Holy Communion on Good Friday

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Comments

  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    If the parish is Anglo-Catholic how on earth did someone who is a hardline Protestant (because there's nothing liberal about opposing the reserved sacrament) get appointed? It sounds to me like a failure in the appointments process.

    It happens increasingly these days, sadly. Less confrontational clergy are often able to learn from what is for them an unfamiliar tradition, and in turn enrich and challenge it.

    I know many 'liberals' who don't see the point of the reserved sacrament but I can't imagine any of them being vehemently against it, especially on this special occasion.
  • I have encountered a liberal/Broad Church priest at an Anglo-Catholic US Episcopal parish who wanted to reform the parish in a more Protestant before, although he has since retired. I do not really understand why some progressive priests have a strong dislike for more catholic worship styles, devotions, etc. Maybe because they appear (although many Anglo Catholics would disagree) to emphasize too much of a distance between humans and the divine, and too much of a distinction between the ordained and non-ordained?

    In the US at least, conservative Anglo-Catholics are a pretty small voice in the Episcopal Church, and the traditional-Catholic-equals-socially-conservative association tends to only exist within the politics of Roman Catholic Church (where many liberal priests bristle at traditional worship for this reason). So I would expect liberals to have more of a bias against Evangelical Protestant styles of worship, because the US religious right, although supported by many in the Catholic hierarchy, still is largely culturally associated with Evangelical Protestantism.

    I would also expect Broad Church priests to be tolerant of different worship styles and different cultural traditions, as long as they are inclusive of women, all races, LGBTQ folk, etc.
  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    If the parish is Anglo-Catholic how on earth did someone who is a hardline Protestant (because there's nothing liberal about opposing the reserved sacrament) get appointed? It sounds to me like a failure in the appointments process.

    It often happens because there aren't enough catholic clergy - evangelicals abound. It is important to put in your paish profile something on the lines of 'We value the liturgical observance of Holy Week, especially the Triduum'.)
  • Chorister wrote: »
    Why would someone object to the Reserved Sacrament per se? I should think that all churches would find it extremely useful when trying to provide for additional services, eg. in nursing homes, or in large multi-church benefices, regardless of what happens on Good Friday.

    There are many who will accept reservation of the sacrament when it is for a specific purpose, such as sick communions – when it is being taken out to people who would be in the congregation except for sickness or infirmity.

    They would not accept reservation for no purpose and the consecrated elements being left around even if stored in the ambry just in case they are needed.
  • Indeed, and AFAIK Reservation is permitted in the C of E specifically for Communion of the sick, housebound etc., and any other use e.g. for Eucharistic Devotions or Benediction, is secondary (and perhaps allowed by default, as it were, even if not officially sanctioned).

    IJ
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    mousethief wrote: »
    Simply. Not. Done. in the Orthodox Church. The one day of the entire year when the Eucharist absolutely positively may not be served. Not even pre-sanctified. Nothing.

    (Tentatively puts hand up.)

    This might be true in the Byzantine Rite but it is certainly not universally true in Orthodoxy. In the Orthodox Church, Communion is most certainly received on Good Friday in some forms of the Western Rite, although the Mass itself is not offered.
    mousethief wrote: »
    Simply. Not. Done. in the Orthodox Church. The one day of the entire year when the Eucharist absolutely positively may not be served. Not even pre-sanctified. Nothing.

    Meaning that you have a Eucharist on Holy Saturday?

    No. In the Byzantine Rite, there is a Divine Liturgy that is combined with Vespers in the late afternoon of Holy Saturday. However, this is technically not a Holy Saturday service, as Vespers has already been served. Rather it is the first Eucharist of Pascha and is full of Resurrection themes. In my old parish, it served a useful pastoral purpose for many people (the sick, the elderly, families with young children, people relying on public transport) who might have found it a challenge to attend the night vigil service.

    In the Western Rite, similarly no Mass is offered until the Paschal Vigil, which is a service of the Sunday and not the Saturday.
  • All of which goes to show, perhaps, that Orthodox practice is not quite as standardised as some of us might suppose!

    IJ
  • I'm not sure what we can do about Fred. He has come from a very liberal congregation to a traditional Anglo Catholic parish and is just not fitting in. I get the impression he wants to 'fix' us. I'm not sure how we ended up with him and it would be sad if people left because of the changes he wants to make. I can but pray for some resolution.

