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  #1  
Old 01-24-2010, 10:45 AM
scareyfaerie scareyfaerie is offline
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Catholic Confirmation Mass - what to expect?

My nephew is being confirmed and we have been invited to the service. However, neither of us is Catholic and we don't know what a standard confirmation mass entails. Can anyone enlighten us? What happens in the service? Is there usually a reception of some sort afterwards? Are we expected to give him a confirmation gift, and if so, what sort of thing is acceptable? Also, are we expected to give an offering to the church?
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:43 AM
bobkitty bobkitty is offline
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My confirmation was a very, very long time ago (over 20 years), so things may have changed a bit, but..


- Because a baby can't really understand what's going on when they are baptized in the Catholic Church, the godparents make the baptismal promise for them (believe in god, reject satan, stay in the church.. that kind of thing). Confirmation is when the promise is re-made by the individual; they're of an age where they can understand/consent, and they are strengthening their contract with the Church. It's a fairly simple, straightforward ceremony- applicant and their sponsor (the applicant can request anyone who is an adult and practicing Catholic to be their sponsor) stand before the priest, the priest repeats the terms of the contract (see above), the applicant agrees, the priest smears their forehead with holy oil (or, if they're a cheap church, holy water) and introduces them by their 'new name' (chosen by the applicant.. almost everyone goes with Joseph, James, Mary, or Elizabeth, but it can be any saint's name) to the congregation, everyone politely claps, and it's done.


- We didn't have a full-blown Mass; more like an introductory prayer, a reading or two, some words from the priest, the Confirmation part, then the closing prayer. If that's the case, you just show up, follow-the-leader as far as standing/sitting/etc, and then be on your merry way (unless there's a party following).

- If it's a full-blown Mass, then you show up, follow-the-leader *except* for Communion, and expect a passing of a collection plate that you can choose to simply pass on, or place a small donation in (a dollar is perfectly acceptable, and will be the only donation you're 'expected' to make to the church). They show lots of Catholic masses on tv- you may want to watch one just to get a feel for it.

- There is usually a party at the confirmed's house afterwards.. you'll need to check with your family on that.

- Gifts are expected inasmuch as they're expected at any major transition event (graduation, bar/bat mitzvah, etc). Way back when, we pretty much anticipated a nice cross necklace or three ( ), a personalized bible, rosary beads.. anything religiously significant. If you know what his confirmation name will be, you can get a nice little medal of that saint*, though nowadays I suppose money is the way to go.. $20 is reasonable.



* Unless he's a bit of a smartass like I was, and picks someone really obscure.

Last edited by bobkitty; 01-24-2010 at 11:45 AM.. Reason: Forgot footnote..
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:06 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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It's a normal Mass (Church of England ones are about the same, Church of Scotland are not), with an extra bit that can be pretty long depending on how many people are taking Confirmation. This extra bit entails the Bishop (or his stand-in) standing in front of the altar, with the teenagers and their godparents (one per teen) lining up, walking up to the Bishop and receiving the sacrament.

The Big Questions have been asked and answered collectively; the Bishop asks each recipient for his/her Confirmed name (I chose the same one I already had, it took me long enough to decide it wasn't completely dorky but once I reconcilled with it, I did), anoints them (a bit of oil and a soft slap) and that's it, nothing to see here, back to your regularly established Comunion.

We got donuts after at the parish' big hall and that was it. My group did go out that same night, but it's because one of the town's three High Schools was celebrating a party, so completely unrelated to the confirmations.

Last edited by Nava; 01-24-2010 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:37 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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First of all, Catholic masses in general:

The congregation will sit, stand, and kneel at various points during the Mass. Either find someone who looks like they know what they're doing and follow their lead, or just sit through everything. Either is acceptable, and the former is what most Catholics actually do (most don't actually remember on their own when to do what).

If you know any of the songs or prayers, or there's a song sheet or book you can follow along from, you're welcome to join in, but it's also acceptable to keep quiet.

