L’OssRom: Bishop says Catholics should kneel, receive communion on tongue

I remember during the Synod on the Eucharist (that eventually brought Pope Benedict to pen Sacramentum caritatis) it was the bishops of regions that were formerly behind the Iron Curtain who had the strongest and most traditional things to say.

Take a look at this.

My emphases and comments.

Bishop says Catholics should kneel, receive communion on tongue

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The reverence and awe of Catholics who truly believe they are receiving Jesus in the Eucharist should lead them to kneel and receive Communion on their tongues, said a bishop writing in the Vatican newspaper.  [Since the new editor took over, there have been better articles.]

"If some nonbeliever arrived and observed such an act of adoration perhaps he, too, would ‘fall down and worship God, declaring, God is really in your midst,’" wrote Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, quoting from the First Letter to the Corinthians.

In a Jan. 8 article labeled a "historical-liturgical note," Bishop Schneider reviewed the writings of early church theologians about eucharistic reception and said the practice of laypeople receiving Communion on the tongue was the predominant custom by the sixth century.

The article in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, appeared under the headline, "Like a nursing child in the arms of the one who nourishes him."

Bishop Schneider said that just as a baby opens his mouth to receive nourishment from his mother, so should Catholics open their mouths to receive nourishment from Jesus.

"Christ truly nourishes us with his body and blood in holy Communion and, in the patristic era, it was compared to maternal breastfeeding," he said.

"The awareness of the greatness of the eucharistic mystery is demonstrated in a special way by the manner in which the body of the Lord is distributed and received," the bishop wrote.

In addition to demonstrating true adoration by kneeling, [YES!] he said, receiving Communion on the tongue also avoids concerns about people receiving the body of Christ with dirty hands or of losing particles of the Eucharist, concerns that make sense if people truly believe in the sacrament.

"Wouldn’t it correspond better to the deepest reality and truth about the consecrated bread if even today the faithful would kneel on the ground to receive it, opening their mouths like the prophet receiving the word of God and allowing themselves to be nourished like a child?" Bishop Schneider asked.

In 1969 the Vatican published an instruction allowing bishops to permit the distribution of Communion in the hand. While at papal liturgies most people who receive Communion from the pope receive Communion on the tongue, they also are permitted to reverently receive the Eucharist in the hand.

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90 Responses to L’OssRom: Bishop says Catholics should kneel, receive communion on tongue

  1. T. Chan says:

    Why doesn’t a Latin-rite bishop in a Western country say this?

  2. Geoffrey says:

    Excellent article! Wonderful bishop! I once read somewhere that a Protestant minister said that if Catholics really believed in the Real Presence, we would we crawling to receive on our hands and knees. Food for thought…

  3. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Of course, Karaganda, Kazakhstan IS Latin Rite, even if the country is a bit to the East.

  4. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    How to say it? It’s the priests and bishops! Sorry! But, give lay people a break!

    What irks me is the thought of so many priests refusing Holy Communion to those who kneel, so much so that I see people kneeling to receive and THEN get up to receive Holy Communion, afraid of not being able to receive Holy Communion because of having been refused for kneeling.

    But, step by step as Fr Z says.

    Thanks, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and thanks for your extremely difficult apostolate in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Your sufferings and prayers benefit the entire Church.

  5. James M says:

    In Orthodox Churches (as far as I know) the practice is for the communicant to cross their arms over their chest, tilt their head back and open their mouth wide. The Host has been cut from a loaf into little cubes, and these are placed into chalice full of wine/Our Lord’s Blood. The priest then scoops a piece of the Host out with a precious metal spoon and ‘flicks’ the Bloodied Host into the back of the communicant’s mouth. Nothing is lost.

    And I got a cab ride once in DC from an Ethiopian Coptic. He told me that in his Church the faithful take Holy Communion once only in their whole life, if ever. They spend years preparing, and take very seriously the idea that they should not sin afterwards (whether they have 5, 20 or 50 years of life left). I thought this showed enormous reverence for the Sacrament, but prefer the Latin Rite which relies on regular confession ;-)

  6. Victoria says:

    I was never happy to see people receiving Our Lord in their hands and standing up. Indeed, we should kneel and adore Him before receiving Jesus on the tongue. Great article !

  7. Diane K says:

    There is something else to learn from Bishop Schneider’s article: The tone.

