM is meant to be implemented not interpreted. We send our dogs to obedience school. I think it is time that American Catholics also attended.
Summarizing their plans on the vocation practice they planned to have a dialog, panel discussion, focus group, and asking how do vocational statistics make you feel? During focus groups council members would be there in a listening capacity. Typical meeting-speak that says nothing and ends up doing nothing. Those churches who are fully orthodox are not having a vocation problem, and I am sure they did it without focus groups.