Stole for communion

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thanks, Paul, for your April 10 post.  I asked the priest MC who serves my bishop the same question of putting a stole when receiving Communion.  His response is below.  What do you think?

Clarification can be found in Peter Elliott’s Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, wherein (page 62, question #175), he says: “The M.C. may wear an alb, but choir dress may seem preferable, to distinguish him from servers. A priest or deacon acting as the M.C. wears a stole only when receiving Communion or during duty at the tabernacle.” He does cite a reference in the Ceremonial for Bishops (#36), which says that a deacon could be vested, even in dalmatic, when acting as an MC .  Other occasions that help to bring a bit of clarity are on Good Friday when priests who are not celebrating the liturgy would typically wear cassock/surplice and put on a stole when distributing Communion.


A: Bishop Elliott does not always ground his views with citable evidence, so some of them look more authoritative than the rubrics suggest. (I have to be careful of the same!)

In a previous post, a follower found a reference to a bishop in choir dress putting on a stole to give himself communion on Good Friday (CB 327). I think that’s different from an MC receiving communion from another minister and from doing duty at the tabernacle. I’m not sure why the MC and not a vested minister for Mass would be going to the tabernacle anyway. 

As I’ve mentioned, I read CB 36 to mean that a deacon vested for Mass may also act as an MC, not that a deacon MC may suddenly vest in a dalmatic and stole at communion time. 

Regarding non-presiding priests wearing a stole for distributing communion on Good Friday, I think that if they will have such a function within the liturgy, then they could wear a stole throughout—but not the chasuble. But that’s an opinion without citable evidence.