Distribution of Communion © Sebastian Widmann (KNA)
The archdiocese of Paderborn informs in a study day about so-called "Word of God" celebrations without priests. To the 1. Advent 2017, Archbishop Becker had enacted a diocesan law that allows such services to be held on Sundays as well.
Under certain conditions, trained lay people can distribute communion, as the archdiocese announced. The new arrangement, which takes into account the declining number of priests, was tested for a year in the Warburg pastoral area. There, on 18. The "Sanctify Sunday" study day will be held in March.
Pastor makes decision
Accordingly, a characteristic feature of the Warburg model is that a communion helper brings the consecrated hosts from a Mass celebration celebrated at the same time into the Liturgy of the Word. "We are, metaphorically speaking, extending the communion rail from the church where the Eucharist is celebrated to the church where the Liturgy of the Word is celebrated," explained Father Gerhard Pieper, head of the Warburg pastoral area. This is now also possible in other locations of the archdiocese, it was reported.
The decision on the introduction of Word of God celebrations on Sundays and holidays is made by the pastor in consultation with his team and the committees, the archdiocese continues. An application to the archdiocese is no longer necessary; however, the archbishop and the responsible dean should be informed.
For rural regions
The new arrangement was reportedly created to allow believers in rural areas to attend services more frequently at their local church. They of all people would be affected by the decreasing number of priests. If there were only Sunday services once or twice a month in a parish, there would be a fear of smaller parishes dying, explained Stephan Lange of the Pastoral Services Department, who accompanied the model project on the part of the Vicariate General. The new regulation was intended as a contribution to the preservation and revitalization of the smaller parishes.
The study day starts at 10.30 o'clock in the parish church Sankt Elisabeth Rimbeck with a word God celebration after the Warburger form. Afterwards the topic can be discussed with trained leaders of Word of God celebrations.