Thesaurus responsorum ex « Notitiae » - Notitiae Response Database
[Part of Ipsissima-Verba]

Hoc in situ interretiali ordinantur responsiones, explanationes, et decreta ex « Notitiae » aliisque interdum fontibus (ut AAS) desumpta, quae aliis locis modo promptiore haud inveniuntur. Finis est praestare textum originalem, versionem anglicam, et exemplar PDF paginarum pertinentium ex « Notitiae » vel alio fonte. Presens igitur labor opusculum « Ordo Missae locis correspondentibus illustratus » aliquatenus extendit. Est enim labor imperfectus quem, cum operae mihi est, suscipio. Denique domino Daniel Gill, domino Radosław Gosiewski, et domino Abram Córdova y Muenzberg, qui nonnullas ex responsionibus transcripserunt, gratias refero, item etiam dominae Crista Mootz, quae in linguam anglicam responsiones quasdam verteri adiuvavit. Exemplaria PDF exstant etiam textuum nondum transcriptorum. This website organizes responses, explanations, and decrees from Notitiae and sometimes from other sources (such as AAS) that are not readily available in other places. The goal is to provide the original text, an English translation, and a PDF scan of the relevant pages from Notitiae or other source. In some ways, the project is a further development of my Cross-Referenced Ordo Missae. This is an ongoing prject which I work on in my spare time. I am also grateful for the help of Mr. Daniel Gill, Mr. Radosław Gosiewski, and Mr. Abram Córdova y Muenzberg in transcribing some of these responses and also to Miss Crista Mootz for helping to translate certain responses into English. PDFs are available even for texts that have not yet been transcribed.
Fac Patrem Dylanum Schrader certiorem si habes proposita vel corrigenda. Contact Father Dylan Schrader with suggestions and corrections.
N.B. In « Notitiae » 1 (1965) et 2 (1966), supra responsa, invenitur monitio: Solutio quae proponitur nullam induit vestem officialem. Solummodo habet valorem orientativum: solutiones enim ex officio publici iuris fient, si casus fert, a competenti Auctoritate in « Acta Apostolicae Sedis ». N.B. In Notitiae 1 (1965) and 2 (1966), this notice appears above the responses: The solution which is proposed takes on no official character. It has only an orientative force; solutions will be published officially, if the case warrants, by the competent Authority in « Acta Apostolicae Sedis ».

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TextUnofficial English TranslationCitationTagsPDF of the original document

5. Cur duobus tantum diebus licet fidelibus bis ad sanctam Communionem accedere?

Resp.: Firma lege generali de unica Communione singulis diebus concessa, Ecclesia, principio innixa de pleniore participatione per Eucharistiae susceptionem in sacris celebrationibus, iis diebus, in quibus duo officia liturgica, inter se omnino distincta, pro universa communitate celebrat, facultatem dat bis communicandi fidelibus qui utramque celebrationem participant. Quam facultatem ad omnes dies non extendit cum plures celebrationes tunc sint tantummodo iteratio eiusdem celebrationis in favorem fidelium qui unicae celebrationi interesse non possent. Breviter: cum unum celebratur Officium, etsi iteratum, unica conceditur accesio ad sacram mensam; cum duplex celebratur Officium, duplex conceditur Communio.

5. Why are the faithful permitted to approach for holy Communion twice on only two days?

Resp.: Without prejudice to the general law, granting on only one Communion per day, the Church, supported by the principle of fuller participation through the reception of the Eucharist in the sacred celebrations, on those days in which she celebrates for the whole community two liturgical offices distinct from one another, grants the faculty of giving Communion twice to the faithful who participate at both celebrations. She does not extend this faculty to all days with several celebrations when they would only be a repetition of one and the same celebration in favor of the faithful who could not be present at a single celebration. Briefly: When one Office is celebrated, even if it is repeated, only one approach to the holy table is granted; when a double Office is celebrated, a double Communion is granted.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 137, n. 5communionPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 137

13. Utrum preces ad gradus altaris faciendae omitti possint secundum n. 22 Ritus servandi, quando immediate ante Missam ad altare celebrationis, in quo habetur tabernaculum SS.mi Sacramenti, distribuitur sancta Communio? Nam in ritu distributionis iam habetur Confiteor, Misereatur, Indulgentiam, quae secus repeti deberent.

Resp.: Negative. Sunt duae actiones liturgicae omnino distinctae.

13. Whether the prayers to be done at the foot of the altar can be omitted according to n. 22 of the Ritus servandus when holy Communion is distributed immediately before Mass at the altar of celebration on which there is the tabernacle of the Most Holy Sacrament? For in the rite of distribution, the Confiteor, Misereatur, and Indulgentiam are already contained and would otherwise have to be repeated.

