Communion blessing words

I’m not sure if I was horrible at little league because I detested it, or if I detested it because I was horrible at it.

One of my earliest memories of a prayer life was when I was 8 and would petition the Almighty to open the heavens and unleash a torrential downpour so I wouldn’t have to go to practice and I could stay home and draw.

communion blessing words

Compared to my teammates, my baseball abilities were towards the bottom—I could neither throw nor catch very well. When I was at the plate, I would dig in my cleats and raise the bat with no intention of swinging. With an obvious preference for the latter, my hopes were to either get hit with a pitch or get a base on balls. When the pitcher would throw a wild pitch that flew over the umpire’s head, the coaches would scream “good-eye, Gonzalez, good eye!”

At practice, the coaches made sure we were all treated equally despite the huge range in our skill levels. All of us were validated and made to feel part of the team. None of us were excluded. When the season would mercifully end, no one would go home without a trophy, plaque or certificate—everyone went home with something.

I wonder if the desire for inclusivity contributed to a custom at Mass where the minister of Holy Communion (ordinary and extraordinary) imparts a blessing on children and non-communicants (non-Catholics, Catholics in a state of mortal sin) who approach with arms crossed over their chest. This practice allows everyone to participate. Come Communion time, no one is left sitting on the bench—I mean pew.

The Origin of the Practice

I wondered where this practice started and several internet sources affirm that the custom was popularized by Dale Fushek who founded Life Teen in the early 80s. This practice then spread throughout the U.S. and beyond. Today, it is so common, that some parishes have codified it in their own instructions. A parish in the Midwest published it’s “Guidelines for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion” which reads in part:

Blessing of Children
“It is sometimes difficult to determine if children have made their First Communion or not. We instruct the parents of this age child to have them come forward with arms crossed if they are not receiving communion. If you are unsure, just ask the child, or the parents, if the child has made their First Communion. It is permissible for you to bless a child by putting your hand on their head or shoulder saying “God Bless You”, but do not make the Sign of the Cross.”

The guideline above assures that blessings given by Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are “permissible”—that someone in authority has given permission and made it lawful. Is it indeed licit for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to bless? Does the Church envision lay people blessing at all?

Who Can Bless?

Should lay people pronounce blessings? Absolutely!

“every baptized person is called to be a ‘blessing,’ and to bless. Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings…”–Catechism of the Catholic Church #1669

We may bless ourselves with holy water when we enter a church, say a blessing before a meal, or bless our children before bedtime. In fact, the USCCB published a book entitled Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers to facilitate lay blessings.

Lay ministers may also perform certain blessings as part of their ministry:

“Other laymen and laywomen, in virtue of the universal priesthood, a dignity they possess because of their baptism and confirmation, may celebrate certain blessings, as indicated in the respective orders of blessings, by use of the rites and formularies designated for a lay minister.” –General Introduction, The Book of Blessings #18

“Let provision be made that some sacramentals, at least in special circumstances and at the discretion of the ordinary, may be administered by qualified lay persons.”–Sacrosanctum Concilium 79

However, the Church also teaches that:

“the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).”–Catechism of the Catholic Church #1669

From this, can we can deduce that, during Mass—the source of the sacramental life of the Church—it is the deacon or priest that should confer this blessings to non-communicants? Yes, they should, that is if there were a blessing prescribed at this time. But there are no provisions for this practice in any of the Church’s official liturgical documents.

But the Vatican has not been completely silent on this topic.

What does the Church say?

In 2008, Fr. Anthony Ward, S.M., Under-Secretary for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, answered a personal letter asking precisely this question. His response gave clear reasons why this practice is illicit. He cites that a blessing is given at the end of Mass after the concluding prayer when the priest makes the Sign of the Cross over the assembly. A personal blessing at Communion would be unnecessary since a corporate one will be given minutes later.

He counsels against lay people conferring blessings at Mass so as to “avoid any confusion between sacramental liturgical acts presided over by a priest or deacon, and other acts which the non-ordained faithful may lead.” Ecclesiae de Mysterio – Article

He also points out that the laying on of hands during communion is inappropriate and is to be discouraged.

So, it seems that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments—the Vatican office assigned to regulate and promote the sacred liturgy—is opposed to the practice. It does not appear to be in keeping with Church law. One priest in particular, Father Cory Sticha, outright refuses to bless children who approach him in the communion line. He cites paragraph 22 of Sacrosanctum Concilium which states:

“Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.”

