Reflections on the Diocese Office of Worship Print this post

Staff Report


The Office of Worship of the Diocese of Venice has the responsibility to assist and advise the Bishop. However, in each Diocese it is the Bishop who is the chief liturgist, guiding the liturgical worship of the faithful.

Recently, the Diocese of Venice hired a new Director of the Office of Worship, Dr. Sean Myers, whose job will be to aid in the planning of major Diocesan liturgies. Further, he will review Diocesan policies and guidelines for the various liturgical ministries, prepare ongoing training, formation, and development opportunities for liturgical ministers in the Diocese, as well as compose a seasonal Liturgy Newsletter. The Office of Worship will be a resource for liturgical matters and questions and provide updates on important liturgical news.

Diocese of Venice Office of Worship Director Dr. Sean Myers.

Regarding liturgical news, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recently sent a letter to the Bishops of the world the request of Pope Francis.

This letter asks the Bishops to ensure that the bread and wine used in the celebration of the Eucharist meet certain standards. Quoting previous documents, paragraph 3 of the Congregation’s letter describes the requirements for the bread to be used at Mass saying, “The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition.” The letter adds that bread made from another substance does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament.

Additionally, the letter indicates that the wine used should be “natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances.” Essentially, the letter is asking that bishops ensure that the bread and wine used for the celebration of the Eucharist are truly bread and wine.

Further, the Congregation’s letter addresses the question of low-gluten and gluten-free hosts. On this topic, the letter repeats existing teaching on the question, reaffirming that gluten-free breads “are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.” Totally gluten-free breads may not be used for a Catholic Mass.

However, the Church teaches that both the Body and the Blood of Christ exist in both the host and the precious blood, and so, if you receive only from the chalice, you are not receiving an incomplete communion. Once again, if you suffer from a condition that prevents you from consuming gluten, you are encouraged to discuss the matter with your parish to see how they might be able to accommodate you, but know that in receiving from the chalice it is the same as taking the host.

But know the Church is sympathetic to the needs of those who are unable to consume gluten, however, She permits the use of low-gluten hosts for the celebration of the Eucharist. While they have very little gluten, if these breads continue to pose a problem, it may be possible for you to receive communion from the chalice alone.

About Dr. Myers
Dr. Myers started his new role on Aug. 1 and will be aiding in the planning of major Diocesan liturgies, as well as serving as a resource for liturgical matters and questions while also providing updates on important liturgical news.

Originally from a small town in southeastern Massachusetts, Dr. Myers attended the University of Dayton in Ohio, where he earned a B.A. in Religious Studies. For the past several years he lived in northern Indiana and earned a M.A. in Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He more recently completed his Ph.D. in Theology, with a concentration in Liturgical Studies.

He has held various teaching responsibilities in Theological and Religious Studies and recently moved to Venice with his wife, where “we are looking forward to exploring the region and to experiencing our first snow-free winter.”

Dr. Sean Myers can be contacted at 941-484-9543 or at

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