Resp.: In the negative. They are two completely distinct liturgical actions.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 139, n. 13communion, prayers at the foot of the altarPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 139

32. Utrum ministri sacri qui bis in die in Missa concelebrata munere suo funguntur, etiam bis sub utraque specie communicare possint?

Resp.: Affirmative.

32. Whether the sacred ministers who exercise their role twice in a day in a concelebrated Mass can receive holy Communion twice even under both species?

Resp.: In the affirmative.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 142, n. 32both species, communion, concelebrationPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 142

52. Utrum in Missa sollemni ministri communicandi genuflectere debeant in ore suppedanei, an stare possint in plano ante altare?

Resp.: Servetur consuetudo localis.

52. Whether in a solemn Mass the ministers who are going to receive holy Communion have to kneel on the step, or can they stand on the footpace?

Resp.: Local custom should be observed.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 188, n. 52communion, posturePDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 188

53. Utrum concelebrantes adhibere possint parvos calices in Missa concelebrata?

Resp.: Pro concelebratione ipsius Missae paretur, secundum Ritum servandum in concelebratione Missae n. 17, d) « unus calix sufficientis magnitudinis; aut si talis haberi nequeat, etiam alter, ita ut sufficere possint ad communionem omnium concelebrantium ». Si unusquisque in ipsa concelebratione Missae suum haberet calicem, potius quam Missa concelebrata esset synchronizatio plurium Missarum.

Pro communione autem calicis eligatur unus ex modis in ipso Ritu exstantibus. Etsi usus parvorum calicum sit tantum medium ad Communionem faciendam, infusio pretiosissimi Sanguinis e magno calice in alios parvos, et ipsa forma parvorum calicum, minus apta videntur pro concelebratione. Valde proinde convenit servare ritum communionis calicis, quo concelebrantes directe ex ipso eodemque calice, etsi cum calamo aut cochleari, Communionem sumunt.

53. Whether concelebrants may use small chalices in a concelebrated Mass?

Resp.: For the concelebration of the Mass itself, there should be prepared, according to the Ritus servandus in concelebratione Missae n. 17, d) « one chalice of sufficient capacity; or if such a chalice cannot be had, even a second, so that there will be enough for the communion of all the concelebrants ». If everyone in the concelebration of the Mass had his own chalice, rather than a concelebrated Mass, it would be the synchronization of several Masses.

For communion from the chalice, one of the methods in the Rite itself should be chosen. Even if the use of small chalices were the only means to carry out Communion, the pouring of the most precious Blood from a large chalice into other small ones, and the form itself of the small chalices, seems less fitting for concelebration. It is more agreeable, therefore, to observe the rite for communion from the chalice where the concelebrants take Communino directly from one and the same chalice, even if they do so with a tube or a spoon.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 188–189, n. 53chalice, communion, concelebration, small chalicesPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 188–189

56. Licetne diacono recipere sacram Communionem sub utraque specie, ad mentem n. 1. 2) Ritus servandi in distribuenda Communione sub utraque specie, quando solus assistit in celebratione Missae?

Resp.: Affirmative, in Missa in cantu, ad quam Ritus servandums restringit Communionem sub utraque specie pro diacono: « in Missa pontificali vel sollemni ».

56. Is a deacon permitted to receive holy Communion under both species, according to the intention of n. 1. 2) of the Ritus servandus in distribuenda Communione sub utraque specie, when he is the only one who assists in the celebration of the Mass?

Resp.: In the affirmative, in a sung Mass, to which the Ritus servandums restricts Communion under both species for the deacon: « in a pontifical or solemn Mass ».

Notitiae 1 (1965), 189, n. 56both species, communion, deacon, missa cantataPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 189

72. Utrum liceat diacono, vi consuetudinis et magnae christifidelium affluentiae, in Missa sollemni ministerium suum ad altare relinquere ad sacram Communionem distribuendam?

Resp.: Negative. Quod vetitum fuit iam per Cod. rubr. n. 502: « Tempus proprium sanctae Communionis fidelibus distribuendae est infra Missam, post Communionem sacerdotis celebrantis, qui ipsemet eam petentibus distribuat, nisi propter grandem communicantium numerum conveniat, ut ab alio vel ab aliis sacerdotibus adiuvetur ».

Dedecet omnino, ut in eodem altari, in quo actu Missa celebratur, ab alio sacerdote (sive in casu: a diacono) sancta Communio distribuatur, extra tempus Communionis proprium.

72. Whether it is permitted for the deacon, by virtue of custom and a large gathering of the faithful, to abandon his ministry at the altar in a solemn Mass for the purpose of distributing holy Communion?