    This is what you have Churchwardens for and Lay Ministers, to provide a 'go between' ministry which can call upon Rural Deans, Archdemons and if necessary Suffragan Bishops to knock heads together and reach sensible compromises or find compatible shaped holes for square or round shaped clerical pegs.
  • I've usually associated a disinclination to reserve the sacrament with low/conservative churches, rather than liberal-led places. The Church of Ireland in its typical low conservative character is a stranger to the term 'reserved sacrament' and an aumbrey in a CofI church is as rare as hen's teeth.

    But it always was and still is a custom for the clergyperson to take a little bit of 'leftovers' from the holy table on the Sunday (or a midweek communion) and then take it out to his/her home communicants. Even if it's just kept in the home communion box in the meanwhile, or the church safe or wherever. I think they just wouldn't normally call it 'reserved sacrament'. Things are changing though with the increase of imported clergy with broader experience.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    All of which goes to show, perhaps, that Orthodox practice is not quite as standardised as some of us might suppose!

    IJ

    Indeed, and there's no greater variety than during Holy Week & Pascha, even within a single rite. It's amazing how many customs that Greeks, Russians, &c will tell you have always been part of this service or that, but are to be found nowhere in any rubric because they are simply local customs that have become widespread - perhaps universal - in their home countries, even though there are places with just as rich an Orthodox history where the same practices are entirely unknown.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    I tried to edit but was too late:

    I'm at a Western Rite monastery now (restored Gallican tradition), and will be here for all of Holy Week. In our rite, there is no Communion on Good Friday but there is in Orthodox churches that follow the Roman Rite.
  • Lily Pad wrote: »
    Rhubarb, I can't imagine this fellow will last long there. Is this his first parish?

    I can't help but be amused at the thought of him needing to finish up the cup if he fills it presuming everyone will commune and then everyone stays put.

    Yeah, coming from a "low-church" background I was sympathetic with the guy, thinking it just a failure of communication or mismatched unspoken expectations-- until I read Rhubarb's description of his high-handed steamrolling over very clearly spoken expectations.

    Doesn't bode well

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you for the correction, Cyprian; we always called it a Holy Saturday service. I'm tempted to drive the 6 hours up and run in screaming, "It's not Holy Saturday!" next week. :wink:
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Climacus wrote: »
    I'm tempted to drive the 6 hours up and run in screaming, "It's not Holy Saturday!" next week. :wink:

    Oh, please do! Also, try to have someone record it. Also, please upload it to YouTube. You will have struck a blow for liturgical obsessives everywhere. This sort of thing needs to be documented.
  • Our evangelical Anglican parish will be having communion on Good Friday. I won't be going. I'll go to Evensong at another parish out in the sticks instead.

    I agree with those who say that rather than turn up and boycott the eucharist by not receiving, anyone who objects would be better staying away altogether.

    I despair at the appointments process in the CofE at times. Whatever happened to common sense?

    I've known of a 20 something year old earnest evangelical female priest appointed to a parish consisting of 8 old ladies and a dog and having a nervous breakdown ...

    I've known of a priest accepting an appointment thinking she was going to a fairly traditional Anglo-Catholic (but not anti-women priests) parish only to find that it was a highly liberal catholic one where they didn't appreciate her trying to up the ante on the liturgy (or anything else, such as basic Christian beliefs ....)

    Disasters all ways round.
  • BasilicaBasilica Shipmate Posts: 32
    I despair at the appointments process in the CofE at times. Whatever happened to common sense?

    I've known of a 20 something year old earnest evangelical female priest appointed to a parish consisting of 8 old ladies and a dog and having a nervous breakdown ...

    I've known of a priest accepting an appointment thinking she was going to a fairly traditional Anglo-Catholic (but not anti-women priests) parish only to find that it was a highly liberal catholic one where they didn't appreciate her trying to up the ante on the liturgy (or anything else, such as basic Christian beliefs ....)

    Disasters all ways round.

    It's pretty universally acknowledged that all parish profiles lie!
  • I suspect though I have not read parish profiles they are rather like pastoral profiles and that is they are economical with the truth without directly stating an untruth. That is they pick on the good bits and make a story up from that, that they think will attract a cleric (not the right cleric, any cleric). It is a subtle distinction but it really takes a good interim moderator and candidates ready to do some sussing out to actually find out what a church is like. Congregations with factions can be the worst of the lot as often one faction gets to write the profile.

