Monday, August 21, 2006

Collections: For Men Only?

An e.mailer tells an interesting story....
I attended midday mass on The Feast of the Assumption of Mary at a parish in Manhattan that has a long-standing reputation for being “liberal.” When the time came for the collection, the celebrant (one of the pastoral vicars of the parish) noticed that there were no ushers and asked for volunteers to take up the collection. Two women rose from the pew they were sharing and started walking toward the back of the church to gather the baskets with which the collection is taken up. Noticing the two women, the priest said, “No, no; we should have some men do this. It’s a male ministry.” The two women seemed quite embarrassed and quietly sat down while two men quickly volunteered to take their place.

I have many recollections of women taking up the collection during mass, both at this “liberal” parish and at others. Does the letter of church law indeed prohibit women from taking up the collection? Is it common for women to be prohibited from taking up the collection at conservative/traditional parishes?
Responses welcome.