Resp.: In the negative. This was already forbidden by the Cod. rubr. n. 502: « The proper time for distributing holy Communion to the faithful is within the Mass, after the Communion of the priest celebrant, who should himself distribute to those who seek it, unless on account of a large number of communicants it is desirable that he be helped by another or by other priests ».

It is altogether unfitting that at the same altar upon which the Mass is actually being celebrated holy Communion should be distributed by another priest (or in this case, a deacon) outside of the proper time for Communion.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 253, n. 72communion, deaconPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 253

79. Communitas seminarii die dominica duas Missas participare debet: mane Missam lectam cum communione sacramentali, horis vero tardioribus Missam solemnem sine participatione sacramentali. Nonne preferendum ut unica habeatur Missa et quidem solemnis, universo coetu seminarii illam participante, cum communione sacramentali?

Resp.: Mens et spiritus Instructionis, n. 15, postulat ut in seminariis, diebus dominicis et festis, habeatur Missa solemnior quam aliis diebus, et cum omnibus elementis Missae, inter quae nominanda veniunt: homilia, oratio fidelium, sacramentalis communio. Si haec perfectior celebratio difficiliorem aut impossibilem reddit participationem ad aliam Missam, haec videtur supprimi aut facultativa reddi posse, absque praeiudicio sincerae pietatis. Eo praesertim cum in eius locum haberi possint cantus Laudum (cf. Instructio, n. 16), celebratio verbi Dei (cfr. Instructio, n. 38), vel alia peculiaria pietatis exercitia, v. g. oratio mentalis.

79. The community of a seminary has to participate in two Masses on Sunday: in the morning a read Mass with sacramental communion, but later on a solemn Mass without sacramental participation. Would it not be preferable to have only one Mass, namely a solemn one, with the whole community of the seminary participating in it and with sacramental communion?

Resp.: The mind and the spirit of the Instructio, n. 15, desires that in seminaries, on Sundays and feasts, there be held a more solemn Mass than on other days and with all the elements of the Mass, among which should be named: the homily; the prayer of the faithful; and sacramental communion. If this more perfect celebration renders participation at another Mass more difficult or impossible, then it seems that it can be suppressed or made optional without any prejudice to sincere piety. This is the case, especially, since in place of this Mass, there could be sung Lauds (cf. Instructio, n. 16), a celebration of the word of God (cfr. Instructio, n. 38), or other particular exercises of piety, e.g., mental prayer.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 305, n. 79communion, missa lecta, seminary, solemn massPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 305

83. In quadam ecclesia Missae pro defunctis in die depositionis, septimo, trigesimo et anniversario, ad peculiare altare celebrantur. Fideles participantes qui s. Communionem recipere cupiunt ad altare in quo SS. Eucharistia asservatur pergere debent. Estne probanda haec praxis?

Resp.: Convenit ut in unaquaque Missa consecrentur etiam Hostiae pro fidelium communione (cfr. Ritum servandum, n. 7), etsi paucorum, ut habeatur illa perfectior participatio de qua loquitur Constitutio, art. 55.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 306, n. 83communionPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 306

86. Utrum presbyteri ministerio diaconi et subdiaconi in Missa solemni fungentes communicari possint sub utraque specie, etsi Missam iam celebraverint vel celebraturi sint, ex anologia cum norma data in Ritu concelebrationis (n. 15).

Resp.: Negative. Nam lex generalis (CJC, can. 857) de non iteranda s. Communione eodem die vigere pergit. Casus in n. 15 Ritus concelebrationis et in n. 60 Instructionis considerati, habendi sunt ut relaxatio legis quae tantum pro illis casibus expresse determinatis valet.

In caus allato agitur tantum de vero diacono et subdiacono ministerium suum implentibus.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 307, n. 86communion, deacon, subdeaconPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 307

88. Estne probanda praxis distribuendi Communionem ante Missam?

Resp.: Communio est et apparere debet uti culmen participationis ad Missam. Ideo convenit ut Communio fiat intra Missam, ut erui potest ex Ordine Missae, n. 53, et Ritu servando, n. 81.

Si aliquando necessitas adest distribuendi Communionem ante Missam, opportunius fiat cum alba et stola, quam vestibus sacerdotalibus pro Missa requisitis.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 308, n. 88communionPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 308

102. Utrum conveniat sacram Communionem habitualiter « de eodem sacrificio » sumere?

Resp. Iam Encyclica Mediator Dei laudat « qui, Sacro adstantes, hostias in eodem Sacrificio consecratas » accipiunt.

