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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Liturgical Aberrations Teach...And What They Teach is Wrong!

I recently had a phone conversation with a fellow parishioners who is going to Germany to visit with her daughter and family. In the course of our exchange she said, "It's interesting. They do things so differently at the Church there," and went on to mention a few innocuous items. Then she said, "At Communion the priest invites everyone up to make a semicircle around him and then distributes the hosts and they all take Communion together." I almost dropped the phone.

The first thing I thought of when she told me this was, "Who receives Communion that way?"

Here's the answer:

Concelebrating priests receive the Eucharist from the main celebrant BEFORE he receives and they all Communicate together. 

So what does it say when a priest does what my friend described? It treats the laity as concelebrating ministers of the Eucharist which is fundamentally dishonest and confusing. It also removes their right to receive on the tongue which is the preferred form of reception. 

Pray for shepherds who scandalize the flock. The German Church is a mess as the divorced/Communion debate is illustrating.

Jesus said clearly that those who are faithful in small things will be faithful in greater. I'm not sure how small the liturgical abuse described is frankly. It sounds pretty serious to me. But, isn't it interesting that priests are often telling Catholics to conform to their own particular idiosyncrasies, like standing after Communion until everyone returns to the pew (real consideration for the elderly, eh?), while laity who refuse to conform to priestly browbeathing are anathemized and called lacking in humility. My take on it? Shepherd, heal thyself!

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