Tag: Holy Communion

Why Can’t Non Catholics Receive Holy Communion In The Catholic Church? 

Why Can’t Non Catholics Receive Holy Communion In The Catholic Church? 

**Why can’t non-Catholics receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church?**

This is a common question asked by both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Many non-Catholics, when attending a Mass at a Catholic wedding, find themselves being gently told that they should not come forward to receive Holy Communion. Of course, they wonder, “Why? Catholics are allowed to receive communion in our church, so why can’t we receive Communion with the other Catholics here?”

Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, meaning that what appears to be bread and wine is really Jesus’ body and blood—not just a symbol of his body and blood. When Catholics receive Holy Communion, it is an expression of the unity among all those in communion with the Catholic Church throughout the world, who maintain the belief in the Real Eucharistic Presence of Christ. Therefore, only those who believe in the True Presence may participate in this sacrament of oneness with Christ and his Church. “… [T]he celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion” (CCC 1382).

Ultimately, Catholics believe that we cannot celebrate this unifying sacrament with other Christians while there are disagreements about the Eucharist itself. However, Catholics pray for the day when we can reconcile with other Christians and share in the unity of God’s people through the Holy Eucharist.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops expresses this desire for unity:

“We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us ‘that they may all be one’” (John 17:21).

Here are 3 Things You Didn’t Know About Communion in the Middle Ages

Here are 3 Things You Didn’t Know About Communion in the Middle Ages

1. The term “Sacrament” in Latin is translated out of the Greek word Mysterion

In the latin, the term implies a guarantee (of Christ), it is a lawful Roman term, cementing the possibility that the Sacraments were a type of guarantee, similarly as Augustine characterized Sacraments.

2. Individuals took communion rarely

Actually, this turned out to be such an issue, that at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, the Church formalized the prerequisite to share and get fellowship by utilization at any rate once every year. This refusal or declining originated from two distinct methodologies of the common people. The main reason individuals went without was the accentuation upon the wickedness and shamefulness of the person to partake of the Eucharist, creating out of the Augustinian perspective of unique sin and the ritualistic changes of the priests confronting ceaselessly, talking in Latin and murmuring.

3. The elevation of the Blessed Sacrament

At the point when this occurred amid the Mass, it was important to the point that numerous individuals left Mass promptly following the rise and relinquished taking communion by utilization. This rise was viewed as a benefit and a definitive type of fellowship with God.  Visual Communion and the Elevation were important to the point that monstrances were structured elaborately, ringers were rung to draw the consideration of the common people, and the Feast of Corpus Christi was established to praise this nearness and visual fellowship.

4 Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Eucharist

4 Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Eucharist

Probably, there’s so much you know about the Eucharist — the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion.

Here are the four things you need to understand about the Eucharist:

1. Feast day

The solemnity of Corpus Christi — the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ — is a holy day of duty. While it’s prescribed as such in the general law of the Church, it’s not seen as one in the United States. It, along with the Epiphany, is transferred to a Sunday. (Also not observed as holy days of duty in America are the solemnities of St. Joseph, March 19, and Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29).

2. Consecration customs

It was during that period that the priest started elevating the host and chalice at Mass after the purification. Back then, people received Holy Communion inconsistently but at least they could see the host and cup. And, yes, that seems to be when the custom of ringing a bell at the elevation came into practice. At some churches, it was the tower bell that was rung. The use of a handbell actually started in England.

One more item from the 13th century. That was when churches started placing the host in a monstrance to be exposed on the altar. And they started carrying it in a procession in the church or out through the streets as part of the Corpus Christi celebrations.

3. Names

The Eucharist has a lot of other names, too. The breaking of the bread, Eucharistic assembly, memorial of the Lord’s passion and resurrection, Holy Sacrifice, Holy and Divine Liturgy, Holy Mass, Sacred Mysteries, Most Blessed Sacrament and Holy Communion.

And, probably recently in our own parish, we refer to as “the Saturday evening” or “the 9 o’clock.” As in, “This weekend I’m going to … ”

There’s no mention of those in the Catechism.

Nor is there a paragraph about coffee and donuts following in the parish hall.