As for communion, this one is important. Towards the end of the Mass, the congregation will file down the aisle for communion. If you are not Catholic, you should not partake. You can walk up to the front with everyone else if you want, but you should cross your arms across your chest to indicate that you won't be taking Communion. If you want, you can ask the priest or other Eucharistic minister for a blessing. Alternately, you can just stay in your seat during this time.


OK, for confirmation specifically, it will be done by the bishop, not just a priest, so it's not uncommon for them to save up a few years worth of confirmees, to bring the bishop out for all of them at once. The actual ceremony for the confirmation itself mostly consists of the bishop rubbing a little oil on the person's forehead and saying a few words-- It's generally less than a minute per person.

Quote:
...and introduces them by their 'new name' (chosen by the applicant.. almost everyone goes with Joseph, James, Mary, or Elizabeth, but it can be any saint's name)
In my experience, most people pick different names. It's not a name you'll ever actually be called by except during the ceremony itself; it's mostly a matter of choosing a saint you particularly respect or want to honor.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:20 PM
Teacake Teacake is offline
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To clarify, if you approach the priest or Eucharistic minister with your arms crossed across your chest, they will assume you've come up for a blessing. You don't need to ask them for one. If you don't want a blessing, don't go up at all. Nobody will expect you to join in; at a big life event type sacrament, lots of the people there will be non-Catholics who've been invited because family wants them there - just like weddings or baptisms.

I don't know anyone with the confirmation names Joseph, James, Mary or Elizabeth. But since no-one ever uses it for anything, it's not relevant to you unless you want to get a specific gift relating to it. Be wary though: when my brother chose Patrick, he ended up with about four statues of Patrick in various sizes and levels of garishness. Maybe just go with the cash!
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:34 PM
bobkitty bobkitty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacake View Post
I don't know anyone with the confirmation names Joseph, James, Mary or Elizabeth. But since no-one ever uses it for anything, it's not relevant to you unless you want to get a specific gift relating to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos
In my experience, most people pick different names.
How odd.. of my confirmation class of 28, there were three (myself and two others) who didn't go with Joseph/James/Mary/Elizabeth (and Teresa, which I forgot earlier). A quick poll of my siblings (one Joseph, one Elizabeth, and one Teresa) and my parents (Joseph and Elizabeth) indicated that their classes skewed about the same... a couple of outliers, then tons and tons of 'standards.'

I thought at the time of my confirmation that it was plain laziness- have you SEEN the book Lives of the Saints? It's about a foot thick. Tons of names to choose from. Open to any given page, throw a dart at it, there you go.

Wonder if it's a generational/regional thing?
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:46 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
As for communion, this one is important. Towards the end of the Mass, the congregation will file down the aisle for communion. If you are not Catholic, you should not partake. You can walk up to the front with everyone else if you want, but you should cross your arms across your chest to indicate that you won't be taking Communion. If you want, you can ask the priest or other Eucharistic minister for a blessing. Alternately, you can just stay in your seat during this time.
I vote for remaining in your seat. There are a couple of Eastern Rites where the posture at communion is the one of folding the arms across the chest, which makes it confusing when they visit an RC church and there are different diocese that, for whatever reason, are discuraging the practice. There are nearly always people who do not go up to receive Communion, (non-Catholic visitors, folks who attended an earlier Mass and have already received Communion that day, etc.), so sitting is not looked upon askance by those who are going up.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:57 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Originally Posted by ScareyFaerie View Post
My nephew is being confirmed and we have been invited to the service. However, neither of us is Catholic and we don't know what a standard confirmation mass entails. Can anyone enlighten us? What happens in the service? Is there usually a reception of some sort afterwards? Are we expected to give him a confirmation gift, and if so, what sort of thing is acceptable? Also, are we expected to give an offering to the church?
Confirmation is not always celebrated at a mass. When there are lots and lots of kids being confirmed, that would tend to extend the service too long, it is celebrated by itself. If the class size is smaller, it may, indeed, be during mass.

There could or may not be a church reception. Just follow the crowd. If they eind up in a hall, there is a reception. If they wind up in the parking lot, there is not.