    His writing is very good, and he writes in such a way as to invite people to a deeper understanding. If someone who objects to kneeling and receiving on the tongue reads this in full, there is a better chance of helping that person to understand. A verbal hit over the head, or the kind of sniping that often takes place in forums on such topics just causes people to get defensive.

    This is a very good article and one I hope will get much travels.

  8. Syriacus says:

    And note, the Excellency is not even 47!

    http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bschna.html

  9. Mark says:

    I knelt and received our Lord on the tongue at my Novus Ordo parish last Sunday, and the pastor hesitated waiting for me to stand, then made a face like he was exasperated at my defiance, and reluctantly gave me Communion. What a difference from the TLM church I attend most Sundays with my family, where we are able to reverently kneel and receive Communion from a willing priest who understands the meaning of such a gesture. I encourage ALL of us to begin kneeling to receive Communion on the tongue, EVERY TIME we go to a Novus Ordo liturgy, and maybe we can reverse the trend of non-belief in the Real Presence. The Pope has asked us to step up our Eucharistic Adoration – what better way to publicly witness to our belief? How can we NOT kneel in the Presence of God Almighty? The Church has said we have a right to kneel to receive the Lord. If certain priests don’t like it, then it’s time they learned the Truth about reverence and adoration. Please join me in this Crusade!

  10. Mark says:

    I knelt and received our Lord on the tongue at my Novus Ordo parish last Sunday, and the pastor hesitated waiting for me to stand, then made a face like he was exasperated at my defiance, and reluctantly gave me Communion. What a difference from the TLM church I attend most Sundays with my family, where we are able to reverently kneel and receive Communion on the tongue. I encourage ALL of us to begin kneeling to receive Communion on the tongue, EVERY TIME we go to a Novus Ordo liturgy, and maybe we can reverse the trend of non-belief in the Real Presence. The Pope has asked us to step up our Eucharistic Adoration – what better way to publicly witness to our belief? How can we NOT kneel in the Presence of God Almighty? In addition, the Church has said we have a right to kneel to receive the Lord. If certain priests don’t like it, then maybe our growing witness will help them rekindle their own reverence and sense of adoration. Please join me in this effort to restore this Tradition in the Liturgy!

  11. Martin says:

    Unfortunately due to a disability I am unable to kneel impromptu
    when there is no rail to kneel at, and so am forced to stand to
    receive communion, except in the (now unfortunately very rare)
    churches where a communion rail is still used.

    However I always make a point of receiving on the tongue, and I
    heartily wish that communion rails would be restored in all
    churches.

  12. georgeaquinas says:

    Some thoughts: Aren’t we kneeling before we receive? We are kneeling at the pews and then we stand up to receive; I am not sure what why the additional genuflection should be required. Having said that, I believe there should not be an issue with someone who does want to kneel to receive. I have been on the other side of the “confrontation” several times before. My in-law’s parish in Virginia had a very conservative (and very good) pastor. When we would visit I would go up to receive and put out my hands. The priest would frown at me and scowl and then very reluctantly allow me to receive a Host. This made it pretty difficult to concentrate on the task at hand: worshipping our Lord. Wasn’t it St. Cyril who said “make a throne of your hands to receive the King?” Isn’t our Lord always present in the Church? If we should always kneel in the presence of our Lord, we should always be on our knees. The current teaching is that we can receive with our hands, why are we criticizing people for following the Church’s instructions and performing a permissible act?

  13. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Hey georgeaquinas… It’s interesting and important to realise that it’s the L’osservatore Romano that’s publishing this regarding the precise moment that is so exquisitely intimate in the meeting of the creature with His Creator. The prudence of discipline (whether or not anyone agrees with it at the time) can change. And, it seems this is changing in a direction which will aid people, generally speaking, in reverence. Sentire in et cum ecclesia.

  14. Mark says:

    Sorry about the double-posting… please delete the first one.

  15. TNCath says:

    The retirement of the Communion rail was the catalyst for the lack of reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament. After that, all sorts of abuses and innovations took place. While I do believe that one can reverently receive Holy Communion in the hand, receiving on the tongue is more reverent and safeguards any possible abuse of the sacrament on the part of the communicant. This is a very real concern. At daily Masses at the Altar of the Chair at St. Peter’s Basilica, security men stand next to distributing priests insuring that communicants actually receive the Host and not save it as a souvenir of their trip to Rome. I have seen numerous incidents where “pilgrims” were chased down and told to consume the Host immediately. The puzzled tourists always did so, but you could tell they couldn’t figure out why. So much for our catechesis on the Real Presence and proper respect for the Eucharist!