4. Parts of the prayer

The Mass’ Eucharistic prayer is divided into different parts:

A prayer of thanks, including the preface. The proclamation (the Sanctus; Holy, Holy, Holy). The epiclesis, an invocation of the Holy Spirit. (Here the priest puts his hand over the bread and wine.) The institution narrative and consecration.

The memorial proclamation. (For example, one begins “When we eat this bread …”) The anamnesis, focusing on Christ’s passion, resurrection, and ascension.

The oblation, an offering from us: “Therefore as we celebrate the memorial of his death and resurrection, we offer you, Lord, the bread of life and the chalice of salvation, expressing gratitude that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you” (Eucharistic Prayer II). Intercessions, when the priest, in our name, prays for and with all the Church.

And the ending doxology (“through him, with him, and in him) to which the audiences reply “Amen.”

Was This Catholic Teen Denied Holy Communion Because ‘She’ Was Chewing Gum Or Because ‘She’s’ Transgender? 

Was This Catholic Teen Denied Holy Communion Because ‘She’ Was Chewing Gum Or Because ‘She’s’ Transgender? 

Pictured Above: Lilliana Redd, right, says her 15-year-old transgender daughter, Maxine Arbelo, was denied Communion during the Spanish-language Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Charlotte. The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte says the reason Maxine was denied Communion was because she was chewing gum. Photo by David T. Foster III, Charlotte Observer.

Lilliana Redd’s daughter, who is transgender, was refused Communion during a Sunday Mass this month at St. Vincent de Paul, one of Charlotte’s more conservative Catholic churches.

Nobody disputes that it happened.

But Redd and the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte do disagree on why 15-year-old Maxine Arbelo — nicknamed Max — was turned away by a Eucharistic minister at the parish’s Spanish-language Mass on July 15.

Her mother believes it was because Max, who was wearing makeup and a pink top, identifies as a girl. She’s been transitioning since January, taking hormone pills and seeing a psychologist.

Diocese spokesman David Hains said the priest who celebrated the Mass that day told him it was because Max was chewing gum — thereby violating a Catholic rule that calls for fasting for at least one hour before receiving Communion.

The incident comes at a time when the Catholic Church is deeply divided on how, or even whether, to engage the LGBTQ community, which has long felt unwelcome and condemned by the church.

Many persons who are transgender feel particularly rejected by the broader faith community, not just by the Catholic Church. In 2015, the National Center for Transgender Equality surveyed 28,000 transgender adults around the country and reported that one in three had left a faith community for fear of being rejected and one in five had left because their faith community rejected them.

And Debi Jackson, a family organizer with the Washington-based center, said she works with many parents of transgender children who feel betrayed by houses of worship in various denominations.

“Some of the people in our support groups have just become so disenchanted with religion overall,” she said. “They feel incredibly hurt that this could be a (faith) community they were a part of before their child was even born. It was a significant part of their lives. … And yet, suddenly, they get a clear message that their (transgender) child is not OK, their child is not welcome.”

Redd, who lives with her daughter and son in Indian Land, S.C., said she was “surprised and upset” when Max was denied Communion at the Charlotte church. So much so that she went to see the priest and the Eucharistic minister after the Mass. Your daughter is living in sin, she said she was told.

“At first, they said it was because she was chewing gum,” said Redd, a lifelong Catholic who emigrated to the United States from Costa Rica 19 years ago. “But I know that is not the reason because (they) admitted that it was because they and everybody can see Max’s ‘sin’ on the outside … because of the way she dresses and everything.”

The Rev. Fr. Santiago Mariani, who celebrated the Mass that day, refused to talk with the Observer. But Hains, who did speak to Mariani, said the priest denied telling Redd that her daughter was living in sin.

Hains said Mariani did acknowledge telling Redd during their hourlong meeting that, while the Catholic Church teaches that God loves and shows mercy to people who claim a different gender than the one assigned at birth, it does not recognize or condone “transgenderism.”

“He was trying to explain to her that we are what God made us to be,” Hains said. “She may have taken that as a hard teaching.”

Still, Hains said he could find nothing in Catholic teaching that would deny Communion — or the body of Christ, as Catholics believe — to a person simply because she’s transgender.* The church teaches, for example, that there is nothing sinful in being gay. Acting on it is the sin, he said.

Max being transgender “had nothing to do with withholding Communion,” Hains said. He said the Eucharistic minister, a layman who had volunteered to help distribute Communion, “didn’t realize the child was transgender. He thought it was a girl.”