Confirmation is one of the "gift receiving" events, but there is wide variability among the different Catholic sub cultures. At mine and at my nieces' and nephews', gifts could be small religious items, (religious books, bible, rosaries, etc.) or small gifts of cash. I have run into others where gifts could be stereos, IPods, or large gifts of cash.

You are NOT expected to make an offering to the church. If the Confirmation is a stand-alone service, there will not even be a collection. As you are not a member of the congregation, there is no expectation that you will offer financial support.

Part of the problem of answering your questions is that there is a HUGE variability among diocese and even parishes, depending on a lot of extraneous cultural factors, that change the answers you will receive. Your best bet would be to contact the parents of the child, (or, perhaps the grandparents), to see what is expected in THAT parish (and family).
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:03 AM
scareyfaerie scareyfaerie is offline
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Thanks, everyone! That has been very helpful and we have a much better idea what to expect now. I did suggest to mum that she asked my brother since it's his kid, but she preferred the idea of asking the teeming millions first. Such is your reputation!
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:14 AM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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Well, the answers on Mass seem pretty good (except that I'd say these days in my limited experience, there are people/parishes who do encourage taking communion even for non-Catholics, as long as you're respectful and/or at least somewhat Christian. For holidays with lots of non-Catholics the priest will often say something at some point to let non-Catholics know which way to jump. Though as mentioned, you can't go wrong just staying in the pew when everyone lines up for Communion.).

But as far as receptions, etc. goes, hard to see why you wouldn't ask the kids' parents -- that's something there's no way you could know.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:59 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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I vote for remaining in your seat.
In Spain, arms crossed means "I want to take the Host directly to my mouth, rather than on my hand." So another vote for staying seated.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:58 AM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
Well, the answers on Mass seem pretty good (except that I'd say these days in my limited experience, there are people/parishes who do encourage taking communion even for non-Catholics, as long as you're respectful and/or at least somewhat Christian.
I don't know where you're getting this, but such an action would be immediately disciplined. Probably pretty severely. Catholics allow only those who share in our Communion rite and beliefs (generally: the Assyrian and Coptic Churches and the Orthodox). Others are permitted only with the explicit consent of the pastor after investigating th parishioner's beliefs (which probably applies most to the Anglicans).
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:07 AM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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To clarify, if you approach the priest or Eucharistic minister with your arms crossed across your chest, they will assume you've come up for a blessing. You don't need to ask them for one. If you don't want a blessing, don't go up at all. Nobody will expect you to join in; at a big life event type sacrament, lots of the people there will be non-Catholics who've been invited because family wants them there - just like weddings or baptisms.
I have to object and state that this is incorrect. First, priests are Ordinary Eucharistic Ministers. The laypeople who assist when there are a large number of people are Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. They're only purpose is to help to distribute the Eucharists, nothing more. To give a blessing, one must have authority to do it, which they do not have in this situation, only the priests do. There are situations when laypeople can give blessings, such as when a mother or father blesses his or her child. In this situation, they have authority over their children, allowing them to do it.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:55 AM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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I was given a list of saints names and told to pick whatever one I wanted as a confirmation name! As no one cared, and every cow in the barn was going with 'Theresa', even the Theresas, I picked 'Monica' because I simply liked the sound. St. Monica is invoked for endless tears, difficult marriages, and disappointing children - well, I only suffered one out of three!
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:46 PM
Meeko Meeko is offline
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I was going to come in, and offer what I could, based on my Episcopalian confirmation, but, I believe there are more differences than commonalities.

Then I remembered a book a came across once:

How To Be a Perfect Stranger


This is a book filled with etiquette for various services of various faiths and religions.