  16. Ruben says:

    I can clearly remember the day the sisters at my Catholic elementary school began to instruct us to receive communion in the hand. I don’t remember them ever allowing us a choice in this. I was about ten or so years old. Even then, it felt wrong, wrong, wrong. I still squirm when I recall how bad I felt when I first received communion in the hand. This was in the early seventies and as a kid there seemed like no way to oppose the momentum. I hope more and more prelates will speak out like this.

  17. Jim says:

    Of all changes imposed in the wake of Vatican II, the hardest for me to accept were the turning of the altar and receipt of communion in the hand, standing. The focus is now on the priest as an actor, and not on the altar of Sacrifice. For example, at last Sunday’s mass in my parish the priest left the altar, went to a piano in the nave, and played a communion song while eucharistic ministers distributed communion. The congregation applauded at the end. I left church angry. If I complain to the priest or the bishop I will be labeled a whiner.

  18. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Yes, I remember helping with Communion at the funeral of JPII. I stayed up top next to the Papal altar, and then was with the choir. I thought I would be spared having to call back about one in ten or fifteen pilgrims who would try to take the Host away, as I’ve often experienced when sent further down. Not so.

    Actually, it was worse up top, with at least one in ten trying to take the host. The guards know this, and I had two guards, and even three, stopping people for me. Perhaps these sub-dignitaries were there not for the funeral, but for the event. This has been my experience frequently. I wish at these Papal Masses a strong instruction would be made just before and while Holy Communion is being distributed. The USCCB has a wonderful instruction.

    Between penitents, just now, I was reading Dom Marmion, who wrote (with Christ speaking):

    “I will make you partake of the treasures of my divinity, of the eternal life which I have from my Father, and which my Father wants me to communicate to you in order that you may resemble me. I will shower my grace upon you so as to become, myself, your wisdom, your sanctification, your way, your truth, your life. You shall become another ‘Myself’, and –like me, and because of me — be the object of my Father’s delight. ‘Open you mouth wide, and I will fill it.’”

    God bless.

  19. Mark: Would the TLM priest have been as welcoming to someone who wanted to stand to receive Communion? I wonder. There is often considerable scowling in those occasions. And Communion in the hand (which I hope goes away forever)? Negative impressions can be left at TLMs also. Still and all, the attitude of reverence must be fostered at EVERY Mass.

  20. John says:

    georgeaquinas said: “Aren’t we kneeling before we receive? We are kneeling at the pews and then we stand up to receive; I am not sure what why the additional genuflection should be required.

    No, we aren’t. Here in the Diocese of Spokane (Wash.), the Bishop has ruled that the congregation is to remain standing for the entire time after the end of the Eucharistic Prayer until everyone has received Communion. No kneeling here in eastern Washington.

    John

  21. Kim D'Souza says:

    Bishop Schneider is a Patristics scholar, was formerly secretary of the liturgical commission of Kazakhstan and is now general secretary of the episcopal conference. His Excellency probably caught the Holy Father’s attention when, prior to his nomination as an bishop, he served as auditor at the Synod on the Eucharist in 2005. The following is the biography published in the Vatican’s bollettino on the day of his nomination in April 2006:

    Il Rev.do Padre Athanasius Schneider è nato il 7 aprile 1961 a Tokmak (Kyrgyzstan), da genitori di origine tedesca, in seguito emigrati a Rottweil – Germania. Nel 1982 è entrato nell’Ordine dei Canonici Regolari della Santa Croce a S. Petersberg (Austria). Ha compiuto gli studi filosofici presso la Pontificia Università di San Tommaso a Roma (1982-1983), e quelli teologici presso l’Istituto Sapientiae ad Anápolis – Brasile. È stato ordinato sacerdote il 25 marzo 1990. Nel 1997 ha ottenuto il dottorato in Teologia Patristica. Attualmente è Direttore Spirituale del Seminario e Cancelliere della Curia diocesana di Karaganda. Parla il tedesco, il russo, l’italiano e il portoghese. Conosce, inoltre, l’inglese e il francese.

  22. jpb, OP says:

    My mother is physically incapable of kneeling to receive communion, even when a rail is present, but will still receive on the tongue. She has never had a problem with this from a TLM priest. It’s the TLM faithful, however, who have the attitude. I’ve lost count of the number of times she has been shot a dirty look because she didn’t kneel. It’s pretty obvious from the cane in her hand and the way that she moves to the rail, that she is handicapped from kneeling. It’s important not to jump to judgment too quickly on communicants.

