Monday, January 28, 2008

Ranjith on Kneeling for Communion during the liturgy and Communion on the Tongue

New Liturgical Movements quotes in full the preface of a book, Dominus Est by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, where that Bishop analyzes the question of communion recieved kneeling and on the tongue.
The interest thing is the author of the Preface is Archbishop Ranjith of the Congregation for Divine Worship and it is published by the Vatican publishers Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Now I think it is high time to review and re-evaluate such good practices and, if necessary, to abandon the current practice that was not called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium, nor by Fathers, but was only accepted after its illegitimate introduction in some countries. Now, more than ever, we must help the faithful to renew a deep faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in order to strengthen the life of the Church and defend it in the midst of dangerous distortions of the faith that this situation continues to cause.
The whole may be read here


Physiocrat said...

Can we do that please ASAP. Queuing is undignified.

Could start with the servers on Sunday.

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

A very useful post from Fr. Ray.

Communion in the hand was, I remember, introduced in England in 1976 as a concession to local custom, when in fact it was an innovation.

The practice has undeniably led to a decline in reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, if not worse.

Many years ago, I was struck by the words of a middle aged woman with no great knowledge of Eucharistic theology.

She was dismayed at the idea of the laity handling the Blessed Sacrament, and then made this very perceptive observation :

"Of course, it's different for the priest. His hands have been anointed."

Very true !

I don't wish to sound pessimistic, but I do wonder how difficult it might be pastorally to discourage the practice after all these years.

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...


There remains the very real problem in many churches of unnecessary extraordinary ministers, including, I regret to say, laywomen, the sight of whom undoubtedly has helped contribute towards the general lack of reverence amongst Catholics today.

Paulinus said...

I undertook a wee spiritual exercise in Mass, yesterday. While adoring Our Lord as he made is home within me, I made a point of watching everyone receiving Holy Communion - praying for each person as they received and counting the numbers on tongue and in mouth. At the end I prayed for all those in Church who did/could not receive Communion and then widened the prayer to the whole Church and then to all those who needed my prayers.

I'm a relative newcomer to Communion on the Tongue, but will testify to its efficacy in bringing a change in my own perception of the Sacrament.

The proportion was about 40:1 (Hand: Mouth). There is much work to do for Archbp Ranjith

Bonnie said...

I love to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. However, I sometimes will opt not to when a member of the layity is the one distributing and they have seemed awkward or cross at me for making them come so close to my mouth. Too bad.

Side note - I also love when priests bless the baby in my womb after I receive.

Paulinus said...

Bonnie, that is absolutely scandalous that a lay minister of the Eucharist should be cross at you for receiving in the traditional manner. If they can't do the task without their unorthodox scruples interfering, they shouldn't be ministers.

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