I'm not sure if it covers Catholic confirmation specifically or not, but it is a good general go to resource for situations similar.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:00 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by Jormungandr View Post
I have to object and state that this is incorrect. First, priests are Ordinary Eucharistic Ministers. The laypeople who assist when there are a large number of people are Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. They're only purpose is to help to distribute the Eucharists, nothing more. To give a blessing, one must have authority to do it, which they do not have in this situation, only the priests do. There are situations when laypeople can give blessings, such as when a mother or father blesses his or her child. In this situation, they have authority over their children, allowing them to do it.
That is not correct, or at least not commonly. In every church I've ever seen, the Extraordinary ministers already have prayers and blessings to speak (they have children coming up all the time). Any church where this isn't happening has a priest who is definitely not fuilfilling his obligations.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:34 PM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
That is not correct, or at least not commonly. In every church I've ever seen, the Extraordinary ministers already have prayers and blessings to speak (they have children coming up all the time). Any church where this isn't happening has a priest who is definitely not fuilfilling his obligations.
Then, it is an abuse. I did ask this question on a Catholic site that is now offline. However, I did find a similar one here:

"Niether the priest nor an extraordinary minister may bless children (or adults) at Communion time. It is a practice that is foreign to the Roman Rite. Is is not found in the instruction."
http://www.saint-mike.org/apologetic...10629bell.html
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:08 PM
Teacake Teacake is offline
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Originally Posted by Jormungandr View Post
I have to object and state that this is incorrect. First, priests are Ordinary Eucharistic Ministers. The laypeople who assist when there are a large number of people are Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. They're only purpose is to help to distribute the Eucharists, nothing more. To give a blessing, one must have authority to do it, which they do not have in this situation, only the priests do. There are situations when laypeople can give blessings, such as when a mother or father blesses his or her child. In this situation, they have authority over their children, allowing them to do it.
I think you'd better tell this to the hundreds of Eucharistic ministers in churches all over Europe, South Africa and America that I've visited, each and every one of whom I have witnessed give a blessing to at least one person. Also, nothing I've just found on Google agrees with you. And your cite appears to have been written by someone other than the Vatican.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:40 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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St. Monica is invoked for endless tears, difficult marriages, and disappointing children - well, I only suffered one out of three!
"Disappointing" children probably isn't the best way to put it... Her son turned out just fine. It just took him a heck of a long time to get there.

(for those who don't know, Monica was the mother of St. Augustine, and was instrumental in his (very slow and drawn-out) conversion to Christianity)
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:24 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by Jormungandr View Post
Then, it is an abuse. I did ask this question on a Catholic site that is now offline. However, I did find a similar one here:

"Niether the priest nor an extraordinary minister may bless children (or adults) at Communion time. It is a practice that is foreign to the Roman Rite. Is is not found in the instruction."
http://www.saint-mike.org/apologetic...10629bell.html
I don't know exactly who claims that or where they claim to have gotten it, but he'd be hard pressed to argue it in front of my Bishop.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:24 PM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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Just because hundreds of people do it and some Bishops are negligent in their duties, doesn't make it right. If you go on YouTube, you'll see puppet Masses and clown Masses. The Vatican has written the The General Instruction of the Roman Missal for the churches to follow. In some cases, if asked, it will send out corrections when requested, but even these, unfortunately are ignored and not enforced by priests and bishops. For example, the wide practice of holding hands during the "Our Father" has been prohibited by the Vatican, but you wouldn't know it by walking in some churches (http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/h...ds_at_mass.htm).
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:34 AM
Teacake Teacake is offline
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Seriously, now you're citing a TV network website as the last word on Canon Law? Anyway, did you even read what had been written? It says that you shouldn't substitute the hand holding for the sign of peace.* This doesn't mean that the Vatican has prohibited holding hands. The part you've linked to is an extract from "Notitiae", which announces itself as "the journal of the Congregation (no word on which congregation - always inspires confidence when people don't even say who they are) in which its official interpretations of the rubrics are published" (my italics). The second part, which is even further and more convoluted interpretation of the article which was interpreting the rubric, was written by one Colin B. Donovan. Not really a Papal Bull, then.... You'll note that the only bit of Canon Law he managed to get in there, just to give himself some semblance of credibility by having a reference, is the bit that says that the Holy See is in charge of the Liturgy. Well, no shit. The original article from which Donovan is extrapolating wildly, by the way, was written in 1975, from what I can see. Canon Law changes, you know. Most recently on 15 December 2009. Now find me something up to date, or at least, you know, serious. Not a TV website.

