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Father Serge:

Father bless!!

So many Latins get so worked up over First Communion as some kind of "rite of passage" that has little to do with receiving Our Lord that I have to relate my son's "First Communion."

I used to go to a different parish than our own on Saturday evenings when I had to work funerals on Sunday. One particular evening I took my son who was seven but who was in the first grade--because of his birthday and the way he had to be enrolled in school.

At this parish the priest used to ask me to act as a reader because he didn't have many of his own. This night I told him I couldn't do it because I had my son with me and couldn't leave him in the congregation alone.

Well, Father told me to have him vest and he could sit with the altar servers. So he did.

Now Nicholas had been agitating for the chance to make his First Communion. He kept saying that he wanted to receive Jesus; that he knew full well what the Blessed Sacrament was about; what the Mass was about; and he wanted to receive Jesus.

What happened this particular night, though, was that good old Nicholas picked up the third server's paten, got in line with the other two at Communion time, and put the paten under his chin as Father went by. So he received.

You've never seen someone so ecstatic after Mass. It's all he talked about all the way home. He couldn't wait to tell his mother--who didn't share his enthusiasm because of her own too rigid upbringing--and his classmates. The priest apologized because he thought I might be upset--which I was not. I told Father that this was the answer to Nicholas' constant prayer and nagging.

The bottom line, though, was the joy in his demeanor that night and for so long afterward. I'll never forget that as long as I live.

BTW, he misses no chance to receive to this day--even through his university years when so many young people give up the active practice of the Faith--and his life still revolves around the Eucharist. He's 29. I thank God every day that He gave Nichoals to me as a son.

In Christ,

BOB

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Originally Posted by theophan
So many Latins get so worked up over First Communion as some kind of "rite of passage" that has little to do with receiving Our Lord that I have to relate my son's "First Communion."
I'm not at all 'worked up' over First Communion as a rite of passage. Rather, I'd like to respect and obey the authorities to which I've submitted myself and my family in the Latin church, and thus my children will receive in the prescribed manner.

Thanks for relating the story about your son. It's nice to hear about people his age who've not given up practicing the faith. You must've done something right smile

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I sent the following question to a local Eastern-rite priest:

Quote
I have one more question, and this should be the last: I have 4 children, and none of them have reached the age of First Holy Communion in the Latin church. Would they be permitted to receive the Eucharist in the Melkite church, or do they have to adhere to the way it's done in the Latin rite?


Here's his response:

Quote
First Communion is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation and must be recorded in the Parish Ledger of the Church where it occurs. You may have your children chrismated and communicated in the Byzantine Church and it will be recorded there or you must folllow the system of the Latin Church. You should not present your children for Communion in the Byzantine Church and then later have them make "First Communion" in the Latin Church.

It looks like I would have to have my children chrismated in order for them to receive. Does this sound accurate?

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djrakowski,

Are you going to Our Lady of Redemption in Warren?

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
Are you going to Our Lady of Redemption in Warren?

That's the one, Neil! It seems like a fantastic parish, and I'm looking forward to my visit. I wish I had time to join them next Wednesday for the feast day.

Dan

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Dan,

I think you'll enjoy Father Archimandrite Philip (Raczka). He's a very likeable individual.

Many years,

Neil


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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
I think you'll enjoy Father Archimandrite Philip (Raczka). He's a very likeable individual.

I've been corresponding with Fr. Eric, and he seems likeable as well. I'm sure I'll enjoy everything about it.

Dan

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There is a question that is on my mind. As per general statements, we would usually be of the thought that Byzantine-Rite churches administer communion using a spoon. However, as I was reading off this website http://east2west.org, something caught my mind:-

Which tradition is older, receiving communion by the hand onto the tongue or by dropping it into the mouth from a silver spoon, like some Eastern rites do?

"In most of the Byzantine Churches, communion is administered from a spoon because the Body is soaked in the Precious Blood. From a practical perspective, a spoon is necessary. In the Melkite and Maronite Churches, the Body is dipped into the Precious Blood, and dropped into the communicants mouth by the priest or deacon's hand."

While it would be common knowledge for the Maronite churches to do so, do Melkites administer communion like how the Roman Catholics do? By hand? This is very new so I just had to ask.

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Many Melkite clergy prefer to administer Holy Communion by intinction - the Priest takes a small Particle of the Holy Body in his fingers, partially immerses the Particle in the Precious Blood, and sets the Particle in the open mouth of the communicant. This appears to have begun in the nineteen-thirties, although folk legends attempt to put it earlier.

Fr. Serge

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Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
This appears to have begun in the nineteen-thirties, although folk legends attempt to put it earlier.

Father Serge,

Bless, Father.

Father Cyril Korolevsky, of blessed memory, in his history of the patriarchate, documents it as the praxis in the mid-19th century as I recollect. I'll try and dig it out tomorrow and see what the circumstances were connected with it.

Many years,

Neil


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Its now no wonder that many Latin Catholics, like myself, consider the Melkite Church... :p... Byzantine-Rite, with Latin-Rite (almost) way of administering Communion. I love it even more! :p

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Originally Posted by Collin Nunis
Its now no wonder that many Latin Catholics, like myself, consider the Melkite Church... :p... Byzantine-Rite, with Latin-Rite (almost) way of administering Communion. I love it even more! :p

Actually, many of the Eastern Catholic parishes administer this way (although, most are not "supposed to")..

The Maronites, Malankarites, Malabarites, Syrians, and Chaldeans use the Latin hosts and administer by intinction.. I wonder if this practice is what keeps them from using the proper Eastern bread.. don't most Melkite parishes bake their own prosphora? How do they intinct in this manner with that kind of host?

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Melkites use leavened bread. They cut it into little squares, dip the Body in the Blood, usually touch the Body back against the remaining ones to catch any drips, then place it into the communicant's mouth.

[And if anyone complains that the bread and wine are now both the Body and the Blood, I'd like to see you compose that sentence in a grammatically clear and theologically correct manner without resorting to Prince like explanations (the Body and Blood formerly known as bread.)]

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Was that meant to be a joke? I like the Prince part though. Good stuff. Must send to priest.

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Couturier, who taught liturgy at the Melkite seminary of St Anne in Jerusalem, says in his Course on the Greek-Melkite Liturgy (1929, vol. III, pp. 192f) that the dipping of the Body of Christ into the Precious Blood had already become general practice in his time.

He implies there were two drivers for this change: (i) getting closer to canon 101 of the Council of Trullo (691), from which the usage of the spoon had taken us away; and (ii) that many of the faithful were staying away from communion, having a great reluctance for receiving the holy mysteries from the same spoon as everyone else.

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