Print Edition: Nov. 16, 2014
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As for getting and keeping the lines moving, I grew up in a ‘high church’ Episcopal (Anglican) parish. There was rarely more than one priest, and he ALWAYS administered Communion in both kinds. Hence, one would kneel at the altar rail and wait as the priest brought the host, remain kneeling after he had administered the host to everyone kneeling and returned to the altar to bring the chalice, then wait again as he administered the chalice to everyone. Those extra minutes of kneeling at the foot of the altar, waiting for the bread and wine to arrive were moments of profound contemplation. On major holidays the process of administering communion could easily last twenty minutes or more. Everyone understood, and no one complained. The current standard of standing in line to receive in one kind pales sadly in comparison, especially that kneeling to receive tends to be frowned upon, and not only by people behind you in line. But for the fact that I have come to believe that the Episcopal communion is empty bread and wine, while Catholic Communion imparts the Real Presence of Jesus’ Body and Blood, the kneeling and waiting would be the richer experience. Rushing the process borders on sacrilege.
Please keep our Eastern Catholic traditions in mind. In the Eastern Catholic church, which is in full communion with the See at Rome, Communion is administered with a gold spoon. Communion in the Eastern church makes use of cubes of leavened bread, which are in the chalice along with the wine. Why leavened bread? He is Risen, so is the Bread. I am serious.
jon? When will you be declared a saint?
I would like to order more copies of your “Why (and How) series, but can’t seem to find where to order! Our priest would like copies, and we have a Shrine where I would like them available!
John, okay, exactly where does it say on your knees is an icon of the past. In fact, our last pope required all folks to receive on the knees and on the tongue. So you, John, are more aware of the rubrics than the most recent pope? Reception on the knees and tongue, as I recall, is the universal norm of the church. Receiving standing and in the hand is a mere indult, IE, permission that can be taken away at any time. And by the way, I’m still looking, but show me where it says the altar rails need to be taken away. We are body and spirit. Conforming our body, by dropping to our knees and opening our mouths to feed on the bread of angels, transforms us. Our body can speak back to us by how we use it, wisely or un-wisely. Plus, I cherish the Eucharist, the body, blood, soul and divinity so much, I would never even want a microscopic crumb on my hands, then to fall on the ground. Never. Anathama. My Lord and My God.
Communion on your knees & altar rails are icons of the past and, besides, if there are many people in line the priest will like to get & keep the lines moving. Perhaps if many churches that have one or two priests, aside from the one who will be doing the mass, having confessions before Sunday mass will bring more people to Sunday mass. If there is one or many people whom will want to have Sundays as a day of rest & have mass done for their Sunday obligation, they can go to Saturday vigil.
Jon—methinks you are either speaking tongue-in-cheek, or (I hope not) don’t understand Confession. (Hint, it isn’t about shame).
However, if it truly isn’t a problem for you, the unnamed woman in John 8 would have been a gone goose.
Confession is only useful if you feel ashamed of yourself and/or what you do. Not a problem for me.
Altar rails and communion on the knees too. My Lord and my God.
Communion on the tongue.
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