If you have a reference for either of these things from the GIRM, let's see it. Otherwise, I think I'll keep thinking that the bishops and archbishops - fuck, even cardinals, though they do tend to have more priests at hand, so to speak - in whose churches and cathedrals I have witnessed blessings, are probably righter than you. As for holding hands during the Our Father, it's an affectation and not the way we mostly do things here, but I don't think they'll be excommunicating anyone soon, no matter how much you might want them to. Let me guess, you're dead against women priests, gays in the clergy and the Mass in the vernacular. How do you feel about the priest facing the congregation?


*By the way, ScareyFaerie, at some point the priest/bishop will say something like "Let us offer each other a sign of peace" and all of a sudden everyone around you will offer to shake your hand. As they do so, they'll say "Peace be with you". It would be polite, but is not essential, to shake, and say the same back. It's the only response you may want to bother with, being as it is face-to-face with the people near you.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:58 AM
JerseyFrank JerseyFrank is offline
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
I don't know where you're getting this, but such an action would be immediately disciplined. Probably pretty severely. Catholics allow only those who share in our Communion rite and beliefs (generally: the Assyrian and Coptic Churches and the Orthodox). Others are permitted only with the explicit consent of the pastor after investigating th parishioner's beliefs (which probably applies most to the Anglicans).
Agreed.

Taking Communion is a big, monumental no-no if you're not prepared/on-board with The Church. The way I understand it is that the Eucharist doesn't symbolize the body of Christ. It *IS* the body of Christ. I'm not the best Catholic out here, but the gist of it is this: You have to be reconciled (i.e., confessed & repented) and believe in what it is you are about to do - eat & drink God. If you don't meet these conditions, you're not fit to receive Communion. Don't be jealous... I've never tasted a host that I've liked.

Other than that, just sit there and/or play follow-the-leader when it comes to sit/stand/kneel and repeat-after-me stuff.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:25 PM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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Seriously, now you're citing a TV network website as the last word on Canon Law? Anyway, did you even read what had been written? It says that you shouldn't substitute the hand holding for the sign of peace.* This doesn't mean that the Vatican has prohibited holding hands. The part you've linked to is an extract from "Notitiae", which announces itself as "the journal of the Congregation (no word on which congregation - always inspires confidence when people don't even say who they are) in which its official interpretations of the rubrics are published" (my italics). The second part, which is even further and more convoluted interpretation of the article which was interpreting the rubric, was written by one Colin B. Donovan. Not really a Papal Bull, then.... You'll note that the only bit of Canon Law he managed to get in there, just to give himself some semblance of credibility by having a reference, is the bit that says that the Holy See is in charge of the Liturgy. Well, no shit. The original article from which Donovan is extrapolating wildly, by the way, was written in 1975, from what I can see. Canon Law changes, you know. Most recently on 15 December 2009. Now find me something up to date, or at least, you know, serious. Not a TV website.
They run a Q&A with individual who have knowledge of this subject. You can check the background of the individuals who answer the questions if you like(http://www.ewtn.com/faith/QA/expertslist.htm). EWTN merely provides the means of bringing them together. The Congregation in question is the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship. The Notitiae is their monthly publication. Their rulings have papal support and enforcement unless overruled or changed by the Pope as he did with the diaconate in your example. However, I haven't found anything saying a priest, etc can make changes to the Mass as they wish.


