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Friday, April 26, 2013

How Do You Approach to Receive the King of the Universe?

In 2010 Pope Benedict explained why those who received Communion from him personally must kneel and receive on the tongue:
The idea behind my current practice of having people kneel to receive Communion on the tongue was to send a signal and to underscore the Real Presence with an exclamation point. One very important reason is that there is a great danger of superficiality precisely in the kinds of mass events we hold at St. Peter’s, both in the Basilica and in the Square. I have heard of people who, after receiving Communion, stick the Host in their wallet to take home as a kind of souvenir. In this context, where people think that everyone is just automatically supposed to receive Communion — everyone else is going up, so I will, too — I wanted to send a clear signal. I wanted it to be clear: Something quite special is going on here! He is here, the One before whom we fall on our knees! Pay attention! This is not just some social ritual in which we can take part if we want to. 
  I once read a quote from a non-Catholic who said if he believed what Catholics say they believe about the Real Presence, he would crawl up to receive Communion on his hands and knees. Does my disposition show this kind of belief and respect for the risen Lord who comes to me in Holy Communion?

Oh, how I wish we would return to using the altar rail and kneel for Communion. It not only shows respect for Jesus in the Eucharist, but is the great equalizer where college presidents kneel side by side with their students, where company presidents and CEOs kneel next to their employees, where presidents kneel beside secretaries and clerks, etc. There is no favored place at the table when one approaches the Communion rail. How I wish its use would return. I think our pope emeritus would approve as well.

7 comments:

Jeanne Holler said...

I have the privilege of going to a Traditional Latin Mass each every Sunday where we kneel at the altar rail and receive our Precious Jesus on the tongue...to God be the Glory .
Thanks be to God for St. Francis de Sales Oratory and the Canon's of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest !

Brantigny said...

Thank you for this post.

Anonymous said...

Because our pastor will not allow use of the altar rail or even a single kneeler for those of us who would like to kneel, I'm practicing at daily Mass wearing volleyball knee pads I purchased on Amazon. Before receiving I can now genuflect while holding the front pew for balance. I'm hoping that before long I will be able to get down on both those terrific kneepads AND get up (the hard part) without assistance. Beats yoga.

Elisa said...

Thought I'd share this, it's about how the Eucharist is received in the Eastern rite Catholic tradition, depending which one it is:
http://www.east2west.org/Liturgy&Sacrament.htm
Of interest to blog readers, there are several Eastern Catholic Churches in the metro DC area.

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Anonymous said...

I also exclusively attend the Traditional Latin mass and find my intimacy with Our Lord during reception of communion to be the high point of my week and of my life.
I was horrified to recently be part of a mass at a Catholic school where I was working celebrated by a Jesuit where they said mass at a coffee table, him wearing shorts and flip flops and only a stole around his neck over a t-shirt. They passed Our Lord around on a plate. It was pure scandal, and i refused to participate. Needless to say I was let go, "not a good fit" was the reason.
If this is what Jesuits can get a way with, I hope the new Holy Father is different. But until he says the Traditional Latin mass, all Traditional Catholics will be nervous.

Jeanne Holler said...

Amen to that my friend....
UNTIL he says the Traditional Latin Mass , all Traditional Catholics will be VERY Nervous!