Constitutio de sacra Liturgia denuo valde commendat « illa perfectior Missae participatio qua fideles post Communionem sacerdotis, ex eodem sacrificio Corpus Dominicum sumunt » (art. 5). Quae adhortatio in Ritu servando accepta est: « valde commendatur ut hostiae pro fidelium communione in ipsa Missa consecrentur » (n. 7).

Mens ergo Ecclesiae clara est, neque dubitari potest aptius veriusque locum pro fidelium communione esse post sacerdotis communionem. Quando autem fit cum hostiis in ipsa Missa consecratis, sacra communio revera fit signum arctioris et intimioris participationis ad Sacrificium quod celebratur.

Aliquando tamen contra hanc praxim obiectiones moeventur, praesertim quoad purificationem, numerum communicantium, renovationem sacrarum Specierum forte in tabernaculo exstantium, et similia. Ad haec respondendum videtur:
a) Pro communitate religiosa, vel quando participantium numerus fere semper idem est et facile agnoscitur, practice nulla est difficultas.
b) Sacerdos ipse potest particulas quae post communionem remanent, sumere, si paucae sunt (cfr. Ritum servandum, n.82). Si autem multae sunt, prudenti sacerdotis iudicio adhiberi possunt in altera Missa, quin novae hostiae consecrentur.

Difficultates motae revera tam magnae non sunt ut, habitualiter, praesertim in determinatis coetibus, praxis ab Ecclesia commendata ad rem deduci non possit.

Notitiae 2 (1966), 291, n. 102communionPDF of Notitiae 2 (1966), 291

104. Utrum liceat sacram Communionem per mensam altaris distribuere?

Resp.: Sensus quaesiti est utrum conveniat altari formam mensae dare ita tamen ut sacerdos, stans ad altare, dideles ad aliud latus accendentes possit communicare, ut melius exprimatur participatio ad idem sacrificium.

Iuxta Rituale romanum (tit. V, n. II, n. IV) sacra Communio fidelibus distribuenda est extra presbyterium.

Nec recendendum videtur a more tradito iuxta quem fideles ad cancellos presbyterii sive dona offerunt sive sacram Communionem recipiunt.

Notitiae 2 (1966), 339–340, n. 104altar, communionPDF of Notitiae 2 (1966), 339–340
Not yet transcribed.Notitiae 6 (1970), 264, n. 40communionPDF of Notitiae 6 (1970), 264

[Nondum transcriptum - Not yet transcribed]

Notitiae 9 (1973), 165–167communion, extraordinary minister of holy communionPDF of Notitiae 9 (1973), 165–167

Serpens invaluit aliquando usus accipiendi propria manu, ex parte communicantis, sacram Particulam directe e pixide, seu vasculo vel patena, vel ex altari calicem cum pretioso Sanguine, sicut facit sacerdos celebrans, vel minister, qui Communionem de mandato Ordinarii distribuit et seipsum deinde communicat.

Estne hoc « self service » admissum?

℟. Minime gentium. Gestus a Christo Domino in institutione Eucharistiae peractus, aptius et dignius exprimitur quando panis consecratus fideli revera datur. Vide:

Mt 26, 26: « accepit Iesus panem ... fregit deditque discipulis suis et ait: Accipite ».
27: « accipiens calicem ... dedit illis ».

Mc 14, 22: « accepit Iesus panem ... fregit et dedit eis et ait: Sumite ».
23: « et accepto calice ... dedit eis ».

Lc 22, 19: « accepto pane ... fregit et dedit eis ».
20: « similiter et calicem ».

Hac ratione in ritu « de Sacra Communione et de cultu mysterii Eucharistici extra Missam » (typis pol. Vaticanis 1973) n. 21, quarta alinea [sic], dicitur: « Sacra Communio distribui debet a competenti ministro, qui panis consecrati particulam communicanti ostendat et porrigat ».

Maluit sancta Ecclesia ministros extraordinarios sacrae Communionis multiplicari, et quidem sive viros sive mulieres, quam tolerare ut gestus biblicus deperderetur.

Insuper, etiam cum Conferentia quaedam Episcopalis petiit et ab Apostolica Sede obtinuit facultatem permittendi ut sacra Communio distribuatur in manu fidelium (cf. Instr. Memoriale Domini, 29 maii 1969), hic communicandi modus nullo modo imponi potest, sed semper libertas et possibilitas danda est communicandi more tradito. Quod non eveniret si fideles deberent particulam consecratam directe e vaso sacro sumere.

Proinde facultas sumendi manu propria consecratum Panem non conceditur nec concedetur. Praxis, si quae irrepsit, opportuna catechesi, et si necesse est interventu auctoritatis localis, tollenda est.

The practice has sometimes crept on the part of the communicant of taking by his own hand the sacred Particle directly from the ciborium, vessel, or paten, or the chalice with the precious Blood from the altar like the priest celebrant; or the minister who by mandate of the Ordinary has distributed Communion also then gives Communion to himself.

