Pita Bread for Mass?

Feisty Catholic blogger Katrina Fernandez, known as The Crescat went to her beloved Grandmother’s funeral Mass only to be humiliated and embarrassed by the priest when she went to receive communion. She writes about the experience here and she ain’t happy.

Katrina is a courageous single Mom who struggles to make ends meet. She was not only upset by the death of her grandmother, but being a more traditionally minded Catholic she was not happy that her grandmother’s funeral–which should have been a solemn and dignified Mass was cheapened by what she perceived as the priest’s casual style. She advises readers to give the parish in question a complete pass….

But of course, feel free to completely ignore my advice if you like your tabernacle located near the church office, absolutely love ginormous burlap banners, and simply loathe kneelers. Perhaps you find it charming and personable that the Sign of Peace last twenty minutes long because the priest likes to walk around and shake everyone’s hand. How friendly, right?

Maybe those stodgy, formal processions aren’t your thing either and you like a little a warm up how-we-doing-this-morning routine before you get down to mass-y business.

Then she observed that the priest was using a pita bread from the supermarket for communion. If you’re not a Catholic you might not realize that this is a no-no. The bread used for communion is supposed to be made from just wheat flour and water. It’s supposed to be unleavened bread. This means it has no yeast. Pita bread is made with yeast.

What?! This is a Catholic priest. Okay. I’m always one for giving people the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know the person and I wasn’t there, but pita bread? Really?

There’s not much a Catholic priest really has to be in the know about. In fact, bottom line is there are only three things he has to really be able to do: celebrate Mass validly. Hear confessions validly and anoint the sick validly. But he can’t get this right? Is it possible that he doesn’t know the need for proper matter for a Mass to be valid and licit?

So why the pita bread? Does he think it’s cool because this is, “Y’know. Middle Eastern bread like Jesus used.” Did he see the Jesus of Nazareth movie where Jesus used pita at the Last Supper? Did he just run out of the usual bread and have to nip over to the supermarket? Was this simply one of those dated hippie masses with pottery vessels, polyester vestments, felt banners and lots of hugs?

I can’t figure this out. This is the “pita God that passes all understanding.”

It gets worse.

Katrina is traditional in her views and she likes to receive communion by opening her mouth and allowing the minister to place the consecrated bread on her tongue. This is perfectly permissible and many Catholics believe it is preferable. However, it’s also fine to receive the Body of Christ in your hand and then put it in your mouth.

When Katrina went forward to receive communion the priest forced his own preferences on her. Continue Reading.

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