From the Pastor’s Desk – Big Change!!!: Change of Communion Procession at St. Vivian Church

Since arriving at St. Vivian, I have noticed that the way you have done communion here at Sunday and weekday Masses is very unconventional. I am, of course, referring to the fact that communicants here at St. Vivian begin processing from the back pew instead of the front pew, and walk up along the sides of church instead of up the center aisle. I realize there are historical reasons for this pattern, and that you have done this for a long time. Nevertheless, having heard the various reasons and theories for this practice, I do not find any of them of sufficient weight to continue this unconventional pattern. Therefore, beginning this weekend (the first weekend of September), at all weekend Masses, we will follow a new communion pattern:

Communicants in the main body of the church will walk up the center aisle in two rows, beginning with the first pew, and circle around to return to their seats along the sides of church. In the “L”, the communion minister will begin by distributing Holy Communion to those with special needs in the front pew, then to those in the chairs in the front of the smaller seating section. Next, beginning with the first pew of the smaller seating section, communicants will come forward from the smaller seating section. Then, turning left, they will return to their seats by circling around the large section of seats in the “L”. After the smaller seating section is finished, communicants from the large seating section of the “L” will come forward out of the right side of the pew (toward the center), beginning with the front pew, and circle around the large seating section to the left to return to their seats.

At weekday Masses, we have already begun this new pattern. If it seems strange to people at first, I am confident that everyone will very quickly adjust to this new pattern. Thank you for your cooperation!

-Fr. Umberg