Is this « self service » allowed?

℟. Absolutely not. The gesture performed by Christ in the institution of the Eucharist is more fittingly and worthily expressed when the consecrated bread is truly given to the faithful. Consult:

Mt 26, 26: « Jesus took bread ... broke it and gave it to his disciples and said: Take this ».
27: « taking the chalice ... he gave it to them ».

Mc 14, 22: « Jesus took bread ... broke it and gave it to them and said: Eat this ».
23: « and having taken the chalice ... he gave it to them ».

Lc 22, 19: « having taken the bread ... he broke it and gave it to them ».
20: « likewise also the chalice ».

For this reason in the rite « Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist outside Mass » (typis pol. Vaticanis 1973) n. 21, fourth line, it says: « Holy Communion should be distributed by the competent minister who shows to the communicant the particle of consecrated bread and gives it ».

The holy Church has preferred that extraordinary ministers of holy Communion be multiplied, whether men or women, rather than to tolerate that the biblical gesture be abandoned.

Moreover, even when a certain Episcopal Conference has asked and obtained from the Apostolic See the faculty of permitting that holy Communion be distributed in the hand of the faithful (cf. Instr. Memoriale Domini, 29 May 1969), this manner of receiving Communion can in no way be imposed, but the freedom and possibility of receiving Communion in the traditional manner must be granted, which would not arise if the faithful had to take the consecrated particle directly from the sacred vessel.

Therefore, the faculty of taking by one's own hand the consecrated Bread is not granted and will not be granted. The practice, if it has slipped in, with the appropriate catechesis and, if necessary, the intervention of local authority, must be abolished.

Notitiae 10 (1974), 308communion in the hand, communion, extraordinary minister of holy communionPDF of Notitiae 10 (1974), 308

INSTITUTIO GENERALIS MISSALIS ROMANI, nn. 21, 121

An post Communionem fideles sedere debeant necnon?

℟. Post Communionem fideles aut genuflectere, aut stare, aut sedere possunt. Ita statuit n. 21 Institutionis generalis Missalis romani: « Fideles sedent … pro opportunitate, dum sacrum silentium post Communionem servatur ».

Non agitur proinde de obligatorietate sed de possibilitate.

Ad trutinam ergo n. 21 interpretari debet etiam n. 121 eiusdem Institutionis.

Notitiae 10 (1974), 407communion, posturePDF of Notitiae 10 (1974), 407
Not yet transcribed. De Communione in Missa conventuali.Notitiae 11 (1975), 123–125communion, conventual massPDF of Notitiae 11 (1975), 123–125

Positio manuum

13. Immixtione peracta, durante oratione Domine Iesu Christe vel Perceptio Corporis, nonnulli celebrantes manus iunctas super altare adhuc imponunt atquae, capite inclinato, textum orationis secreto proferunt. Estne modus iste adhuc servandus?

Resp.

Vestigia rituum antiquorum iterum his in rebus deprehenduntur. Ad dubium solvendum attendendae sunt semper normae OM, cura habita ne quid adiungatur et principio a Summo Pontifice Jonanne XXIII humaniter dato etiam hac vice prae oculis habito: « Contorta et difficilia, simplicia reddite; simplicia autem nolite perturbare ».

Vetus Ritus servandus revera circa hanc orationem ita indicabat (X, 3): Tunc manibus iunctis super altare positis, oculisque ad Sacramentum intentis, inclinatus dicit secreto ... OM Pauli VI (n. 132) pressius definit quod in n. 114 dicitur IGMR: « Sacerdos, deinde, manibus iunctis, dicit secreto ». Quapropter celebrans positione erecta stat, manibus ante pectus iunctis.

The position of the hands

13. After the completion of the commingling, during the prayer Lord Jesus Christ or the May the Partaking of the Body, some celebrants still place their hands joined over the altar and, with their head bowed, proclaim the text of the prayer quietly. Is this manner still to be observed?

Resp.

Traces of the older rites can again be found in these matters. To resolve the doubt, the norms of the OM should always be attended to, with care taken that nothing is added on and with the principle kindly given by Pope John XXIII, kept before one's eyes also in this case: « Make complicated and difficult matters simple, and do not disturb what is simple ».

The old Ritus servandus used to indicate with respect to this prayer (X, 3): Then bowed with his joined hands placed upon the altar, and his eyes intent upon the Sacrament, he says quietly ... OM Pauli VI (n. 132) more precisely defines what is said in n. 114 of the IGMR: « The celebrant then says with hands joined ». For this reason, the celebrant stands upright with hands joined before his breast.

