Saturday, November 2, 2013


The current manner of distribution of Holy Communion in the celebration of the Eucharist in the communities of the Neocatechumenal Way is as follows:
The neocatechumens stand and remain in the their places. The minister of Holy Communion places the consecrated bread in the hands of each communicant. All communicants continue to hold the consecrated bread in their hands until everyone has received. A period of reflection ensues. It is consumed together upon a signal from the minister.
The manner of distribution of Holy Communion in the celebration of the Eucharist for the universal Church is as follows (from the General Instruction to the Roman Missal):

160. The Priest then takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants, who usually come up in procession. 
It is not permitted for the faithful to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them on from one to another among themselves. The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, March 25, 2004, no. 91). 
When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood. 
161. If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the Priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, The Body of Christ. The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed, in the hand, the choice lying with the communicant. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes the whole of it.

The differences between the two ways of distributing Holy Communion are these:

Neocatechumenal Way: communicants remain in their place.
The universal Church: communicants process toward the minister.
Neocatechumenal Way: the consecrated bread is not immediately consumed.
The universal Church: the consecrated bread is immediately consumed.

Are Neocatechumens permitted to remain in their place and not process towards the minister?

Yes. Article 13, § 3 of the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way, as approved by Rome in June 2008 states:

For the celebration of the Eucharist in the small communities the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite are followed, with the exception of the explicit concessions from the Holy See. (49) Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, the neocatechumens receive it standing, remaining at their place.

Are Neocatechumens permitted to hold the consecrated bread for a period of reflection and not consume it immediately as per paragraph 161 of the General Instruction to the Roman Missal?

No. Other than "remaining at their place", there is no other concession granted in the Statute for the manner of distributing Holy Communion. 

The “explicit concessions from the Holy See” footnoted as No. 49 refer only to two earlier concessions relative to the celebration of the Eucharist: the permission to receive Holy Communion under both kinds and permission to move the Sign of Peace to immediately after the Prayer of the Faithful. 

In addition, footnote 49 references both the December 1, 2005 directive from the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments in which the Neocatechumenal Way is directed to begin receiving Holy Communion as per the norms found in the liturgical books, and the January 12, 2006 speech by Pope Benedict to the Neocatechumenal Way reminding its members that the CDW directive was his and that he expected it to be followed. 

No comments:

Post a Comment