Philip Leckenby wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have noticed a lot of churches having a service of Word and Communion on weekdays.

I am aware some are opposed to this and others are not. I am also aware that from time to time, things can happen in parishes that are not always strictly in line with Canon Law, the rubrics in the liturgical books, etc. so, I would like to know what the Church's official policy is regarding services of a Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of Communion.

I suspect this apostolate is U.S.-based but I don't live in the USA so wondered if there could be another dimension to this. It isn't a case of one rule for all from the Holy See but whether individual episcopal conferences make rules for their territory.

Indeed, typing that last part even leaves me wondering if the decision is down to each diocesan bishop.


  { What is the Church's official policy regarding Word and Communion services? }

A friend, Anonymous Andrew replied:

Dear Philip,

Yes, as you've noticed, some parishes do offer a Service of the Word with distribution of Holy Communion from time to time.

The conditions for conducting such services are described in this 1988 document:

. . . issued by the Holy See, from the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Vatican department in charge of liturgy.

These services are regulated by the diocesan bishop, and the US bishops' conference has issued a book of guidance for Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest; these may be led by a deacon or (lacking that) an authorized layman.

In the U.S. at least, they can also be offered on a weekday if the parish has no scheduled Mass on that day, though the procedures in that Sunday book would not all apply.

Some guidance on weekday celebrations in the absence of a priest is online at the US bishops' web site:

I hope this helps!

With best regards,


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