    Jengie
  • Yup, I've encountered all that as a prospective minister, and not long ago!
  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    Some parishes get no applicants. Some others make do with what they can get.
  • Having recently written a parish profile I tend to think that those charged with writing them are put in an awkward position precisely because no parish wants to air all its dirty laundry in public, and even if they did it would be hard to write about because nobody would agree about what colour it was. Even if you put in phrases like "strong personalities" or "wide variety of opinions" you risk them being over-interpreted. As for being written by one faction, from my experience it's more likely that one poor sod has done their best and then others nodded it through relieved that they didn't have to write it! That said I'm reasonably happy with our profile (and if anyone is curious about it do PM me and I'll point you at it; and swear you to secrecy about my secret identity ;) )
  • Having recently written a parish profile I tend to think that those charged with writing them are put in an awkward position precisely because no parish wants to air all its dirty laundry in public, and even if they did it would be hard to write about because nobody would agree about what colour it was. Even if you put in phrases like "strong personalities" or "wide variety of opinions" you risk them being over-interpreted. As

    My most recent previous parish allegedly said in its profile that "it would help if the new priest had an interest in musical theatre." No danger of that being over-interpreted!
  • My most recent previous parish allegedly said in its profile that "it would help if the new priest had an interest in musical theatre." No danger of that being over-interpreted!

    No, not at all. :expressionless: :naughty:

  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    I suppose an "honest" parish profile would feature heartfelt comments from a variety of parish folks, from a longtime benefactor ("It's a parish with a solid tradition and gorgeous physical plant, so I'm pleased to give it lots of money, and I wouldn't object if my name were put on a new wing or something") to a former vicar or rector: "I wouldn't wish this parish on my worst enemy; it eats priests and ruins their lives." And a few in between.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Having recently written a parish profile I tend to think that those charged with writing them are put in an awkward position precisely because no parish wants to air all its dirty laundry in public, and even if they did it would be hard to write about because nobody would agree about what colour it was. Even if you put in phrases like "strong personalities" or "wide variety of opinions" you risk them being over-interpreted. As

    My most recent previous parish allegedly said in its profile that "it would help if the new priest had an interest in musical theatre." No danger of that being over-interpreted!

    I don't think the words exist to tell you how much I love this.
  • Oblatus wrote: »
    I suppose an "honest" parish profile would feature heartfelt comments from a variety of parish folks, from a longtime benefactor ("It's a parish with a solid tradition and gorgeous physical plant, so I'm pleased to give it lots of money, and I wouldn't object if my name were put on a new wing or something") to a former vicar or rector: "I wouldn't wish this parish on my worst enemy; it eats priests and ruins their lives." And a few in between.

    The problems with parish profiles are well documented and long standing. And yet we still have terrible ones and some awful appointments. Something has to change, surely. Bad appointments shatter the parishes and destroy the clergy and their families.

    (Of course, clergy CVs are not always 100% honest and upfront either)
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    My most recent previous parish allegedly said in its profile that "it would help if the new priest had an interest in musical theatre." No danger of that being over-interpreted!
    The mind boggles as to the circumstances in which that could be relevant. Was the liturgy carefully choreographed with the celebrant escorted to the altar by singing ladies with long limbs and either top hats or matching boaters?
  • Not so silly. Prospective Baptist ministers tend to get interviewed by the Diaconate (=PCC) and also in a congregational meeting. Well, one of the first questions I was asked at the latter before coming to my present church was "What part do you think you might play in the pantomime?" (It's a big thing in our church). And readers of the late Fred Secombe will know that he instigated Gilbert & Sullivan societies in each of his parishes.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    My most recent previous parish allegedly said in its profile that "it would help if the new priest had an interest in musical theatre." No danger of that being over-interpreted!
    The mind boggles as to the circumstances in which that could be relevant. Was the liturgy carefully choreographed with the celebrant escorted to the altar by singing ladies with long limbs and either top hats or matching boaters?

    Well, it was an Anglo-Catholic parish, so not far off...

