Question on distribution of the Eucharist
#1
Interesting situation here that may end up being a two-fold MagisterMusicae question.

I have a relative who attends a relatively small parish in a largely non-Catholic area.  Due to the shortage of priests, they have to share a priest between 3 parishes in the city, which obviously ends up limiting the number of Masses that can be offered at any of the 3.  The regular priest went to be with his gravely ill mom and another priest from a different parish, but the same diocese, was scheduled to offer Mass at my family member's parish.  This priest got stuck in heavy traffic, then got times and locations confused, and so arrived at the wrong parish, which is roughly 30 minutes away from my relative's parish.  Long story short, my relative shows up expecting to attend Mass, yet no one is available to offer Mass.

My first question is: can EM's be used in this situation?  In the case above, there were already consecrated Hosts.  When I was in the military, I was a field EM, issued a pyx, and was permitted to offer the Eucharist (obviously consecrated pre-deployment) to Catholic members of my unit in the event no priest was available.  Could the same logic apply to EMs at the above parish, so parishioners could receive Communion?  Granted, my case was a situation where we may not see a priest for months, as opposed to having a Mass scheduled for the next day.

Next question: given the scarcity of priests in the above parish, only two Masses are scheduled each weekend there; one on Saturday evening, and the 2d on Sunday morning.  If I am only able to attend one of the two for a legitimate reason, for example work schedule or transportation (older parishioners who rely on others to get around) and arrive with the honest intent of attending Mass in a state of grace, but the Mass is not offered as mentioned above (no fault of my own), does that fulfill my obligation to attend Mass?

Thanks in advance.
-sent by howitzer via the breech.

God's love is manifest in the landscape as in a face.  - John Muir

I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you clear remembrance of the Creator.  A single plant, a blade of grass, or one speck of dust is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in beholding the art with which it has been made  - Saint Basil

Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads. - Thoreau, Walden
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#2
While I certainly wouldn’t begrudge a priest for going away to be with his mother, I am reminded of all those French and Irish priests of bygone days who left their families behind to serve in the United States and Canada, and never saw them again. We need priests these days who are of that same self-denying cloth. These aren’t my thoughts on what that particular priest should or should not have done, but more of a reflection on the priesthood in general.

As for you missing Mass, you made a sincere effort to attend Mass, so you’re ok. Any culpability rests with the priest who got the schedules mixed up, not you, so pray for him. An honest mistake is an honest mistake, but that is a huge one to make. A half-hour trip to the wrong place wastes a lot of time and gas, but most importantly causing people to miss Mass is extremely serious. It’s also the sort of thing that gets people upset very quickly, and the calls to the chancery will probably come soon.  Hopefully this will be a gentle but clear lesson for the priest to take extra care that he is in the right place at the right time.
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#3
Also, EMs should not be used in that occasion unless it is a planned “communion service.”  Even then, I don’t think that’s a good idea. It would be best to simply pray one of the hours of the Divine Office.
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#4
This, unfortunately, is another sad side effect of St. Pope Pius X's well-intentioned reforms. There's a reason why the Church requires Communion during the Easter season, and that's because people weren't receiving it even then. While that needed to change, the emphasis on daily Communion, combined with the lack of proper catechesis over the past 50 years, has led people to think Mass = Communion, and that every time you go to Mass, you have to receive. If more people stayed in the pews, we wouldn't have "Communion services", and maybe we wouldn't be talking about Communion for the adulterous, since they wouldn't be going to Masses where they feel singled out since everyone else is going up. When you receive something once a year, or maybe every few months, it's special; when you receive something all the time, it starts to feel common and routine, and receiving Our Lord should never be that.

Regarding the second situation, no, it does not fulfil your obligation, but if you can't make it to another Mass at another parish (and, traditionally, an hour's travel was considered reasonable), then you're dispensed from the obligation.
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#5
As to your first question:

I am an EMHC and I perform an Eucharistic Ceremony at a nursing home on the off Wednesdays when the Priest (like today) cannot attend. It is certainly only a 'stand in' ceremony and not anywhere near the importance and graces one receives at Mass. I bring the Consecrated Hosts from my Parish for the Ceremony and I attend to those who are bedridden and unable to attend and that goes for after the Mass as well. I do a special bedside ceremony "For in an Institution' for those people.

I hope that helps.

As for the second question, I'll leave it for those with better skills than I...like, just about anyone hereabouts.
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#6
It looks like you've received answers to your questions, so I'd just like to add, thank you for your military service.  :)
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#7
My first question is: can EM's be used in this situation?  In the case above, there were already consecrated Hosts.  When I was in the military, I was a field EM, issued a pyx, and was permitted to offer the Eucharist (obviously consecrated pre-deployment) to Catholic members of my unit in the event no priest was available.  Could the same logic apply to EMs at the above parish, so parishioners could receive Communion?  Granted, my case was a situation where we may not see a priest for months, as opposed to having a Mass scheduled for the next day.

In this case if the priest is not coming then EMs would likely be ok.
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#8
Next question: given the scarcity of priests in the above parish, only two Masses are scheduled each weekend there; one on Saturday evening, and the 2d on Sunday morning.  If I am only able to attend one of the two for a legitimate reason, for example work schedule or transportation (older parishioners who rely on others to get around) and arrive with the honest intent of attending Mass in a state of grace, but the Mass is not offered as mentioned above (no fault of my own), does that fulfill my obligation to attend Mass?

If you show up for mass on Sunday or a day of obligation and there is no mass and you are unable attend another one then you have fulfilled your Sunday obligation.
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#9
So, the communion service is for use in extreme circumstances when there's no other option available; pre-planned and approved by the pastor, in essence. Thanks all for the responses! :D
-sent by howitzer via the breech.

God's love is manifest in the landscape as in a face.  - John Muir

I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you clear remembrance of the Creator.  A single plant, a blade of grass, or one speck of dust is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in beholding the art with which it has been made  - Saint Basil

Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads. - Thoreau, Walden
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