Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities

The third iteration of this document, Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities, was approved by the USCCB five years ago. It updated a publication from the mid-1970s that was later revised in the late 1980s.

In my experience, catechists are somewhat more familiar with this than clergy and other liturgical ministers. But there are exceptions.

Speaking for myself, I would interpret a document like this broadly. We’re not just talking about people’s celebration of the so-called “magic moments,” but also routine and everyday expressions of worship. That’s not just when a person is “qualified” to receive a sacrament, but also the ongoing participation in the life of the community. The bishops themselves hint at this in the introduction to the document:

All members of the Body of Christ are uniquely called by God by virtue of their Baptism. In light of this call, the Church seeks to support all in their growth in holiness, and to encourage all in their vocations.

The desired end result is not participation and reception, but holiness.

Over the next several days, we’ll look at the document broadly, a preface, then general principles, then see what the bishops say about each of the seven sacraments before looking at their conclusion. First thoughts? Experiences?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Liturgy, USCCB documents. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities

  1. Joyce Donahue says:

    You are quite correct that the clergy is often ignorant about these guidelines and about how persons with disabilities should be treated in the Church. I have had to intervene many times to help bring clarity and just treatment for those with disabilities. As I live with celiac disease, which, of course, affects how a person is able to receive Eucharist, I am acutely aware of the ignorance about protocols and the rights of those with this and other disabilities. This document deserves wider recognition.

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