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Extra ordinary ministers of Holy Communion
Question from Karen on 9/18/2004:

I attended Mass tonight in a very orthodox Catholic church. After Holy Communion I looked up at the altar and saw the Extraordinary minister drinking what was left in the little cup that is used for intincture. Why didn't the priest finish the wine. It could not have been that much. This is what annoys me about some of the things of Vatican II. I just don't think that the Extraordinary ministers should play the part of the priest in any sense. The older I get, the more I tend to go to churches where only the priests are involved with distributing Holy Communion.

If this was right, according to Canon Law, then I will just be annoyed, I guess, without just cause.

God Bless and what does the J in JCL stand for.

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 9/19/2004:

What the minister was drinking was not wine but the Blood of Christ.

It is permitted for an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to finish the remainer of the Precious Blood in the chalice.

JCL is a licentiate in canon law -- law being iuris or juris in Latin.

If things are generally being done correctly in your parish, then I would give the practices there the benefit of a doubt. The use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, when used in accord with the directives of the Church, is completely licit.

Also, keep in mind that you are receiving Christ in the Eucharist, not the priest. So no matter who gives you Holy Communion does not affect the fact that you are receiving the Lord. It might be a good of humility for you to just always receive Holy Communion from whomever is giving out Holy Communion in your line.

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