Quote:
If you have a reference for either of these things from the GIRM, let's see it. Otherwise, I think I'll keep thinking that the bishops and archbishops - fuck, even cardinals, though they do tend to have more priests at hand, so to speak - in whose churches and cathedrals I have witnessed blessings, are probably righter than you. As for holding hands during the Our Father, it's an affectation and not the way we mostly do things here, but I don't think they'll be excommunicating anyone soon, no matter how much you might want them to. Let me guess, you're dead against women priests, gays in the clergy and the Mass in the vernacular. How do you feel about the priest facing the congregation?
Actually, the burden would be for them to show where in the GIRM that their activities are allowed. If it's not in there, it's not allowed. Just because one is a priest or cardinal, doesn't make them right in all matters. I realize I should have said discouraged, not prohibited in my previous post. Now, if they do want to make holding hands or blessing people parts of the Liturgy, they can ask the Congregation for a dispensation. This was done for receiving the Eucharist in hand when by tongue was the norm. It started as a personal practice, grew and the Bishops asked permission to have it allowed. Although, I know some priests who still refuse to honor it. "Cafeteria" Catholicism isn't just for liberals. As for the other issues, the Church has already spoken on those matters.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:43 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Agreed.

Taking Communion is a big, monumental no-no if you're not prepared/on-board with The Church. The way I understand it is that the Eucharist doesn't symbolize the body of Christ. It *IS* the body of Christ. I'm not the best Catholic out here, but the gist of it is this: You have to be reconciled (i.e., confessed & repented) and believe in what it is you are about to do - eat & drink God. If you don't meet these conditions, you're not fit to receive Communion. Don't be jealous... I've never tasted a host that I've liked.

Other than that, just sit there and/or play follow-the-leader when it comes to sit/stand/kneel and repeat-after-me stuff.
Backing this. As Anglicans, mw wife and I received Communion once in a Catholic church validly and licitly by their terms (by our own, any communion offered would have been valid and licit). On the occasion in question, Barb and I were invited guests at the profession of a Catholic friend of hers in the Franciscans (as background, Barb is life professed in the ANglicn Franciscan order). A bishop was present and presided at Mass, and had occasion to speak politely with Barb before service. When Communion was being administered, we went forward for the blessing, as was appropriate for us; the bishop nodded to the priest, who proceeded to commune us. I'm assuming that the bishop's conversation with Barb had satisfied him that our beliefs were sufficiently in accord with Catholicism for us to justify offering us communion. But it was a monumental gesture on his part.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:57 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Originally Posted by Jormungandr View Post
They run a Q&A with individual who have knowledge of this subject. You can check the background of the individuals who answer the questions if you like(http://www.ewtn.com/faith/QA/expertslist.htm). EWTN merely provides the means of bringing them together. The Congregation in question is the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship. The Notitiae is their monthly publication. Their rulings have papal support and enforcement unless overruled or changed by the Pope as he did with the diaconate in your example. However, I haven't found anything saying a priest, etc can make changes to the Mass as they wish.




Actually, the burden would be for them to show where in the GIRM that their activities are allowed. If it's not in there, it's not allowed. Just because one is a priest or cardinal, doesn't make them right in all matters. I realize I should have said discouraged, not prohibited in my previous post. Now, if they do want to make holding hands or blessing people parts of the Liturgy, they can ask the Congregation for a dispensation. This was done for receiving the Eucharist in hand when by tongue was the norm. It started as a personal practice, grew and the Bishops asked permission to have it allowed. Although, I know some priests who still refuse to honor it. "Cafeteria" Catholicism isn't just for liberals. As for the other issues, the Church has already spoken on those matters.
So you reject Vatican II, then? Because it explicitly stated that Bishops are collegially, in communion with the Pope, in authority over the worldwide liturgy, and the authorities, insofar as they do not contravene mandated norms, over how the liturgy is to be conducted in their dioceses. If one bishop forbids any celebration of the Tridentine Mass in parishes under his authority, while another permits its common use, both are acting with the authority and discretion they hold. And the same would hold true for whether, and under what limits, an EMHC may pronounce a blessing. (FWIW, Canon Law restricts deacons and laymen from pronouncing blessings except as specifically authorized by proper authority, so it would require authorization or consent from bishop or pastor to do so.)

