Passing vessels

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: As always, thank you for your blog. 

I cannot find any mention in any liturgical book (or on your blog), positively or negatively, as to whether a concelebrating priest can give ciboria to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, whether a deacon is present or not, and whether or not the Eucharist is to be distributed under both species (to anyone other than the deacon).

Going by , it would seem that the general principle that concelebrants fulfill the deacon’s role in his absence would implicitly allow concelebrants to help in this way, at least in the United States under whatever specific circumstances that part of that document applies to. But other than that…

What do you think? What if anything have I missed in the liturgical books on this?


A: You probably won’t find that bit of information. The GIRM does not include many instructions pertaining to communion ministers, so that gesture probably falls into a dead spot.

However, tou can tell from GIRM 242 and 246, for example, that concelebrants may pass vessels from one to another at communion time. So passing a vessel lies within their competency—The action is not restricted to the presider or deacon.

I would say a concelebrant may pass vessels to the communion ministers not because he acts in the absence of a deacon but because he is a priest concelebrant.