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Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church

Posted By: DTBrown

Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 05:37 AM

I just had a question about the status of the restoration of infant communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church:

What is the current status of infant communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church? Is there a standard practice that has restored infant communion in Ukrainian Catholic parishes? Or, is this more of a parish by parish (or eparchy by eparchy) decision? If infant communion has been restored in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, when did this occur?

If I've formulated my question wrong, I apologize. I was in discussion with someone recently on this and this question came up. Thanks!
Posted By: countertenor

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 05:45 AM

My daughter was baptized, chrismated, and received communion as an infant in a Ukrainian Catholic Parish, and all the infants/small children at the divine liturgy received communion as well, but that's all I know.
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 05:54 AM

I believe the Instruction on the Implementation of the liturgical provisions of the CCEO mandates the restoration of Holy Communion for infants and small children.

Most of my people are straight from Ukraine; nobody has ever blinked at the administration of Holy Communion to infants and small children, nor is Bishop Hlib surprised by the practice.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: DTBrown

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 05:56 AM

Thanks, Father. I know in the late 90s in Arizona it had not happened yet. Does anyone know if it's standard in the US in Ukrainian Catholic parishes?
Posted By: Our Lady's slave

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 07:27 AM

It does not happen in Scotland either , but I can't answer for the rest of the UK
Posted By: Diak

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 05:36 PM

In the Eparchy of St. Nicholas (which includes Arizona) I know of no parish that refuses infant Communion nor has in at least the last decade. Neither Fr. Hugo Soutus nor Fr. Andriy Chirovsky will refuse any infant Holy Communion.

Infant Communion is the normal practice in the UGCC, and all of the two or three commonly used books for Initiation mention the practice of communing the infant. The local Eparch, the Synod, and even Rome through the Instruction has mandated this practice.
Posted By: babochka

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 05:46 PM

This is an interesting topic to me. Because the Ruthenian parish in which I grew up (early 70s) practiced infant Communion, this became the norm in my mind and I was unaware that it was done any other way in Eastern churches. I had no idea that the practice was not universal until fairly recently.

For those jurisdictions that have not restored infant communion, why not?

Elizabeth
Posted By: Diak

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 05:51 PM

I likewise have never belonged to nor visited a UGCC parish that did not practice infant communion in my lifetime.
Posted By: Herbigny

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 06:07 PM

Alas in my experience most UGCC parishes I am familiar with have "First Communion" when the child is older. In other words, despite the best theology and official (or quasi official) mandate, there is often only Baptism and Chrismation and no Holy Communion at Baptism. Then when they are older they have First Holy Communion. So we've a ways to go yet

This is such an ingrained thing that even some (most?) of the "good" (reformed) churches that have restored infant communion, still have what they call "First SOLEMN Communion" (at the age of First Communion)- and they make a big deal of it with those poofy wedding dresses for the girls etc. (Why is this one more "solemn" than the Holy Communion partaken last week?)

Personally I think they should replace that with "First Confession" - and you can still make a big deal of that with parties and presents.
Posted By: Diak

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 06:18 PM

All of the hierarchs in the US have mandated infant Communion. The newer immigrants come over expecting it. I don't know why the "Solemn Communion" thing exists - even as a transitional thing to eliminating references to "First Communion" it creates misunderstanding. This is not relegated to the UGCC as I have also seen this done in a Melkite parish.
Posted By: smarkatch

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 07:21 PM

i've seen it as: First Holy Confession, First Solemn Communion, etc. etc. just go to your local card-shop and try to buy a card for one of those occasions!!!!

in any case, my 7-month-old and 3-1/2-year-old commune with me and/or my wife regularly in any of the UGCC churches we go to (we have two "home" parishes, and then the parish i grew up in in NJ; also at the SSMI pilgrimage in Sloatsburg it was perfectly normal). one thing i feel funny (uncomfortable) doing is sending my older son by himself, if i have not prepared myself for receiving Eucharist on that particular morning. last Sunday i saw my wife's relative send her 4-yr-old daughter by herself at the NJ parish.

good? no good? i'm not sure about this one.......
Posted By: theophan

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/13/09 11:26 PM

Quote
. . . i have not prepared myself for receiving Eucharist . . .


Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

Why not? Think of the lesson you are giving your son each time. It isn't easy, but one thing my own son--now 31--has remarked about was seeing his father praying and preparing for what I've always said was THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I will do in a week or in a lifetime: meeting the Lord in this most intimate way and receiving Him no matter how poor my preparation has been--distracted as it may be.

BOB
Posted By: Pavel Ivanovich

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/14/09 12:04 AM

The Melbourne Eparchy is still doing First Communions. We have an awful long way to go in getting into line with a number of directives on Eastern Churches put out in Ukraine and Rome. frown

cool
Posted By: Irish Melkite

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/15/09 02:42 PM

Originally Posted by Diak
I don't know why the "Solemn Communion" thing exists - even as a transitional thing to eliminating references to "First Communion" it creates misunderstanding. This is not relegated to the UGCC as I have also seen this done in a Melkite parish.


The most recent issue of Sophia features a page of text and 2 of photos focused on the "2009 Eucharistic Awareness Program" at the Melkite Cathedral. Call it what you will, it sure looked to be 'First Solemn Communion'.

See pages 7-9 Ten Little Angels.

Notably, an article on page 17 of the same issue focuses on "First Reconciliation" at Our Lady of Redemption Melkite parish in Warren, MI.

Many years,

Neil
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/15/09 02:53 PM

It's really very simple: the power of a bishop is nothing as compared to the power of the babas and yayas. They want to see little Euphroseniye dressed up in a bridal gown, and young Demetrius in a monkey suit, and they will not be denied.
Posted By: Alice

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/15/09 03:07 PM

Dear Neil,

I think the 'angels' all look very nice, and it probably makes them feel very important within the church family for that day. smile

It seems that this is a very ingrained tradition in the Melkite tradition (?)... Is there partaking of the Eucharist from infancy as well, or is this indeed the first Communion?

Alice
Posted By: Slavophile

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/15/09 09:15 PM

Quote
I don't know why the "Solemn Communion" thing exists - even as a transitional thing to eliminating references to "First Communion" it creates misunderstanding. This is not relegated to the UGCC as I have also seen this done in a Melkite parish.


My children receive every week. But seeing as my daughter is approaching 'that age', and seeing all her friends at the Roman Catholic school she attends undertaking preparation for their First Holy Communion, it could be helpful for her to think of herself as reaching a landmark. It's just that, for her, the landmark happens to be her first confession.

That is certainly how our priest wants her to think about it.
Posted By: Leo XIII

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/15/09 10:16 PM

Infants and small children regularly receive communion at my UGCC parish in Northern California.
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/15/09 11:12 PM

As is my usual practice, today I communicated several young children. No one complained; no one even remarked upon it.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: dochawk

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/15/09 11:45 PM

Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
As is my usual practice, today I communicated several young children. No one complained; no one even remarked upon it.


We do it every week, multiple times. I manage to weasel the cloth to their chins, and Father manages to pour a bit in to the younger. I can only think of on infant that has offered any resistance.

Today it took a bit of effort to turn the heads of the very young ones we baptized, chrimated, and communed last week so that Father could get to their mouths, but . . .

OTOH, we have a handful of small ones who have never been communed and are blessed each week.

And Father does do some preparation of those who are old enough to understand, but have already been baptized, before communing & chrismating.

hawk
Posted By: Irish Melkite

Re: Infant Communion in the Ukrainian Catholic Church - 11/16/09 06:58 AM

Originally Posted by Alice
Dear Neil,

I think the 'angels' all look very nice, and it probably makes them feel very important within the church family for that day. smile

It seems that this is a very ingrained tradition in the Melkite tradition (?)... Is there partaking of the Eucharist from infancy as well, or is this indeed the first Communion?


Alice,

No, this is not an ingrained tradition. Since the time of Archbishop Joseph's installation as the second US exarch, back in 1969, infant communion has been the norm. However, during the decades prior to that, when latinization was rampant, infant communion was relatively uncommon.

I can't say with certainty, but I believe most, if not all, of these children were communed as infants. To my mind, however, the focus here was not truly their first reception of the Mystery of Reconciliation, but a faux 'First' Communion - 'First Solemn Communion' - whatever one chooses to call it. In truth, the biggest enthusiasm for such appears to be on the part of the newly immigrated, moreso than those who have been here for several generations.

Many years,

Neil
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