DEAR ABBY: In a recent column, you wrote that only practicing Catholics may receive Communion in a Catholic service. That is not entirely correct, Abby.
Canon law allows members of the Orthodox churches, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Polish National Catholic Church to receive Communion during a Catholic service if they choose to take it. -- CATHOLIC READER IN BOSTON
DEAR READER: Thank you for pointing it out. I suppose it's time to drag out the old wet noodle, because mail poured in from readers pointing out that Communion is a sacrament practiced by many Christian denominations, not just Catholics.
The person whose letter I was answering had written that she was a non-Catholic who, at her Catholic grandfather's funeral in a Catholic church, had been urged by a family friend to approach the altar and take Communion. It was my understanding that only someone who has been to confession -- and is in a "state of grace" -- may partake of Communion in a Catholic church without its being sacrilegious. However, I did not communicate my thought clearly. Mea culpa!
When visiting a house of worship, whether it is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bahai, etc., if you want to be absolutely "correct" in your deportment, the wise thing to do is check beforehand with the clergyperson. For questions regarding the rites and sacraments of the Catholic Church, consult the chancery of the local Catholic diocese or archdiocese and someone can provide the correct information.
DEAR ABBY: A couple of months ago, I got a call from an ex-boyfriend's attorney informing me that he had passed away. He said that I'd been left something in "Luke's" will, and told me the date, time and place of the reading. A close friend and I attended.
I was flabbergasted to learn that Luke had left me a ring that had been in his family for years. At the reading, I also found out that he had married and had two sons and a daughter.
My problem: Luke and I dated back when I was 18 and very immature. (I am now 32.) I knew at the time that Luke was head over heels about me, but I was not at all serious about him -- and I let him know it from the beginning. Our relationship ended badly.
I don't believe I deserve this ring. I talked it over with a couple of friends. One says I should keep it because Luke wanted me to have it. Another thinks it would be a good idea to give it to his wife. But she was extremely offended that he left me the ring in the first place. What do you think about this, Abby? And if I do decide to give her the ring, what is the most considerate way to do it? -- UNDESERVING IN ARKANSAS
DEAR UNDESERVING: It would be interesting to know what was going on in your ex-boyfriend's mind when he decided that the ring should go to you. It appears that you always had a piece of his heart that he was never able to reclaim.
Because the item inspires guilt in you instead of pleasure, it might be better if it remains in Luke's family. Feeling as she does about the situation, his wife may not want the ring for herself. However, it would be gracious to offer it back, explaining that because it's a family heirloom, his daughter might like to have it when she's grown.
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