He maintains that a priest does not have the authority to add a blessing to the liturgy where one does not exist.

With this in mind, some parishes have instructed the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to tell non-communicants:

“Receive the Lord Jesus in your heart” or “Jesus loves you” to the children.

These words are not blessings but rather admonitions and joyful declarations. But, neither is this practice Church teaching and is also absent from the Mass rubrics.

So what are we to do?

This Sunday, when a person approaches the EMHC with arms crossed, what should happen? Stay the course? Should they be ignored? Told to shuffle along? Get redirected to the priest’s line? Receive an admonition when they are expecting a blessing?

What about parents with small children? Should they leave them in the pews, unattended?

If this practice is indeed illicit and needs correction, how do we pastorally escape from the corner we’ve painted ourselves into?

What is clear is that a definitive, authoritative stance should be taken by the Holy See in this matter. This way there is continuity in the Universal Church—either all parishes will do and say the same thing, or none of them will. We will eliminate what is happening today where some parishes are telling their EMHCs that imparting a blessings is licit while the Curia is saying the exact opposite.

What about you? Is the entire assembly in the Communion line the embodiment of “all are welcomed” and “let the little children come to me,” or is it merely a way of fulfilling a sense of entitlement where no one goes home “empty-handed”? Does the practice blur the lines between laity and the clergy? Would receiving a blessing instead of Communion be enough for some so that they never right their relationship with the Church? Is receiving a blessing a beautiful witness to non-Catholics and lapsed Catholics? Is it a way of indoctrinating children into the rhythm of the Mass? Share and let’s learn together!

www.massexplained.com

I was once asked on a Sunday morning if I could serve the juice for communion when we celebrated the Lord’s Supper later during our worship service. It was suggested that I say “The body of Christ was broken for you” to each person as they came forward to receive the juice I would be holding. Not wanting to mess up the words of that blessing, I thought about it a lot during the service. In fact, I probably thought about it too much because when I finally stood beside my assigned partner as he served the bread and heard him combine both of our assigned lines into one sentence — “The body and the blood of Christ was given for you” — my mind went blank.  

All I could think to do was to provide each person with what I hoped would be perceived as a contemplative nod and warm smile as they reached for the juice; occasionally including their name or a short greeting: “John” (nod, smile), “Joyce” (nod, smile), “Hello” (nod, smile), “For you” (nod, smile), “Lindsay” (nod, smile.) Then a child appeared in the line-up in front of me and, as I bent down, looked into his eyes and held the juice tray towards him, my brain finally kicked back into gear. “Jesus loves you, Michael,” I whispered to him. “Jesus loves you,” I said to every person thereafter.

Given my awkward encounter as a communion server, I wasn’t surprised to hear about the experiences with Lord’s Supper blessings that a group of boys in Michigan shared recently with my colleague, Laura Keeley. At the top of their list of uncomfortable moments during communion: being asked a question about the Heidelberg Catechism and having a woman “zoom in for a hug.” Noting the importance of personal space, one of the boys offered this guideline: “If I can smell you, you’re too close!”

All of which got me thinking about meaningful ways for us to bless and include children who aren’t yet fully participating in the Lord’s Supper, but who are invited to come forward and receive a blessing as it is served or who are present as the bread and juice is passed from one person to another. Happily, an informal poll of pastors yielded some wonderfully appropriate ideas.

From Rev. Elizabeth Vander Haagen:  

  • “Remember that you are God’s beloved child.”
  • “Remember that for you Jesus came, for you Jesus died, for you Jesus rose and Jesus is in heaven praying for you.”
  • “May the Holy Spirit give you everything you need to follow Jesus.”
  • “Remember that you are God’s beloved child and when God looks on you, God smiles.”
  • “May you always know how much Jesus loves you.”

Rev. Jack Roeda suggests saying something that affirms they are also part of the church community or using a simple sentence such as:    

  • “Jesus loves you too.”
  • “Jesus knows your name.”

And Rev. Ruth Boven says she’s used the following blessing with children who aren’t yet fully participating:

  • “The body of Christ was given for you, too.”

Keeping in mind the experience of the boys who spoke to Laura, I’d add that while for some children a light touch on their head or shoulder while receiving a blessing might be okay, not everyone experiences touch the same way so, unless you’re sure they are okay with it, keep your hands to yourself. And remember — if they smell you, you’re too close!

network.crcna.org

Wondering what to write in a first communion card? Use these communion card messages for greeting cards and first communion thank you cards to find the perfect well wishes for your friend or family member’s special day.