Notitiae 14 (1978), 537–538, n. 13communion, gestures, hermeneuticsPDF of Notitiae 14 (1978), 537–538

Utrum in dioecesibus, ubi valet Communionem distribui in manibus fidelium, liceat sacerdoti sive extraordinariis sacrae communionis ministris obligatione adstringere communicantes, ut hostiam tantummodo in manibus accipiant, non autem super linguam.

℟. Certo patet ex ipsis documentis Sanctae Sedis ut in dioecesibus, ubi panis eucharisticus ponitur in manibus fidelium, integrum tamen eis manet ius super linguam eum recipiendi. Contra normas ideo agunt sive qui communicantes obligatione adstringunt ad sacram communionem tantummodo in manibus recipiendam, sive qui renuunt christifidelibus Communionem in manu recipiendi in dioecesibus, quae hoc indulto gaudent.

Attentis normis de sacra communione distribuenda, peculiari modo curent ministri ordinarii et extraordinarii, ut statim hostia a christifidelibus sumatur, ita ut nemo discedat cum speciebus eucharisticis in manu.

Meminerint tamen omnes saecularem traditionem esse hostiam super linguam accipere. Sacerdos celebrans, si adsit sacrilegii periculum, communionem in manu fidelibus non tradat, eet certiores faciat eos de fundamento huius procedendi modi.

Notitiae 35 (1999), 160–161communion in the hand, communion on the tongue, communion, hermeneuticsPDF of Notitiae 35 (1999), 160–161

Utrum, in Sancta Communione sub utraque specie distribuenda, liceat christifidelibus ad Sacramentum Eucharistiae accedere, ipsis particulam, quam in manibus acceperunt, in calice a sacerdote vel a diacono sustento intingentibus?

℟. Negative.

Institutio Generalis vero editionis typicae tertiae Missalis Romani explicate affirmat: « Sacerdos deinde accipit patenam vel pyxidem, et accedit ad communicandos, qui de more processionaliter appropinquant. Non licet ipsis fidelibus panem consecratum neque calicem sacrum per semetipsos accipere eo minus de manu in manum inter se transmittere. Fideles communicant genuflexi vel stantes, prout Conferentia Episcoporum statuerit. Cum autem stantes communicant, commendatur ut debitam reverentiam, ab iisdem normis statuendam, ante susceptionem Sacramenti faciant » (n. 160); cui adiungit quod hoc in casu: « Si Communio calicis fit per intinctionem, communicandus, patinam sub ore tenens, accedit ad sacerdotem, qui vas cum sacris particulis tenet et ad cuius latus sistit minister qui calicem sustinet. Sacerdos hostiam accipit, partem eius in calicem intingit et eam ostendendo dicit: Corpus et Sanguis Christi; communicandus respondet: Amen, a sacerdote Sacramentum ore recipit, ac postea recedit » (n. 287).

Praeterea, abusus censendus est modus ille, quo fideles in manu particulam iam in Pretiosissimo Sanguine Christi intinctam recipiant.

Whether, in distributing Holy Communion under both species, it is permissible for Christ's faithful to approach the Sacrament of the Eucharist and dip for themselves a particle which they have received in the hand into a chalice held by a priest or deacon?

℟. In the negative.

The General Instruction of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal explicitly affirms: « Then the priest takes the paten or the ciborium and goes to those who are to receive Communion, who customarily approach after the manner of a procession. It is not permissible for the faithful to take the consecrated bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and still less to pass them hand to hand among themselves. The faithful receive Communion kneeling or standing as the Conference of Bishops establishes. When, however, they receive standing, it is recommended that they make a due sign of reverence, to be established by the same norms, before the reception of the Sacrament » (n. 160); to which is added something regarding this case: « If Communion from the chalice is done by intinction, the one to receive Communion, holding the paten beneath his mouth, approaches the priest, who holds the vessel with the sacred particles and at whose side assists the minister who holds the chalice. The priest takes the host, dips part of it in the chalice and while showing it says, "The Body and Blood of Christ." The person who is to receive Communion responds, "Amen," receives the Sacrament from the priest in the mouth, and then goes back » (n. 287).

Moreover, the practice in which the faithful receive in the hand a particle that has already been dipped in the Most Precious Blood of Christ is to be regarded as an abuse.

Notitiae 38 (2002), 490both species, communion, intinctionPDF of Notitiae 38 (2002), 490

LITTERAE CONGREGATIONIS

Nuper notitiae pervenerunt ad Congregationem de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum de sacerdote, qui sacram Communionem in Missae celebratione fideli laico negare dicebatur, ob eiusdem laici desiderium genibus flexis communicandi. Inde Dicasterium id opportunum duxit litteras Episcopo illius dioeceseos necnon Oratori exhibere, quae ob peculiare momentum etiam publici iuris fiunt.

