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Communion service
Question from J.H. on 07-20-2014:
I recently went to a daily morning Mass at a nearby parish. However, the priest was not there and a Communion service was held instead.

Present on the altar were a deacon and a woman. The woman said the whole service from beginning to end. The only participation of the deacon was to hold the book from which she read. When it came time to read the Gospel she went to the pulpit and read it, and thereafter read a short homily that apparently had been written down on paper. When it came time to have Communion, the woman proceeded to the tabernacle, took out the hosts, went back to the middle of the altar, and held up the host saying the prayers along with it. The woman then proceeded to give out Communion to everyone.

The deacon never participated except to be there to hold the book. He did not appear to be ill and unable to do the service. If that had been the case, an announcement should have been made to cancel the service also. The woman completely took over the altar and I found this to be totally out of order with Church teaching. Please provide me your thoughts on this situation I have just described.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 07-24-2014:
J.H.--

Not knowing why the deacon did not lead the Communion service (not all illnesses are apparent to onlookers), I don't have thoughts to offer on why this service was conducted in the manner it was conducted. If you are a regular at this parish, you might write down an account of what happened for the pastor and ask him for an explanation as to why the deacon did not lead the service. If you are only an occasional visitor, I can only recommend that you charitably assume that there may have been valid reason why the deacon could not preside, and let the matter go.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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