  23. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    I think I must have met Athanasius Schneider any number of times. God bless you, your Excellency!

    ===================

    Altar rails:

    For the sake of charity, I’ve been battling for altar rails for years, sometimes successfully, saying that this is not only an aid to reverence, but also an aid to old or disabled bodies of the faithful. I was “too” successful on one occasion, when the rails were put back. The president of the episcopal conference involved called me in to reprimand me, saying that he has personally been having altar rails ripped out of as many churches as he could for the past 30 years!

  24. woodyjones says:

    If it has not already been mentioned, I think another aspect of this issue is that receiving standing and in the hand (thus in effect giving onseelf communion) has a sign value that says “we are a democracy here” which can very easily slide over into “we have no king…” in fact, isn’t that what it does say? One could therefore pretty easily conclude that receiving the King of Kings while standing, and in the hand, is basically sacreligious.

    Of course, since the USCCB mandates standing in most cases (as well the local ordinary here in Houston), I go along, too, out of obedience. But always receive on the tongue.

  25. Diane K says:

    Kim:

    Can you, or someone else reading, provide a translation on what you provided above…

    Rev.do Padre Athanasius Schneider è nato il 7 aprile 1961 a Tokmak (Kyrgyzstan), da genitori di origine tedesca, in seguito emigrati a Rottweil – Germania. Nel 1982 è entrato nell’Ordine dei Canonici Regolari della Santa Croce a S. Petersberg (Austria). Ha compiuto gli studi filosofici presso la Pontificia Università di San Tommaso a Roma (1982-1983), e quelli teologici presso l’Istituto Sapientiae ad Anápolis – Brasile. È stato ordinato sacerdote il 25 marzo 1990. Nel 1997 ha ottenuto il dottorato in Teologia Patristica. Attualmente è Direttore Spirituale del Seminario e Cancelliere della Curia diocesana di Karaganda. Parla il tedesco, il russo, l’italiano e il portoghese. Conosce, inoltre, l’inglese e il francese

  26. John says:

    I agree that altar rails and kneeling are preferable liturgical practices, but I also think it’s equally true that if one is a practicing Catholic should be in obedience to one’s bishop and the approved practices for the dioceses of one country by the Vatican. Right now, in the diocese of the United States, people stand to receive communion the ordinary form. At the discretion of the local ordinary, sometimes they may even stand during the Eucharistic prayer. Sometimes people are called to do what they don’t want to do out of obedience to their bishops and their Church, that’s part of being Catholic, isn’t it?

    I’m not even a practicing Catholic, but even I know enough about Catholicism to know that one is not supposed to ignore a request from episcopal authority unless it is immoral. It is *immoral* to stand to receive communion. It’s just not preferable, for a variety of reasons.

  27. Barb says:

    It is most heartening to read what Bishop Schneider is saying. The Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments sent a letter signed by Cardinal Medina Estevez saying that the American bishops were allowed to put standing into their GIRM only with the understanding that people who wish to receive Holy Communion kneeling not be harrassed nor told that they are disobedient. Kneeling has the force of custom as Catholics have been doing so for centuries as one can see from many paintings and art work depicting the Mass. Certainly, it has been the custom in the USA until Post-Vatican II.

    I have been told that because I kneel to receive Holy Communion I am disobedient, Protestant because I am not following the will of the American bishops and my bishop, and scandalizing others. My physical condition has deteriorated to the point that unless I have some railing support, I can hardly rise after receiving. Our bishop ordered all Communion railings ripped out when he took over in 1984. To this day, only one parish has escaped that evil fate, and St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

    I have noticed that more and more people are kneeling at the Novus Ordo when they receive Holy Communion. Sensus fidelium? (Did I get the Latin right?)

  28. John says:

    For the record, I said it was “not immoral” to stand to receive communion, and without the bold lettering. I don’t know if someone edited my post or what.

  29. RBrown says:

    I agree that altar rails and kneeling are preferable liturgical practices, but I also think it’s equally true that if one is a practicing Catholic should be in obedience to one’s bishop and the approved practices for the dioceses of one country by the Vatican. Right now, in the diocese of the United States, people stand to receive communion the ordinary form. At the discretion of the local ordinary, sometimes they may even stand during the Eucharistic prayer. Sometimes people are called to do what they don’t want to do out of obedience to their bishops and their Church, that’s part of being Catholic, isn’t it?
    Comment by John

    We are obligated to obedience to the local bishop unless he contradicts Rome. If Rome, which is the liturgical authority, says it’s ok to receive kneeling, then the bishop cannot forbid it.

