Q&A Potpourri #10


Is the Eucharistic Prayer considered part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, or is it a separate rite?


The Eucharistic Prayer is considered to be part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Lately the Eucharistic Ministers have been permitted to return to their seats once they are finished distributing the Eucharist.  I thought they weren’t supposed to return to their seats until the priest dismissed them.

During the training that was recently conducted, the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion were instructed to return to their seats once they have finished distributing Communion and they have returned the vessels to the altar. Fr. John, Brett Ballard, and I are not aware of anything in the rubrics of the liturgy or in the theology of the Mass that would require the ministers to remain in the sanctuary (the area immediately surrounding the altar) once their job is done. The former practice can actually become a distraction because one’s attention tends to be drawn towards the crowd of people up front rather than towards the Eucharist that one has just received.


During Holy Week, are Catholics obligated to attend the Masses on both Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday?


You can celebrate Easter either by going to the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday night or by going to one of the Masses on Easter Sunday. You don’t have to do both.


If someone’s birthday falls on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday, are they allowed to have birthday cake?


I don’t know of a specific rule that applies to this. I think that, as long as you observe the fast that is required on those days (one regularly-sized meal, two smaller meals that if combined would not be greater than the one regular meal, no snacking in between), then you can have some cake for your birthday. It would simply be a part of your one regularly-sized meal.

Beyond the cake, another concern is the festive nature of most birthdays, which usually involve a party or some similar revelry. I think that such things are contrary to the spirit of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, which are solemn days with a very somber undertone. If your birthday falls on one of those days, you can either celebrate your birthday in a more subdued manner (for example, by simply having family and friends over for a meal and conversation), or you can move the celebration of your birthday to another day.

Peace of Christ to you,

Nicholas Hardesty,
WIMM Board Member
Director of Religious Education, Blessed Mother Catholic Church
Feel free to email your questions to nicholashardesty@gmail.com

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