Prot. n. 1322/02/L

Rome, 1 July 2002

Your Excellency,

This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has recently received reports of members of the faithful in your Diocese being refused Holy Communion unless while standing to receive, as opposed to kneeling. The reports state that such a policy has been announced to parishioners. There were possible indications that such a phenomenon might be somewhat more widespread in the Diocese, but the Congregation is unable to verify whether such is the case. This Dicastery is confident that Your Excellency will be in a position to make a more reliable determination of the matter, and these complaints in any event provide an occasion for the Congregation to communicate the manner in which it habitually addresses this matter, with a request that you make this position known to any priests who may be in need of being thus informed.

The Congregation in fact is concerned at the number of similar complaints that it has received in recent months from various places, and considers any refusal of Holy Communion to a member of the faithful on the basis of his or her kneeling posture to be a grave violation of one of the most basic rights of the Christian faithful, namely that of being assisted by their Pastors by means of the Sacraments (Codex Iuris Canonici, canon 213). In view of the law that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them” (canon 843 § 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person's unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.

In fact, as His Eminence, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has recently emphasized, the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species.

Given the importance of this matter, the Congregation would request that Your Excellency inquire specifically whether this priest in fact has a regular practice of refusing Holy Communion to any member of the faithful in the circumstances described above and — if the complaint is verified — that you also firmly instruct him and any other priests who may have such a practice to refrain from acting thus in the future. Priests should understand that the Congregation will regard future complaints of this nature with great seriousness, and if they are verified, it intends to seek disciplinary action consonant with the gravity of the pastoral abuse.

Thanking Your Excellency for your attention to this matter and relying on your kind collaboration in its regard,
Sincerely yours in Christ,

Jorge A. Card. Median Estévez
Prefect

✠ Francesco Pio Tamburrino
Archbishop Secretary

A LETTER OF THE CONGREGATION

Recently news came to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments of a priest who was said to have denied holy Communion during the celebration of Mass to a member of the lay faithful on account of the same layman's desire to receive Communion kneeling. Thus, the Dicastery considered it opportune to send a letter to the Bishop of the diocese and to the Oratory, which is also being published because of its special importance.

[Textus originalis iam anglice exstat. - The original text is already in English.]

Notitiae 38 (2002), 582–584communion, kneeling, posturePDF of Notitiae 38 (2002), 582–584

Prot. n. 1322/02/L

Rome, 1 July 2002

Dear Sir,

This Congregation for Divine Worship gratefully acknowledges receipt of your letter, regarding an announced policy of denial of Holy Communion to those who kneel to receive it at a certain church.

It is troubling that you seem to express some reservations about both the propriety and the usefulness of addressing the Holy See regarding this matter. Canon 212 §2 of the Code of Canon Law states that "Christ's faithful are totally free to make known their needs, especially their spiritual ones, and their desire: to the Pastor of the Church". The canon then continues in §3: "According to their own knowledge competence and position, they have the right, and indeed sometimes the duty, to present to the sacred Pastor; their opinions regarding those things that pertain to the good of the Church. ..." Accordingly, in consideration of the nature of the problem and the relative likelihood that it might or might not be resolved on the local level, every member of the faithful has the right of recourse to the Roman Pontiff either personally or by means of the Dicasteries or Tribunals of the Roman Curia.

Another fundamental right of the faithful, as noted in canon 213, is "the right to receive assistance by the sacred Pastors from the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the Sacraments". In view of the law that "sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them" (canon 843 § 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person's unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.

Please be assured that the Congregation takes this matter very seriously, and is making the necessary contacts in its regard. At the same time, this Dicastery continues to be ready to be of assistance if you should need to contact it again in the future.

Thanking you for your interest, and with every prayerful good wish, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Mons. Mario Marini
Undersecretary

[Textus originalis iam anglice exstat. - The original text is already in English.]Notitiae 38 (2002), 584–585communion, kneeling, posturePDF of Notitiae 38 (2002), 584–585

Multis in locibus christifideles solent in privata oratione genibus flexis sistere vel sedere postquam repetunt suas sedes, cum singuli recepissent sacram Eucharistiam in Missa. Utrum statuta editionis typicae tertiae Missalis Romani prohibeant hunc usum?

℟. Negative et ad mentem.

Mens est ut per praescripta Institutionis Generalis Missalis Romani, n. 43, intenditur ex una parte praestare latis terminis aliquam uniformitatem habitus corporis in congregatione pro variis partibus celebrationis sanctae Missae, simulque ex alia parte non moderari habitum corporis ita rigide, ut qui velint genibus flexis sistere vel sedere non amplius ad id liberi sint.