    More seriously, the parish did have a tradition of putting on annual plays.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Some years ago, I read a parish profile that incuded the line 'We are looking for a Vicar with a hands-on approach'. You won't see that these days, I think; I wish I'd kept a copy.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I was once LCMS. In the church I grew up in and in the congregations I ministered to we never had communion on Good Friday. Maundy Thursday, yes. Easter, yes. Good Friday no.

    However, I would not say I was representative of other LCMS ministers.
  • Do RC and Orthodox shipmates (which, granted, have less liturgical wiggle room - even less so for the Orthodox I think) have any examples of a priest's liturgical sensibilities being considered in an appointment to a parish, either by the bishop or by any other advisors (including, possibly, the parish council) to the bishop or superior of a religious order (who I think has all the decision making power in those denominations - correct me if I am wrong) in making his decision?
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    We went through a few priests. Clearly a tough parish.

    Liturgical norms were dictated by the parish council from what I remember, though there is really no high or low Orthodoxy: just some slight variations in spoken/sotto voce or how many Psalms are ready on the Holy Saturday day service or such things. Incense and processions are not optional.

    But I recall very little variation between priests...but perhaps I am not well travelled enough.

    Personal fit was a bigger decider. Although I believe the Archbishop has the say.
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    Well, communion occurred on Good Friday although the service seemed a bit disjointed. Sadly, after the service, I was upbraided by some people (including the minister) for just staying quietly in my seat and not taking communion! I chose not to respond to their criticisms, but it was upsetting.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Oh dear! Sorry to read. Hope you are feeling better. I believe you had every right to be upset.

    When I was a better Christian than I am now I used to miss many Eucharists, often as I felt unprepared or my mind wandered or whatever impediment I determined happened. I was never asked about it, unless it went in for longer than a month, and it was pastoral, not upbraiding.

    And members of the congregation commenting! Look to yourself, first; were they taking a roll call?

    :angry:
  • rhubarb wrote: »
    Well, communion occurred on Good Friday although the service seemed a bit disjointed. Sadly, after the service, I was upbraided by some people (including the minister) for just staying quietly in my seat and not taking communion! I chose not to respond to their criticisms, but it was upsetting.

    Well, understandably. How dare they question you on the subject. Run like hell from that church whilst you have the chance.

    IJ

  • rhubarb wrote: »
    Well, communion occurred on Good Friday although the service seemed a bit disjointed. Sadly, after the service, I was upbraided by some people (including the minister) for just staying quietly in my seat and not taking communion! I chose not to respond to their criticisms, but it was upsetting.

    No one is ever entitled to criticize your decision not to take communion in any circumstance whatsoever. Your pastor might want to ask why you refrained out of a pastoral concern, but that assumes that he has a good pastoral relationship with you, which is clearly not the case.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    Exactly. There have been a few occasions when, for various reasons (possibly connected with me being in A Bad Mood), I've refrained from taking Communion at Our Place.

    IIRC, no-one has ever asked me why....though they may have asked me if I'm feeling OK or not, which is quite a different (and much more sensitive) approach.

    IJ
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Chiming in to say I agree. He was insensitive to have imposed a different tradition without proper consultation and he has no business in your decision. Likely he won't last long there. What a bully!
  • On reflection, and I know we're not really supposed to criticise unduly the actions of an unknown priest, but, like Columba, I find the reaction of others in the congregation much more disturbing.

    WTF (please to excuse language) is it to do with them whether anyone decides not to receive Communion?

    If rhubarb's church has a posse of 'thought police', ready to jump on anyone not conforming to their ideas/prejudices (delete as applicable), then all the more reason to discreetly withdraw.

    I know whereof I speak, although (by the grace of God) certain people of that ilk did indeed withdraw themselves from Our Place, moving to the local RC Church to inflict themselves upon an unsuspecting congregation there...

    IJ
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    In our invitation to the Table, we often say something like, "We invite all to share, whether you are a member of this church, another church, or none. But if,. for any reason, you prefer not to, please pass the bread and wine to the person next to you and no-one will think ill of you". (We use little cuppies and passed-round bread, of course).
  • Well, we say something along those lines, inviting those who wish to do so to receive Communion, and those who wish to receive a blessing to come to the altar as well.

    The implication is therefore that those who wish to do neither are welcome to remain in their place, though it is my personal practice, if I am acting as liturgical Deacon, to invite etc. whilst sharing the Peace (which we do in the RCC position, just before Agnus Dei and Communion).

