20 October 2008

Neglected Rubrics, Part Whatever

from Visiting the Sick and Distressed (Lutheran Service Book Agenda, page 48):

It is appropriate that the pastor receive the body and blood of the Lord with the sick or distressed person, together with those present who have previously been admitted to the Lord's Table.

'Nuff said.


Lutheran Lucciola said...

There's something I never thought about. But yeah, why wouldn't a pastor?

John Rutz said...

I know the force of "may" rubrics and of "must" rubrics. What is the force of an "it is appropriate" rubric?

It seems more a "may" than a "must". Is that right?

Mike Keith said...

A couple years ago a pastor asked me if I received Holy Communion when I was visiting the shut ins. I answered "no." He looked at me funny. He didn't have to say anything. From that point on I have communed with the people I visit.

Rev. James Leistico said...

I can't remember the exact event that triggered it, but I think it might have been at PALS (with this strange Eucharistic-praying, Piepkorn-quoting, bald-headed facilitator) where a comment was made that prompted me to think, "Wait a second. What is it I am giving to my shutins and why am I not communing with them?"

LuLu, my congregation tells me that when they were kids, they never saw their pastors commune. It has to do with not receiving the gifts of God from your own hand, but from that of another. So the pastors communed at Circuit and District Meeting Divine Services. (And PALS in SID in the early 2000s. But that's another story, since PALS wasn't around back then, and not every group of newbie pastors gets to have a certain P-Dub for their facilitator.)

Rev. Jim Roemke said...

It has always seemed like a no-brainer to me. Christ's body and blood are there for sinners, I am a sinner, please let me have it. My shut-ins have never taken issue with it and I think it is an important aspect of the Eucharist to do it with someone else. How sad is an individual Eucharist? IMO as sad as the individual cups.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I came to it this way. No one should commune (seemingly) alone. If I visit a shut-in, I commune with them. Communion isn't just an individual thing, it is a Body of Christ thing - and that should be shown forth.

Also - when don't I as a Pastor need it?

Pr. H. R. said...

I believe the "Old Missouri" custom of the pastor not communing at shut-in visits comes from the "Old Missouri" anti-clericalism: the pastor communicating himself is just "too catholic."

I was fortunate to fall into an area where good Lutheran practice had a foothold - so the people didn't really bat an eye when I followed the ancient custom of the celebrant communicating all the communicants. In fact, one good ol' boy even said to me: "I'm glad you don't have the elders giving out communion any more. I never thought they had the right to do that."

There is, I think, within the hearts of the faithful an inbred understanding of AC XIV.


Anonymous said...

I didn't come to "Missouri" till I was 30 years old. I never saw my Pastors "at home" [ALC] commune themselves, and they did not use an Elder to assist.
So the custom of not communing themselves was more prevalent than just "Missouri".

I'm glad for a Pastors only chancel! But some pewsitters seemingly cannot spare a few extra minutes for that, and there are those...jiggers...to be handled, too!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this up. Would using non-preconsecrated elements constitute "private mass"? If so, would using preconsecrated elements overcome this thing which is condemned in our Confessions?

William Weedon said...


I wouldn't think that using unconsecrated elements would make for a private mass - the intention is to communicate the person in need, rather than for the pastor to celebrate with himself as sole communicant (that's what the Symbols condemn).

The use of elements from a previous service has both advantages and disadvantages. As you no doubt noticed, I did not commune myself when using elements from a previous Eucharist. The reason being that I already communed at that Eucharist. But I no longer observe the practice of bringing consecrated elements to the sick and shutins for the simple reason of that breakin a few years back when the elements were desecrated. We seek to follow traditional Lutheran practice in consuming the reliquae, and consecrating in the presence of the person receiving. This particular rubric (which, as John noted, is neither may nor must technically, though I think leans toward the may) suggests that it is fitting to receive the Sacrament with the person being communed in special circumstances.