In many places the faithful are accustomed to remain kneeling in private prayer or to sit after they return to their seats once they have individually received the holy Eucharist at Mass. Whether the provisions of the Third typical edition of the Roman Missal prohibit this practice?

℟. In the negative and with a rationale.

The rationale is that by the prescripts of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, n. 43 is intended to give, on the one hand, within broad limits some uniformity of posture in the congregation for the various parts of the celebration of the holy Mass, and at the same time, on the other hand, not to regulate posture so rigidly that those who wish to remain kneeling or to sit would no longer be free to do so.

Notitiae 39 (2003), 533communion, hermeneutics, posturePDF of Notitiae 39 (2003), 533

Utrum liceat sacerdoti celebranti communicare solus postquam Sanctam Eucharistiam fidelibus distribuerit aut Sanctam Eucharistiam distribuere et postea communicare simul cum populo?

℟. Negative ad utrumque

Huiusmodi usus sacerdotis celebrantis cuiusdam, ut nempe communicet solummodo postquam sanctam Eucharistiam fidelibus distribuerit aut, sancta Eucharistia iam distributa, communicare simul cum omnibus ex singulari opinione manat, qua scilicet fideles, utpote convivae ad mensam eucharistiam, imprimis inserviantur.

Omnibus in Ecclesiae Ritibus invenitur ordo traditus ad sacram Communionem accedendi: antea communicat Episcopus vel sacerdos celebrans, postea alii ministri secundum ordinem hierarchicum, demum populus. Sacerdos primus communicat non humanae praestantiae causa, sed ob dignitatem et naturam sui ministerii. Ipse enim in persona Christi agit, ob integritatem sacramenti et quia populo congregato praeest: « Ita, dum Presbyteri cum actu Christi Sacerdotis se coniungunt, cotidie se totos Deo offerunt, et, dum Corpore Christi nutriuntur, ex corde participant eius caritatem qui se in cibum dat fidelibus » (Presbyterorum ordinis, n. 13).

In editione Missalis Romani a Servo Dei Paulo Pp. VI promulgata fidelium communio immediate sequitur communionem sacerdotis, hoc modo actio unica constituens, aliter ac forma in editione Missalis Romani quae anno 1962 apparuit, qua communio sacerdotis disiungitur a communione fidelium per recitationem « Confiteor », per preces « Misereatur », « Indulgentiam », « Agnus Dei » et « Domine, non sum dignus ».

Norma liturgica vigens statuit: « Sacerdos, quoties sanctam Missam celebrat, toties ad altare tempore a Missali statuto se communicare debet, concelebrantes vero antequam ipsi ad distributionem Communionis procedant. Numquam attendat Sacerdos celebrans vel concelebrans usque ad Communionem populi expletam, ut se communicet » (Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 97).

Whether it is permitted for the priest celebrant to communicate alone after he has distributed the Holy Eucharist to the faithful or to distribute the Holy Eucharist and afterwards to communicate together with the people?

℟. In the negative to both

This sort of practice on the part of some priest celebrants, namely that of communicating only after distributing the holy Eucharist to the faithful or, having already distributed the holy Eucharist, to communicate together with everyone, flows from an individual opinion, namely that the faithful, as guests at the eucharistic table should be served first.

In all the Rites of the Church the order for approaching holy Communion that has been handed down can be found: first, the Bishop or priest celebrant communicates, then the other ministers according to hierarchical order, and finally the people. The priest communicates first not for the sake of human prestige but on account of the dignity and nature of his ministry. For he acts in the person of Christ, on account of the integrity of the sacrament and because he presides over the people that have been gathered, « Thus, as the Presbyters join themselves with the act of Christ the Priest, daily they offer themselves to God, and, as they are nourished by the Body of Christ, they participate in the charity of him who gives himself as food to the faithful » (Presbyterorum ordinis, n. 13).

In the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by the Servant of God Paul VI, the communion of the faithful follows immediately the communion of the priest, constituting in this way a single action; it is otherwise in the edition of the Roman Missal which appeared in 1962, in which the communion of the priest is disconnected from the communion of the faithful by the recitation of the « Confiteor », by the prayers « Misereatur », « Indulgentiam », « Agnus Dei » and « Domine, non sum dignus ».

The liturgical norm in force establishes: « The Priest, whenever he clebrates the holy Mass, should always communicate at the altar at the time established by the Missal, the concelebrants, however, before they proceed to the distribution of Communion. The Priest celebrant or a concelebrant should never wait until the Communion of the people is completed to communicate » (Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 97).

Notitiae 45 (2008), 609communionPDF of Notitiae 45 (2008), 609