HCWEOM 16: The Time of Communion Outside Mass

When to distribute Communion?

16. Communion may be given outside Mass on any day and at any hour. It is proper, however, to determine the hours for giving communion, with a view to the conve­nience of the faithful, so that the celebration may take place in a fuller form and with greater spiritual benefit.

In other words, we’re looking at a Communion service or liturgy for the faithful (plural), a celebration that provides the “fuller form,” presumably including music and other ministries. We’ll continue to look at these Communion services outside of Mass in this document.

I suppose it begs the question that if a priest is able to preside at a Communion service, why wouldn’t he just celebrate Mass?

Triduum gets special attention:

Nevertheless:

a) on Holy Thursday, communion may be given only during Mass; communion may be brought to the sick at any hour of the day;

b) on Good Friday communion may be given only during the celebration of the Passion of the Lord; communion may be brought to the sick who cannot participate in the celebra­tion at any hour of the day;

c) on Holy Saturday communion may be given only as viaticum. (Roman Missal, typical edition 1970; Missa vespertina in Cena Domini, 243; Celebratio Passionis Domini, 250, no. 3; Sabbato sancto, 265.)

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in HCWEOM, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to HCWEOM 16: The Time of Communion Outside Mass

  1. RP Burke says:

    [I]f a priest is able to preside at a Communion service, why wouldn’t he just celebrate Mass?

    If he’s “impeded” for some reason: in this diocese, for example, if he’s already said two Masses on a weekday or three for the Sunday obligation.

  2. Todd says:

    There is that, yes.

    I wondered if it meant the regulation is tied less to the well-being of the clergy and more the potentially embarrassing phenomenon of some priests “outworking” others.

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