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Hi, I am Eliza, a refuge from CAF where I am Eliza10. I did not want to get banal answers on this important question (plus I am phasing out of that forum as they keep erasing my comments. I think I would fit in better if I was just more banal. I can be banal, just not when I am talking about Catholic things. So I guess I am not a good match. I have hope that Trad Caths will understand my question about what to do about my weird encounter at Mass.. 

Last week my husband and I went to daily Mass at our local parish and a new priest was there subbing for our usual speed-Mass priest. 

At the beginning of Mass he good-morning'ed and talked about himself. He said he is the latest newly-retired priest, that he is 75 [good thing he explained because with his full head of black hair I would not have guessed at ALL from my view 2/3rds back] , has been a priest all over, and he is now living in the nearby town he grew up in... He had a very polished presentation of the Mass with his very polished voice and the homily was a nice long personal story related to the feast day, also told in a very polished way.

I am thinking: "He has told this many times before - it's too well-told for daily Mass) and he gave his homily, nicely animated, standing in the aisle because "it looks like you all like to sit way back here"... 

Okay, it was too much personality for me, as I personally feel a bit repelled with the "personality-forward" style, but I am trying not to pay too much attention to what I don't like, and focus on the Mass. I can get distracted, so I have to try. But I am thinking, "Is that a rug, or dye? One can't have hair that dark at his age. And his hair is so tidy! When I see his face up close I will know"... but I am also making myself tune back into what he is saying.  Trying to be appreciative, because I think he wanted/needed that. Sometimes I feel when i am in an audience I just happen to be a noticeable person. Like, if I feel unappreciative, I also look it. So I tried to think appreciatively, while really just wanting to focus on the Mass, which is not so easy (for so many reasons in a Novus Ordo Mass, which is another reason i signed up here, people won't mind me complaining.) And now I think: "The only indication I see of his age is something slightly slow about the pace or pauses." (The latter might factor in with what follows).

When we rushed up to communion (that's what they do at this church), my husband was first, and there did not seem to be any comunion-taking issues there. All seemed normal. 

Now when I take communion (by mouth), I do not look at the priest. That is my habit. I never polled anyone on what I should do, or got particulars on how to do it. My RCIA priest/teacher in 2000 seemed reluctant to advise me - he just said there were two ways to receive, and I needed to think about and decide how I would. With no one to tell me what I should do, I realized by-mouth feels more reverent, even though I cringed at the thought of standing there, mouth open and being fed. But what was more important, my feelings or being reverent? The answer was obvious. And I was sure I would get over my self-consciousness, eventually (in actuality getting over it took a long time! But it was worth it.). And I made that decision for God, so I am not reversing it. Ever.

So I approach, and in spite of my curiosity to solve the hair mystery, I was not going to comply with my impulse to look over the priest up close, not even steal a glance. No, I would practice my usual way of receiving: look at the host ONLY. So I approach, look at the host, say Amen, and open my mouth and close my eyes. And NOTHING HAPPENS.  Since I am still a bit squeamish about standing there with my mouth open, I wait for what soon is too-long for me, and open my eyes to see if it's on it's way yet. No! It's still in the SAME position, in his hand, perched over the cup - and it's not getting any closer!  I pause, gaze at the host, wait - nothing.  And having ruled out looking at his eyes (or any priest's), without pre-thinking this unexpected situation, I actually LEAN FORWARD and TAKE IT OUT OF HIS UMOVED HAND WITH MY MOUTH!!!

It seemed the thing to do at the split-second weird moment, but all I could think afterward was "Whaat did I just DO?? I leaned forward and grabbed it with my MOUTH?? What was that?" Odd!! Really, really odd. This priest could be back. He could be there tomorrow for all I know.

So that is my question for you all. What WAS that?? 

The only explanation think I can think is that since he is such a polished personality, that he feels he should make a personal connection with everyone, and here i was resisting him after he put forth effort to be friendly and likable. So felt personally insulted that I did not look him in the eye, and he was going to wait until he was personally acknowledged BEFORE he gave me the Eucharist. And maybe I instinctively knew that, and I took it myself since i was not going to satisfy that. It seems wrong now, to me, to look. It's a Jesus moment, not a meet n'greet.

But I don't want to do the "take it with my mouth" thing again. Next time, i think I will just stand with a gaping mouth for however long it takes.

Also, I am thinking of asking my husband, after he receives, to look back instead of returning to his seat and see how it goes. What do you think?  

And can anyone think of any other reason this would happen??
(06-30-2019, 11:08 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]Also, I am thinking of asking my husband, after he receives, to look back instead of returning to his seat and see how it goes. What do you think?  

