You may have read last weekend in Carmel that we are looking to refine some of our procedures at Mass for those who are taking communion to the sick.
Communion of the Sick is one of a number of rituals that form the Church liturgical document Pastoral Care of the Sick. It also includes the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, as well as Viaticum (which translates to “food for the journey) – the final communion one receives before passing from this life.
As the name suggests, the whole purpose of Communion of the Sick is to ensure that those who are too ill to participate in Mass with the community are not denied the Body of Christ. It is a very practical an important way of our parish serving those that we know are in need. It provides the sick person with a continued link with their parish community, and helps them maintain a bond with the rest of us who are all parts of the Body of Christ.
Last weekend, a display was prepared in the parish centre to explain our refined process. You may recall us having a similar system in years past, and it is timely for us to return to this. The restored process at Mass, therefore, will look like this from now on:
- A card will be available from the parish centre to complete, telling the priest who you are taking communion to (and, therefore, how many hosts you need), as well as who you are (the minister)
- You place your completed card with your pyx on the altar before Mass as usual
- After communion, you will be asked to come forward to collect your pyx. You will be given a copy of the gospel reading of the day to use as part of your ministry of communion to the sick. You will also be sent forth with our warmest greetings and prayers for the sick person.
In this way, we as a parish not only acknowledge your important ministry, but are made constantly aware of those people who are unwell and cannot be with us. Aware of this, we pray and hope that the time will soon come when they return to our midst.