Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kneeling for Holy Communion

Cardinal Arinze on kneeling, altar rails and the freedom of communicants and free turkeys h/t Fr Tim.

This s quite apposite in the light of the Pope's practice of giving Holy Communion kneeling and on the toungue.

Rorate Caeli has the following excerpt from an interview with Mgr Guido Marini, the Papal Master of Ceremonies:

In the recent visit to Santa Maria di Leuca and Brindisi, the Pope has distributed communion to the kneeling faithful in the mouth. Is it a practice destined to become usual in papal celebrations?

I think so. Regarding it, it should not be forgotten that the distribution of communion in the hand still remains, from a juridical viewpoint, an indult from the universal law, granted by the Holy See to those Episcopal Conferences which have made a request for it. The mode adopted by Benedict XVI tends to underline the force of the norm valid for the entire Church. In addition, a preference could perhaps be seen for the use of this mode of distribution, which, without eliminating anything from the other, puts into light better the truth of the real presence in the Eucharist, aids the devotion of the faithful, introduces with greater ease the sense of mystery. Aspects which, in our age, pastorally speaking, it is urgent to underline and recover.


nickbris said...

Without the Altar-Rails Father it could be logistically tricky,unless of course we have couple of kneelers.

Too late for most of the older people who left the Church when all these changes were made.

Anonymous said...

Rightly or wrongly and with all due respect to the lets be nice I am not allowing Holy Communion under both kinds this Sunday as we celebrate First Holy Communion,and in the hope of a deeper understnding of the the Most Blessed Sacrament I am raising the age rom 7-8 to 8-9.It is a nightmare,personally I do not believe that Pope St.Pius X would or could have forseen the the vulgar secularism of our society,.ffn

Anonymous said...

Is not the decision at what age FHC's are appropriate, the decision of the local bishop? Unless 'anonymous' is a bishop (highly unlikely) then I would have thought you should not be introducing such changes at your own discretion. If every priest did so then that would lead to a very confusing situation.
Secondly, surely communion under both kinds on such an important day better demonstrates a deeper understanding of the eucharist.

Fr Ray Blake said...

It is not the age but the ability to distinguish between the Body of Christ and ordinary bread that is crucial.
Quite what we mean by that, I don't know. It can't mean just an intellectual assent, or does it?

One of the great problems with catechesis in our diocese, BB, is it is programme driven, rather than fruit driven. Graduation from the programme takes the place of discernment.

Anonymous said...

I would say that is a very wise decision, anon. Communion under one kind only, automatically removes the "turn up for a communal meal" interpretation of the Holy Eucharist ; and deferring the age for a Sacrament which is meant to be the source and summit of our Christian lives is also emminently sensible in today's dumbed down spirituality. Good Luck to you. I`d go even further: My thoughts are that Confirmation and Holy Communion should be swapped round. First Holy Communion between 10 and 13 and Confirmation at 8. What`s the problem ? Seems more ordered to me.

Anonymous said...

It was great to hear this Cardinal speak and interesting to hear him mention that it is the norm to kneel for the Consecration.

I am curious to know why it is the custom in France to stand for the Consecration. Having attended many Masses there I have got used to this and find it just as reverent as kneeling.

A few years ago I attended Mass for the first time in the chapel of one of the Missionary Congregations in Paris. I remained standing after the Sanctus as usual only to notice that all those present of African descent had sunk to their knees leaving us Europeans standing! The congregation was divided in half in this way but I seemed to be the only one puzzled by this. When I mentioned this to a friend afterwards her comment was that it was acceptable to either stand or kneel in France during the Consecration - whichever seemed right - which surprised me having got used to standing at French Masses.

After Cardinal Arinze's comment I think I shall ask one of the Priests on my next visit to explain the standing/kneeling dilemma and why the customs differ in our two countries!

Anonymous said...

I never heard him speak before. He is very good!

gemoftheocean said...

Fr. Blake, don't forget in the Eastern Rite infants are also given Holy Communion once they are baptized. Even our western rite canon law does mention that children before the typical canonical age of reason (7) can be given communion if they are intellectually mature enough to understand it is Jesus rather than ordinary bread. And of course profoundly retarded people wouldn't be denied the grace of the sacrament.

Anonymous said...

i just find it amusing that 'traditionalists' are advocating deferring FHC since this is also advocated by many 'progressives'.
One diocese in E&W (?Archbishop Kelly, cant remember where exactly though) has changed their practice with First Communion & Confirmation conferred at age 9 (I think this is right). In the latin rite somewhere along the line we have transposed the order of these sacraments of initiation and the change of practice is an attempt to restore the original order (eg, as imposed for adults in RCIA). I believe this order is also common to the Eastern rites.
From my understanding, there was a lot of resistence from those of a more traditional bent to this change yet it appears to be the effect of what is suggested here.
Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

The real problem is, it seems, the change initiated by Pius X to letting children receive communion earlier and thus breaking the original order of sacraments of initiation. We should be confirmed before we receive first communion. That is why infants in the East can commune. And in America, at least, there are a few bishops who have restored the original order. I'm guessing nobody in England has done so?

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