What To Write In A First Communion Card

communion blessing words

Gray And Tan Chevron Communion Invitation by PurpleTrail.com.

First Communion Messages: Communion Card Messages

Fill your first communion card with a congratulatory note, well wishes, and inspiration. Use these first communion messages for communion greeting cards to figure out what to include in your own first communion card wording.

 Congratulations on your communion! May this sacred occasion bring

many blessings and much happiness to you and your family.

Love always,

(your name)

****************************

May you always feel the presence of the Lord

now and forever as your receive Him at your

First Holy Communion.

Congratulations!

(your name)

*********************************

God bless you on your First Holy Communion!

Love,

(your name)

**********************************

As you receive your First Holy Communion,

embrace the joy that comes from knowing

Jesus and the peace that comes from

growing in his love.

Congratulations,

(your name)

****************************

Congratulations on your First Communion!

Christ is the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation.

May He bring you peace and strength on your journey through life.

Love always,

(your name)

******************************

God bless you as you receive Eucharist on your

First Holy Communion! May the love of Jesus

shine in your heart now and forever.

Many blessings,

(your name)

*******************************

Congratulations on your First Holy Communion!

We are so proud of you and how much you’ve progressed as a Christian.

Many blessings on this special day,

(your name)

communion blessing words

Pink Watercolor White Doves First Holy Communion Invitation by PurpleTrail.com.

Communion Card Messages With Bible Verses, Passages

Including a bible verse or passage in your communion card message can add a lot of meaning and depth to your communion card message. Use these communion card messages with bible verses for ideas on what to write in your first communion greeting card.

Congratulations on your First Communion!

May you always stay as close to Jesus as you are today

on your First Holy Communion.

Love,

(your name)

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s

death until he comes.” – 1 Corinthians 11:26

***************************

May your faith in the Lord bring you much happiness.

God bless,

(your name)

“And when he had given thanks, he brake , and said, Take, eat: this

is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”

– 1 Corinthians 11:24-27

*****************************

Congratulations on your First Holy Communion!

We are so proud of you and know this day will bring you

many blessing, strength, and happiness.

Love,

(your name)

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD,

plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

– Jeremiah 29:11

*********************************

The Lord comes to you in First Holy Communion to

nourish you, love you, and fill you with His Grace.

Happy First Holy Communion!

(your name)

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

– Psalm 34:8

**********************************

Congratulations on your First Holy Communion!

Let God’s love fill your heart, bring you strength, and guide you throughout life.

God bless,

(your name)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,

so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

– Romans 15:13

What To Write In Communion Thank You Cards

communion blessing words

Floral Cross Monogram First Communion Invitation by PurpleTrail.com.

First Communion Messages: Communion Thank You Card Messages

Stumped on what to include in your communion thank you cards? Use these first communion thank you card wording ideas to find the perfect words of gratitude for your friends and family.

Thank you so much for being there for my

First Holy Communion.

Your kindness and generous gift are much appreciated.

Love always,

(your name)

*******************************

Thank you for making my

First Holy Communion extra special

with your presence and generous gift.

God bless,

(your name)

**************************

I’m so grateful for the lovely gift and prayers you shared

with me on my First Holy Communion.

I will treasure your blessings, kindness, and thoughtfulness in my heart forever.

Thank you,

(your name)

***************************

Your loving thoughts, generosity, and presence made my

First Holy Communion so special and memorable.

Thank you for all of your love and support.

Many blessings,

(your name)

********************************

Thank you for your love, prayers, and generous gift on my

First Holy Communion.

Love always,

(your name)

**********************************

Thank you for being a part of my

First Holy Communion Day!

Your presence, warm thoughts, and generous gift are much appreciated.

God bless,

(your name)

communion blessing words

Elegant Gray Quad Fold First Communion Invitation by PurpleTrail.com.

Hopefully you found these communion card messages for greeting cards and thank you cards inspiring. If you’re still unsure of what to write, you could send a custom magnet with pictures instead, or try checking out this First Communion Party Ideas for inspiration.

(Visited 225,566 times, 26 visits today)

www.communionideas.com

Оценка 5 проголосовавших: 1
ПОДЕЛИТЬСЯ

ОСТАВЬТЕ ОТВЕТ

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here