Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Instruction on Eucharistic Worship - Sacred Congregation of Rites 1967 - Pt.14

33. Communion outside Mass
a) It is necessary to accustom the faithful to receive Communion during the actual celebration of the Eucharist. Even outside Mass, however, priests will not refuse to distribute Communion to those who have good reason to ask for it.86 By permission of the bishop of the place, according to the norm of the motu proprio <Pastorale Munus>, no. 4,87 or by permission of the supreme moderator of a religious institute according to—the rescript <Cum admotae>, art. 1, no. 1, Communion may be distributed even during the afternoon.

b) When, at the prescribed times, Communion is distributed outside Mass, if it is judged suitable, a short Bible service may precede it, in accordance with the Instruction <Inter Oecumenici>, nos. 37 and 39.

c) If Mass cannot be celebrated because of a lack of priests and Communion is distributed by a minister who has the faculty to do this by indult from the Apostolic See, the rite laid down by the competent authority is to be followed.

34. The Way of Receiving Communion
a) In accordance with the custom of the Church, Communion may be received by the faithful either kneeling or standing. One or the other way is to be chosen, according to the decision of the episcopal conference, bearing in mind all the circumstances, above all the number of the faithful and the arrangement of the churches. The faithful should willingly adopt the method indicated by their pastors, so that Communion may truly be a sign of the brotherly union of all those who share in the same table of the Lord.

b) When the faithful communicate kneeling, no other sign of reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament is required, since kneeling is itself a sign of adoration.

When they receive Communion standing, it is strongly recommended that, coming up in procession, they should make a sign of reverence before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. This should be done at the right time and place, so that the order of people going to and from Communion may not be disrupted.

35. Communion and the Sacrament of PenanceThe Eucharist should also be presented to the faithful "as a medicine, by which we are freed from our daily faults and preserved from mortal sin";88 they should be shown how to make use of the penitential parts of the liturgy of the Mass.

"The precept 'let a man examine himself' (I Cor. 11: 28) should be called to mind for those who wish to receive Communion. The custom of the Church declares this to be necessary so that no one who is conscious of having committed mortal sin, even if he believes himself to be contrite, should approach the holy Eucharist without first making a sacramental confession."89 "If someone finds himself in a case of necessity, however, and there is no confessor to whom he can go, he should first make an act of perfect contrition."90

The faithful are to be constantly encouraged to accustom themselves to going to confession outside the celebration of Mass, and especially at the prescribed times. In this way, the sacrament of Penance will be administered calmly and with genuine profit, and will not interfere with active participation in the Mass. Those who receive Communion daily or very frequently should be counseled to go to confession at times suitable to the individual case.

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