Tonight we went to the church near our house for Mass as we have something else we are doing tomorrow and driving to the other parish would put us way behind. I doubt we will ever do that again!
For starters, we headed over early for Confession. While waiting for our turn, and preparing ourselves for the sacrament, I noticed that it was social hour in the church. People chatting away in not so quiet voices about this, that and the other. It made it so very hard to concentrate on praying. My kids were better behaved than some of the people in that church. I just do not understand why people come to church early, just to chat with their friends. Why not meet up at the local diner and do that, then head over for Mass?
I usually complain about the music, but to day, it was palatable. However, what was not was the homily. Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Father’s homily was about domestic violence. AÂ good topic, perhaps, but it was not connected at all to the Gospel reading today. He then perpetuatedÂ the myth that Annulments are a way out of a marriage. A pretty close paraphrase of what he said: “I am not saying I want anyone here to get a divorce, but the Church has ways to help people in these situations. Separations, annulments…”Â AHHHHH! Please let me pull my hair out now. No wonder we do not know our faith, from the pulpit things are being said, if not out or malice, at least out of ignorance.
I was in charge of Caecilia today, so I spent a lot of time in the back of the church. When I joined the family in the pew for the Consecration, Benedict started fussing, so I took him out, thinking he needed to eat. As I left the pew, Joshua told Benedict needed a diaper change. I finished that just in time to join the family in line to receive Our Lord. The Extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, “blessed” him. I loathe that. Loathe it. Seriously? You can “bless” people? I was pretty certain only a priest could do that. It’s bad enough that there is a need for EMEs, but please, let me receive our Lord without more that “Body of Christ”.Â Hey, if you google “lay blessings during communion”, this comes up! If you read that article, it refers to this one. A quote from the second link:
“2. Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, Â§ 2; Canon 1169, Â§ 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18).
Must run, I promise to have a good update soon!
Given that I was not there, but my guess is that perhaps the priest was meaning that annulments are acceptable in cases of domestic violence. But again, I wasn’t there.
As for the blessings, no EMs cannot bless during Mass, but blessings are acceptable outside of Mass by persons other than a priest. And as far as priests giving blessings during Mass, the Holy See is discouraging it (judging by the article) but hasn’t condemned the practice.
It may be an annoying practice, but the EMs intentions are good. I get annoyed by people praying the Rosary during Mass (I’m not bothered before or after but I’ve seen people just keep going like Mass isn’t even going on around them.) I have to remind myself that it isn’t for me to judge another person’s heart. Jesus wanted us to follow the spirit rather than the letter of the law (based on how he healed on the Sabbath). So if an EM wants to violate canon code out of kindness, then so be it.
Blessings and peace to you and your family
I am totally with you on the EME’s blessing the kids. As I understand it, only a priest or one’s own father can confer a blessing. There is nothing worse than being annoyed with the EME as your receive Our Lord!!