O’Donoghue, Neil XavierSacraments and LiturgyPh.D. Doctorate in Liturgy at St. Patrick’s Royal Catholic College, Pontifical University, Maynooth, Ireland
March 9, 2013
Dear Father, Greetings from Guam, and thank you in advance for taking the time to consider my inquiry.
Since we know each other, I thought I could approach you with a simple question and get a simple answer. I recently read your Response to Magister and am left with the following questions:
In the neocatechumenal liturgies on Guam, the host is distributed in the following manner:
- The priest, before communicating himself, distributes the consecrated bread/host to the communicants who stand, remaining in their place.
- All communicants continue holding the host until all have received
- There is a period of reflection.
- The priest then consumes the host, then invites the other communicants to do likewise.
Is this only happening on Guam or is this the way neocatechumenal communities receive the sacred species universally?
If this is a universal practice and not just a local practice, could you please advise on where this deviation from the GIRM is permitted? The GIRM requires:
- the priest to communicate himself before distributing the sacred species to the communicants
- the communicants to immediately consume upon reception.I have studied the Statute thoroughly and not only do I see no allowance for this, I see the original instruction to conform the distribution of holy communion to the liturgical books (the Arinze letter) reinforced in footnote 49, with the only allowance being that the communicants do not process towards the minister but wait in their place.
Sadly, this is a major point of contention in our local church because the Archbishop publicly ridiculed the "Arinze" letter upon its release and just as publicly, challenged Arinze's credentials, even though Arinze began his letter: "The Holy Father wishes you to know..."
We are continually told that the issue was resolved with the approval of the Statute, but I see no evidence of it. And the debate over the NCW has recently exploded here in Guam for a variety of reasons, but this is one of the big ones. Your explanation will help.
Thank you. I await your reply and hope all is well.