And can anyone think of any other reason this would happen??

I have seen this before when people kneel to receive the blessed sacrament in their mouths.  Priests will refuse it to them until they stand and hold their hands forth.

Perhaps it was to enforce communion in the hand?
I guess I don't know how to quote on this forum yet.

My husband took communion before me with no problems so it wasn't that. It seemed deliberate. I think it was lack of eye contact. Do you give eye contact with the priest instead of the host? I don't know what other people do. I asked my husband what he does, and he said, Fr.[speed-priest] seems to like eye contact.
(07-01-2019, 12:22 AM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]I guess I don't know how to quote on this forum yet.

My husband took communion before me with no problems so it wasn't that. It seemed deliberate. I think it was lack of eye contact. Do you give eye contact with the priest instead of the host? I don't know what other people do. I asked my husband what he does, and he said, Fr.[speed-priest] seems to like eye contact.

I really don't receive communion that often.  Our priest here does not confect the sacrament except in the host for his own communication.  It seems to my recollection when I do receive the sacred species that my eye contact goes to both the host and the priest.

I don't believe it's morally wrong to look at the face of the priest, or to make "eye-contact", but it's not necessary, either.  You might simply write a letter to him to ask what's up.  As long as you put a return address on the envelope, priests generally read the correspondence sent to them.  I'm sure he'll remember you if you describe the occurrence, as it was certainly strange.

-- Nicole
But where do you live that your priest doesn't give communion??

I want to say that I definitely am NOT saying there is anything wrong at all with eye contact with the priest. It's just MY discipline to make myself focus on the reality of the Eucharist.  I feel that it is my choice how I receive communion.

Writing a letter is good, but probably finding some way to do it in person is best. After Mas a woman from the way back went into the sacristy and it sounded like a "welcome, thank you" conversation.  Maybe next time I should go back there and greet him and sincerely ask him if I offend him in any way, the way I receive communion.
(07-01-2019, 12:40 AM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]But where do you live that your priest doesn't give communion??

I want to say that I definitely am NOT saying there is anything wrong at all with eye contact with the priest. It's just MY discipline to make myself focus on the reality of the Eucharist.  I feel that it is my choice how I receive communion.

Writing a letter is good, but probably finding some way to do it in person is best. After Mas a woman from the way back went into the sacristy and it sounded like a "welcome, thank you" conversation.  Maybe next time I should go back there and greet him and sincerely ask him if I offend him in any way, the way I receive communion.

I live in the USA. 

Sure it could help to speak face-to-face.  I didn't know if that would be an opportunity given to you.  If it's going to take more than a few minutes, though, you may consider making an appointment to speak with him during the week.
Yes, i will have to see if he even shows again. Though I think he might. We get enough subs, andheis local.

Not fishing for an exact location, but I am confused. Are you in a very remote place? I am in the USA too (northeast) but I have never heard of a place that did not have weekly consecration, and usually daily.
I think your behavior reminded him of Who is truly present, and he felt a kind of awkward shame.
(07-01-2019, 01:00 AM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]Yes, i will have to see if he even shows again. Though I think he might. We get enough subs, andheis local.

Not fishing for an exact location, but I am confused. Are you in a very remote place? I am in the USA too (northeast) but I have never heard of a place that did not have weekly consecration, and usually daily.

No, not a remote place at all.  Just regular old Kansas.  We have daily Mass and at least three Masses on the weekend.  Our priest simply does what he wants.
(07-01-2019, 12:39 PM)yablabo Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-01-2019, 01:00 AM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]Yes, i will have to see if he even shows again. Though I think he might. We get enough subs, andheis local.

Not fishing for an exact location, but I am confused. Are you in a very remote place? I am in the USA too (northeast) but I have never heard of a place that did not have weekly consecration, and usually daily.

No, not a remote place at all.  Just regular old Kansas.  We have daily Mass and at least three Masses on the weekend.  Our priest simply does what he wants.

Still trying to imagine this. I asked my husband about what you wrote about the priest who "does not confect the sacrament except in the host for his own communication"

He said you "must be going to some place where the priest is just saying masses for the dead or something like that. It's most unusual to be attending a mass that is not being offered publicly."

That makes sense. Because if you went to Sunday Mass at a normal parish, offered for the public, and the priest just confected for himself while everyone just sat and watched, SOMEONE would say "Um, don't We get to partake of the Eucharist, too?"

So where you take communion must be different somehow. Not just your local diocesan parish, right?

Also I never met a practicing Catholic who did not go to Mass most every Sunday and receive Jesus in the Eucharist. I assume some don't because they can't. Maybe you are homebound?
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