Monday, December 15, 2008

A Sign of Things to Come?

For those who are concerned about how the Church is to move forward in its public worship, eyes are looking towards the new Prefect of the CDW. Rorate Caeli carries this extract from an interview with him. The words of Little Ratzinger mirror exactly the words of Ratzinger Magnus in The Spirit of the Liturgy, and the practice we see at Papal Masses when the Holy Father gives Holy Communion.
In an interview granted this Sunday to Spanish daily La Razón, the new Prefect of Divine Worship, Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, had this to say on an important liturgical matter:

[La Razón:] Nevertheless, Benedict XVI has reiterated in some instances the propriety of receiving communion kneeling and in the mouth. Is it something important, or is it a mere matter of form?

[Cañizares:] - No, it is not just a matter of form. What does it mean to receive communion in the mouth? What does it mean to kneel before the Most Holy Sacrament? What dies it mean to kneel during the consecration at Mass? It means adoration, it means recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; it means respect and an attitude of faith of a man who prostrates before God because he knows that everything comes from Him, and we feel speechless, dumbfounded, before the wondrousness, his goodness, and his mercy. That is why it is not the same to place the hand, and to receive communion in any fashion, than doing it in a respectful way; it is not the same to receive communion kneeling or standing up, because all these signs indicate a profound meaning. What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God, and that is what the Pope wants.

Is this important?
I think this is tremendously important there is a grave danger of the Pelagianisation of the sacraments and the liturgy, of stripping them of their divine content, of making them merely about "us" rather than an occasion of Grace.
In every area of its being the Church needs to recapture the idea of Grace.


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

This is very important. The exterior signs are reflective of an interior reality. Things are looking bright for the future.

George said...

'What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God'....

EXACTLY!!!!! Wooooo Hoooooo!!!!!!

Isn't that statement just so blindingly obvious and yet we have come so far in the 'spirit of V11' over the last forty-some years that few Catholics would seem to understand just how profound this really is.

We need to go back to basics and acknowledge God as our Creator. It seems that the less faith we have the less we esteem Jesus, and the more faith we have, the less we esteem ourselves. As Jesus rises, we sink in the scale of our estimation. Of course not holding ourselves in high esteem these days is highly un-popular.

Perhaps this is why so many find it hard to bend the knee for the Consecration or receiving Holy Communion??? I simply don't know.

Please let this be just a foretaste of great things to come from this good Cardinal.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

How do I as an ordinary catholic,who wishes to receive in the proper manner,do so ,without drawing attention to myself?
I have mentioned that I would like to do this,but was offered no solution.I felt like some old relic
living in the past!

Anonymous said...

This attitude toward the personal preferences of the reigning Pope poses grave ecclesiological problems for the Western Church (ie Roman Catholics). It is almost unique in history -- and would even embarrass Pope Pius IX at his most 'centralizing' of Papal Authority and Power.

gemoftheocean said...

Then if form is that important, I expect all the priests at Mass, except the celebrant to recieve kneeling and on the tongue too. Or is it only the priests who can "understand" the Eucharist if they don't recieve from the priest's hand.

[I want to slap everyone who recieves in the hand who doesn't do it right, these people are screwing it up for everyone else.]

torchofthefaith said...

Dear Father

Thank you for blogging on this.

Several years ago we began to receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

Over the last few months we have felt a deep inner prompting to receive kneeling down. We have felt it a suffering to not be able to and have (for this reason amongst others) begun to attend Extraordinary Form Masses wherever possible.

On a recent trip to Lourdes, a faithful, old English priest allowed us to kneel in the Grotto for Holy Communion.

Frequently people in the church try to claim that such kneeling is an issue of pride/false piety. In fact the opposite is true and we would love to find a parish where one could kneel without being made to feel odd. Surely, false piety represents a negation of a good - i.e. although false piety exists not all piety is therefore false. And indeed, for many centuries kneeling was considered the norm.

In an age of so much pride, surely to kneel becomes the more important as a sign of devotion, respect, awe and humility before God?

In Christ
Alan and Angeline

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I agree with you Gem, that if a priest is in choir, that he should receive kneeling and on the tongue, Actually, I believe it still might be in Canon Law that they must if they can't celebrate Mass, I could be wrong, Father might be able to clear that up for me.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Joe, In choir, I receive on the tongue, because this is the norm and the Church gives me the choice.
I generally receive standing because bishops have the right to regulate the posture for reception of Communion, though Communion could not be denied me if I opted to receive kneeling, which every Catholic has a right to do.

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

I felt a bit of a twat being the only one kneeling on a stone floor amidst the Bridgetine sisters! I mean they certainly received 'reverently' but all on the hand. Our PP had to tell one lady at Sunday Mass to take her glove off..he said ' you can't receive like that!'. The only thing in our Church is everyone must kneel apart from elderly etc..that's why I want alan & Angeline to come to Brum!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Many of the younger people genuflect in this parish before receiving Holy Communion.

Physiocrat said...

Now can we have the altar rails back please.

Anonymous said...

Our PP had to tell one lady at Sunday Mass to take her glove off..he said ' you can't receive like that!'.

Interesting because when Communion in the hand was the norm (or a norm) in the early centuries of the Church, women who received in the hand did not receive in their bare hands, but covered their hands with a veil called the domenica.

George said...

Interesting observation dcs but I suspect that the 'veil called the domenica' was kept scrupulously clean, an embroidered and lovingly kept cloth specifically for this purpose, whereas the 'gloves' of today were more than likely woolly, mucky and used day in day out for all and sundry. Worlds apart!

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