GUIDELINES FOR LAY ADMINISTRATION OF HOLY COMMUNION IN NURSING HOMES, INSTITUTIONS, HOSPITALS OR AT HOME
1. The administration of Holy Communion, apart from the normal gathering of the faithful in the Church, should be linked to the main parish Eucharist on Sunday, as a general rule.
2. Lay Administrators of Holy Communion should be carefully selected and trained and subsequently licenced by the Bishops.
3. A suitable pyx for the consecrated elements must be used.
4. The intended recipients of Holy Communion who are unable to be in the Church must be contacted, and have given their consent, prior to the day when the Sacrament will be brought to them.
The sacrament of Holy Communion must be taken without delay to the recipients following the parish Eucharist. The proximity in time is important to symbolize the reaching out of the gathered Church to its scattered members, within the context of the Eucharistic meal.
6. At the parish Eucharist, the lay administrators shall be requested to announce the name or names of those to whom they will be carrying the sacrament, in order that the shut-in members may be included in the concern and prayers of the congregation.
7. The form of service to be used for the administration shall include the following elements, unless the health of the communicant requires a shorter form:
a. The peace - a mutual greeting.
b. The reading of the Gospel.
c. Prayers, including an expression of penitence, a prayer for forgiveness such as the collect for the 21st Sunday after Trinity, and the Lord's Prayer.
d. The administration of the sacrament.
e. Thanksgiving and the "grace."
8. If any of the sacrament remains after the administration of communion, the lay administrator should immediately and reverently consume all that is left over before proceeding on his/her way.
GUIDELINES FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF HOLY COMMUNION BY A LAY PERSON, FROM THE RESERVED SACARAMENT, IN THE ABSENCE OF A PRIEST
1. A Bishop may give permission to a lay person to administer Holy Communion from the reserved sacrament when there is no priest present at a major festival or for a period of more than one month's duration.
2. Adequate explanation and instruction must be given to a congregation before the practice of administration of Holy Communion by a lay person in the absence of a priest is initiated.
3. The reserved sacrament must always be kept in a safe place under lock and key.
4. The celebration of the Eucharist requires a priest to be celebrant. A lay person must never conduct a Eucharist even if parts of the service are omitted. This causes confusion and misunderstanding.
5. An appropriate time for the administration of Holy Communion by a lay person would be after the third collect at Morning or Evening Prayer. An expression of penitence must precede Holy Communion unless such a prayer has been part of the former service. Thanksgiving should follow the act of Communion.
Moved by Bishop Tonks
Seconded by Bishop Payne
That these Guidelines be made available to Bishops, if they so desire, with a commentary by Bishop Parke-Taylor, for discussion at the next meeting of the House.
That these Guidelines be made available, with a commentary by Bishop Parke-Taylor, for discussion at the next meeting of the House.
"There is no question that communion received from the reserved sacrament at a celebration of the eucharist is true communion. The question is whether it is appropriate. (Food consumed from a private supply at a banquet may be nourishing, but the banquet loses something of its symbolic value as a celebration based on common sharing -- as St. Paul was quick to note.) Abuses spring from small violations of the integrity of liturgical acts; they cause much misunderstanding and are reformed only with pain and difficulty.
The purpose of reservation is always to extend the eucharistic celebration to include in its communion those who cannot be present for the whole. The eucharist is an event; it is not a mechanism for confecting the sacrament as though it could have an existence apart from the event. Reservation extends the event.
Perhaps the best form of reservation is that which was proposed by the first Prayer Book and is now commended by `The Book of Alternative Services': the sacrament is taken directly from a celebration of the eucharist to communicants who are unable to be present. .... The reserved sacrament should always be treated with reverence, but that reverence should not be allowed to expand into a piety which eclipses the purpose of reservation i.e., communion. At this point the historic Anglican critique of reservation remains valid".
"That the report of the Committee on Lay Administration of Holy Communion be received and its recommendations reading as follows, be adopted:
"That any bishop may permit a deacon or any other authorized person in his Diocese to take the Holy Communion to sick persons in homes, hospitals or other institutions and, in areas of sufficient need, to administer the reserved sacrament at regular or special services of the parish, where the bishop considers such ministry is necessary.'"