    IJ
  • IereusIereus Shipmate Posts: 22
    In Eastern Orthodox churches that follow the Byzantine Rite, there is no Divine Liturgy on Holy and Great Friday. We celebrate what are called Vesperal Divine Liturgies on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday mornings. The latter service is called in Greek Proti Anastasi or First Resurrection, and we wear white/gold vestments, but is not considered Pascha or Easter. In most of the year, Vespers begins the next ecclesiastical day, however Lent and Holy Week are exceptions.
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    This year there is to be communion on Good Friday, but the minister has announced that it will be optional. However, he has told all the choir, servers etc that he expects us to fall into line with his wishes and take communion. I might just stay home.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 2019
    EH? WTF (scuse langwidge) is it to do with him? Whether or not anyone receives Communion is between him and God.

    But.....it's Good Friday, so don't stay at home. Is there another church you could attend - one with a pastor, rather than a petty tyrant?
    :rage:
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    If this is an Anglican church it looks like another example of bad liturgical/pastoral/spiritual formation on the part of the clergy. (It might be that if it's not Anglican of course but I would refrain from commenting if so). Sadly all too common nowadays.

    Restoring the communion of the people (presumably from the reserved sacrament) on Good Friday is IMHO a good thing. But it is not and never can be compulsory. As Bishop's Finger says, what is it to do with him?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    edited April 2019
    mousethief wrote: »
    Simply. Not. Done. in the Orthodox Church. The one day of the entire year when the Eucharist absolutely positively may not be served. Not even pre-sanctified. Nothing.
    That works for me.

    When I was very young, it was explained to me that, just as the disciples believed that they had lost their Lord forever that afternoon, on Good Friday we do not receive. (The one exception was for those on their deathbeds.)

    Then they started having communion from the reserved sacrament. It is my practice to go to the rail, but to cross my arms and receive a blessing instead. (I wouldn't even go up to the rail, but I'm in the choir, and it messes things up if someone stays behind.)


  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited April 2019
    My training minister said that he did not receive Holy Communion on Good Friday because he observed it as a fast day. But he said that it was perfectly acceptable for people to receive it because St Paul said that, 'For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes' (1 Cor 11: 26). And proclaiming the Lord's death on Good Friday is quite correct.

    What I would like to know is whether receiving Holy Communion conflicts in any way with fasting since theologically it is not food but the body and blood of Christ?
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    Today the choir decided that we would not take communion and sang anthems while the congregation took the sacrament. We received a long stare from the minister, but that was all. Maybe the reprimand comes later.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 2019
    Gosh - that must have been a Very Early Liturgy!! (Or are you in the Antipodes?) :wink:

    Still, full marks for standing your ground. If an Official Reprimand comes your way, make sure it's in writing, so that you can show it to your Bishop :angry: :wink: (but perhaps not.......).

    As others have said, refraining from Communion on Good Friday is a perfectly acceptable practice, and this is clear from the provisions of the CofE.

    As it happened, everyone received today at our Liturgy (bar two young lads, not yet confirmed), but there was NO pressure, either way.
  • Rublev wrote: »
    My training minister said that he did not receive Holy Communion on Good Friday because he observed it as a fast day. But he said that it was perfectly acceptable for people to receive it because St Paul said that, 'For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes' (1 Cor 11: 26). And proclaiming the Lord's death on Good Friday is quite correct.

    What I would like to know is whether receiving Holy Communion conflicts in any way with fasting since theologically it is not food but the body and blood of Christ?

    Our visiting preacher today (a retired Anglo-Catholic priest of some repute) said (in answer to a similar question) that it was his practice, formerly, to fast from midnight on Maundy Thursday (i.e. the close of the Watch of Prayer) to 4pm-ish on Good Friday (his previous parish holding their Liturgy at 3pm). He further remarked that any Fasting or Abstinence practised by Christians should be a JOY, not a BURDEN.

    Receiving the Sacrament did NOT conflict in any way with this practice, neither did the eating of food by diabetics, and others on strict medication regimes.

    Given that our Liturgy ended at 1pm, he was quite OK with eating Hot Cross Buns afterwards (and he is, in any case, now on medication himself....).

    IIRC, Muslims exercise a similarly pragmatic approach to Ramadan.
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