Designing the Communion Rite: A Parish Process

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Steffes, Mary Jo
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
From a pastoral point of view, the problem here was that of encouraging the parish’s ownership of its communion rite in order to encourage an ever-growing response to God’s offer of life in Christ. This plan attempted to address the problem by drawing upon the gifts of the community, engaging many persons in the process of reflecting upon the implications of eucharistic life, and ordering the rite to make it as meaningful and comfortable for the community as possible. The project called for an examination of the parish’s current practice by members of the staff and liturgy committee, using the tri-polar method of theological reflection. In a series of meetings over the next several months, the group would proceed to examine each part of the communion rite and plan for the implementation of communion under both kinds within the new design. This group would also assist the staff in planning for parish catechesis and in the training of volunteers. After implementation, the staff, liturgy committee, and other ministers involved would engage in another reflection process as part of the project evaluation.