St. Mary Star of the Sea Church – Pallottine Fathers
Dear Friend in Christ, at our meeting of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist on April 30th I promised to reflect on questions and comments that emerged. I’m saddened by, and sorry for the fact that some of you experienced a certain amount of hurt and upset as a result of that meeting. I pray that peace can be restored to all of us and that we can continue to serve with the reverence and Love for Jesus in the Eucharist that is our custom. Fr. Seamus has already produced detailed guidelines which I think should basically stand with a few alterations. On some points I stand corrected and so have to reverse some of what I said at the meeting. Apologies if this is a cause of further confusion.
• Ministers on the rota for a particular Saturday evening/Sunday should come to the sacristy before Mass for a moment of prayer. We will know at that point if we have enough Ministers to cover that Mass.
• Please come to the altar at the introduction to the Our Father, as has been the practise to date.
• At the sign of peace wait for the Deacon or the Priest to bring the Peace from the altar before offering it to each other and to the servers. But there’s to be no stress if we don’t get this right. It’s a principle.
• We will use two chalices at each of the Saturday evening/Sunday Masses.
• The elderly and disabled who are not able to approach the altar should be given Communion first rather than last. This is easily achieved at the 6pm and 11.30am Masses. At the 10am Mass it may be necessary to continue the practise of a special Minister bringing Communion down to them but not out into the church porch.
• On the question of lay Ministers giving a blessing, the answer I gave at the meeting is the official answer of the Church, an answer which I am obliged to provide. However, people have come to expect a blessing. It is an expression of their faith and spiritual need. As Jesus welcomed the crowds when they approached Him, we will continue to give a simple blessing to those who are not receiving Holy Communion. If you are uncomfortable giving a blessing then, in order not to be under pressure, take one of the chalices instead of a ciborium.
• After Holy Communion we will proceed as normal. Ministers will purify the chalices and then please wait in the sanctuary for the period of silence until I begin “O Sacrament most holy…” If you wish, you may sit in the choir stall for this period.
• The Guidelines drawn up by Fr. Seamus are available on the parish website under the section Posts at https://stmarystarofthesea.net/2019/05/15/guidelines-for-special-ministers-of-holy-communion-fr-seamus-stapleton-sca/ If you would like a printed copy of those Guidelines let me know.
Thank you for your generous service, for the inspiring and loving ways in which you have spoken about the privilege that is ours to offer this service to Jesus and the Community of the parish. God bless you.
Fr. Eamonn Monson SAC