The gum was the reason, Hains said. Canon law — the rules of the Catholic Church — says people who are to receive Communion should fast from food and drink (except water) for at least one hour beforehand.

But many Catholics do not follow this rule anymore. And not all parishes enforce it.

“In one church, you might get Communion,” Hains said. “In another, you might not.”

He said some priests in the diocese told him they deny Communion “once every couple of weeks” to persons chewing gum.

There’s also the question of whether chewing gum is really food.

Max acknowledged that she had been chewing gum early in the Mass but said she gave it to her mother about 30 minutes before joining the line to receive Communion. Her mother gave the same account.

Max said she felt “embarrassed” and “humiliated” when the Eucharistic minister told her that “you can’t receive Communion because you were chewing gum before.”

“I was really shocked,” “she” said, adding that she then walked past him and returned to her seat.

Like her mother, Max said she believes the real reason she was denied Communion was “because I’m trans.”

And that’s not a worthy reason, she said.

“God accepts everyone,” Max said. “I don’t think it matters what’s on the outside. It matters what’s inside and how you treat people … and serve (God).”

‘More welcoming’

In the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has called for a more welcoming and less judgmental approach to those in the LGBTQ community. And he has told priests that transgender people deserve the same pastoral care as everybody else.

But the pontiff has also said, in speeches and in his writing, that people are the gender that conforms with their biological sex at birth.

His concern is that we are choosing to define things in us that have been defined by God,” Hains said.

Bishop Peter Jugis, who heads the 46-county Diocese of Charlotte, echoed the pope’s comments when, in 2016, he called “deeply disturbing” a letter the Obama administration sent to every public school system telling them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.

The letter, Jugis said, quoting the chairmen of two U.S. bishops’ committees, “contradicts a basic understanding of human formation so well expressed by Pope Francis: that ‘the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created.’”

But not all Catholics agree with the pope’s view that people “choose” to be transgender.

Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, which represents LGBTQ Catholics, told the New York Times that Pope Francis’ remarks showed a “dangerous ignorance” about gender identity, which she said is no more a choice than height.

One of the most debated Catholic books in recent years has been the Rev. Fr. James Martin’s “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity.”

In a video message to LGBTQ Catholics, Martin, a Jesuit priest, offered this advice: “Don’t listen to people who say that God hates you, rejects you or condemns you for being LGBT. That’s false. And it doesn’t deserve one moment of your time. … God created you (and) wants you to know yourself and accept the amazing gift that you are.”

Lilliana Redd and Max said they have already sought out — and found acceptance — from another priest at another Catholic parish in Charlotte and won’t be returning to St. Vincent de Paul.

Max said she’d like to see the Catholic Church overall “be more accepting and welcoming to LGBT people and just people in general.”

Her mother said she had hoped that, after being bullied in school and stared at in public, her daughter would find peace in church.

“When I see them deny Jesus’ body to my daughter, that upsets me,” Redd said. “(But) I want to send a message to all the mothers that have kids like Max: Don’t stop taking the kids to church. … There’s always another Catholic church, another priest. … (And) God is not about gender. God is about your heart and what you believe.”


Originally published by the Charlotte Observer


*My personal take on this story is:

1. If she was denied Holy communion because she was chewing gum, be it 30 mins before holy communion on during Holy communion proper then the priest is right and the intending cominicant is wrong! Reason? You don’t come into the church chewing gum or anything for that matter! It’s highly disrespectful and rude, he should have been taught that in catechism class.

2. If the priest denied him communion because he was transgender (which of course I doubt) then the priest was wrong, but that doesn’t mean being transgender makes God happy, God loves his creation, not “Man’s” creation! 

3. Parents should teach their kids to love their body the way God made them. Every parent is an earthly ‘caretaker’ of his or child. It is absolutely wrong for a parent to grant every wish of a child (including positive and negative). It is absolutely wrong for a parent to encourage a child that it is ‘OK’, to be transgender, gay, lesbian, porn star etc. Hell NO, it isn’t! Tell yourself the truth, and stop being unnecessarily defensive. Stop telling people that God supports being a transgender! It’s horrible and highly misleading. You can’t be opposing God’s creation and expect Him to be happy with you. 

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