Thursday, January 29, 2015

Three Things Thursday

One of the Catholic Church's problems is that exceptions have become the norm. I think that's why they're super-hesitant to make any exceptions to rules, in general.

1. Saint John Paul II allowed churches to have female altar servers, in some situations where no male altar servers can be found. Altar servers are unnecessary for a mass, so it's always an option to have none. Today, basically every church has male and female altar servers.

In fact, there was a huge backlash this week, when a church in San Francisco decided to go back to the pre-90's scheme of only having male servers. More on that tomorrow.

2. The Catholic Church teaches that the mass should normally be offered in Latin, but it can occasionally be offered in other languages. People with selective hearing only paid attention to the "mass can be offered in other languages" part. Now Latin mass is a rare exception, not the norm. Which is the exact opposite of the rule.

3. Blessed Pope Paul VI clearly said that churches should distribute the Eucharist on the tongue, and not on the hand. You could only get Eucharist on the hand under specific circumstances, and you had to jump through a series of hoops to get it. The United States Bishops did not meet the requirements, but that didn't stop them from switching to communion on the hand. In fact, it's almost impossible to find a modern church with an altar rail for receiving on the tongue.

Non-priests who distribute communion on the hand still have the official title "extraordinary ministers of holy communion". The "extraordinary" means that they are only used under extraordinary circumstances. The title is basically a joke now, since they are used all the time.

2 comments:

JoeandLuigi Collabs said...

My parish in Texas only has male altar servers.

Anonymous said...

my parish has all boy alter servers and I love it. Alter servers are supposed to be apprentices to the priesthood so it doesn't make sense for girls to be alter servers. My priest did a lot of things to make the mass more traditional, and I've noticed that the people in my parish have become way more reverent than before, and we have a lot of seminarians.