I think you're regarding Vatican authority as far more pervasive than believing Catholics acting in accordance with canon law actually apply it.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:08 PM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
So you reject Vatican II, then? Because it explicitly stated that Bishops are collegially, in communion with the Pope, in authority over the worldwide liturgy, and the authorities, insofar as they do not contravene mandated norms, over how the liturgy is to be conducted in their dioceses. If one bishop forbids any celebration of the Tridentine Mass in parishes under his authority, while another permits its common use, both are acting with the authority and discretion they hold. And the same would hold true for whether, and under what limits, an EMHC may pronounce a blessing. (FWIW, Canon Law restricts deacons and laymen from pronouncing blessings except as specifically authorized by proper authority, so it would require authorization or consent from bishop or pastor to do so.)

I think you're regarding Vatican authority as far more pervasive than believing Catholics acting in accordance with canon law actually apply it.
No, as I said, the Church has spoken on those matters. Thus, I accept Vatican II. Using the Tridentine Mass example, previously, it could only be celebrated by elderly priests. It wasn't until 1984 that the Congregation gave an indult to allow its use by priest and people who requested it. The authority was given to the Bishops to do this, as you stated. That's the issue here. EMHCs don't have authority to give blessings and the Bishops don't have authority to grant it. By allowing them to do blessings, they are contravening the norms.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:46 PM
Shot From Guns Shot From Guns is offline
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Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
except that I'd say these days in my limited experience, there are people/parishes who do encourage taking communion even for non-Catholics, as long as you're respectful and/or at least somewhat Christian.
Another one weighing in here on the "this is a complete contradiction of Roman Catholic beliefs and practices" side of things. Perhaps you're confusing it with another Christian denomination?

The Roman Catholic Church teaches a doctrine referred to as transubstantiation: the consecrated Eucharistic bread and wine has been transformed into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. For anyone who does not also believe in this literal transformation to also partake in Communion is incredibly disrespectful. For example, although I was raised Catholic (even Confirmed, heh), since I am now an atheist, on any occasion where I attend a Mass (pretty much just weddings or funerals these days), I stay at my pew during Communion.

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Originally Posted by Teacake View Post
As they do so, they'll say "Peace be with you". It would be polite, but is not essential, to shake, and say the same back.
Sometimes, either the speaker or the responder may simply shorten it to, "Peace." Or it could come out as one long, mumbled-together string of "Peabewiyou."
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:33 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Sometimes, either the speaker or the responder may simply shorten it to, "Peace." Or it could come out as one long, mumbled-together string of "Peabewiyou."
Pretty much any expression of the same sentiment is acceptable. Some folks expand it out further to "May the peace of Jesus be with you", and I've occasionally even heard a "Shalom" or "Salaam".
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:37 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Nitpick to Shot from Guns's otherwise excellent post: As a matter of practice, Catholic authorities do not require belief in specifically Thomistic transubstantiation of non-Catholic communicants -- but absolute belief in some form of the Real Presence is. That's not to say some priest or bishop might not require adherence to transubstantiation, and I don't know what the official instructions say -- I'm speaking of how it's practically applied.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:09 PM
Minnie Luna Minnie Luna is offline
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I don't know where you're getting this, but such an action would be immediately disciplined. Probably pretty severely. Catholics allow only those who share in our Communion rite and beliefs (generally: the Assyrian and Coptic Churches and the Orthodox). Others are permitted only with the explicit consent of the pastor after investigating th parishioner's beliefs (which probably applies most to the Anglicans).
Grew up Roman Catholic, and I see it this way as well. Communion is a sacred rite for only those who subscribe to the belief the rite entails.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:45 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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Jormungandr, keep in mind that EWTN tends toward the very conservative side of Catholicism.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:31 AM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia View Post
Jormungandr, keep in mind that EWTN tends toward the very conservative side of Catholicism.
That's true. However, I across a book on Amazon's (rather screwy at times) recommendations that apparently didn't think they were conservative enough.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:53 AM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by Jormungandr View Post
That's true. However, I across a book on Amazon's (rather screwy at times) recommendations that apparently didn't think they were conservative enough.
Regardless, your sources are definitely taking a very... specific view of things. The local parishes are not exactly liberal Catholics here, but the practice is widespread across the United States and approved by multiple past and present Bishops, as well as every single Catholic church I've ever visited in my entire life.
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