  30. Daniel Anselmo says:

    Diane K:

    This is my translation:

    The Reverend Father Athanasius Schneider was born on April 7, 1961 in Tokmak (Kyrgyzstan), from parents of a German origin, and soon emigrants to Rottweil, Germany. In 1982 he joined the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross in S. Petersberg (Austria). He has completed the philosophical studies at the Pontifical University of San Tommasso in Rome (1982-1983), and the theological studies at the Sapientiae Institute in Anápolis, Brazil. He recieved priestly ordination on March 25, 1990. In 1997 he obtained the major in Patristic Theology. Currently he is Spiritual Director of the Seminary and Chancellor of the diocesan Curia of Karaganda. He speaks German, Russian, Italian and Portuguese. He knows, besides, English and French.

  31. Tom says:

    “At daily Masses at the Altar of the Chair at St. Peter’s Basilica, security men stand next to distributing priests insuring that communicants actually receive the Host and not save it as a souvenir of their trip to Rome. I have seen numerous incidents where “pilgrims” were chased down and told to consume the Host immediately.”

    In 2004, a travel show on PBS (I believe that the show was Globe Trekker)visited the Vatican. The lady who hosted the episode in question received Holy Communion at St. Peter’s Basilica.

    She turned to the camera, stated that she wasn’t Catholic, took the Sacred Host from a priest…then, pretending she was a food critic, stated that she would rate the “taste” the Sacred Host.

    The priest…and if there were any “security men” present…simply stood there and watched as the lady chewed then rendered her verdict.

    What a sad moment that was at the Vatican!

  32. TNCath says:

    Tom,

    That is depressing. First of all, why did the officials at St. Peter’s even allow the filming to take place? I realize there are all kinds of cameras taking pictures all over the Basilica, but I would think a camera for a PBS documentary would have been rather ostentatious, especially one following someone up the Communion line! Again, very depressing.

    The only thing I can say is that at least the woman wasn’t Catholic and didn’t have a clue what she was doing. About 15 years ago in my parish, a well-respected usher, a man in his sixties, was responsible for bringing a ciborium of consecrated hosts and the cruets to the back of the church before Mass for the offertory procession. A life-long Catholic, this man went to Catholic schools and was a pillar of the parish. One particular Sunday, when he went to the sacristy to perform his weekly “pickup,” he noticed that the ciborium that was usually used at that Mass was not to be found. And so, he got the key to the tabernacle, found the ciborium, picked up the cruets, and proceded to the back of the church. At the offertory of the Mass, the celebrant recognized the ciborium and realized that these were consecrated Hosts from the previous Mass. After the Mass when priest asked the usher where he had gotten the ciborium, the usher replied, “From up there,” pointing to the tabernacle. When the priest explained to him that they were consecrated Hosts were not to be taken out of the tabernacle, the lifelong Catholic usher replied, “Oh! I didn’t think it mattered.”

    Again, so much for our catechesis.

  33. Kim D'Souza says:

    “The Feast indeed requires sitting,” Anglican poet George Herbert (1593-1633) writes in Chapter XXII of The Country Parson, “because it is a Feast; but man’s unpreparedness asks kneeling.”

    In Montreal, altar rails fell out of use in the 60s but were not usually destroyed. Several parish priests have recently started distributing Holy Communion at the rail, first on weekday Masses, then extending the practice to Sundays. The instruction only requires communicants to come to the altar rail, but people are free to stand or kneel. However, after a while, the combination of solemn liturgy and sound catechesis leads many people spontaneously to choose kneeling. In addition, I known a good number of priests who are teaching their first communicants to receive on the tongue. I also know a few who are instructing their altar servers likewise. In both cases, several of the faithful have chosen to follow the edifying example of the children!

    P.S. Thank you, Daniel Anselmo, for the translation which I earlier neglected to provide!

  34. Vox Borealis says:

    Kim D’Souza,

    Where in Montreal have you seen communion at the rail? I have seen it only at the cathedral.

  35. o.h. says:

    I entered the Church in the ’80′s, in a college parish of extreme liberality (not that I knew that at the time), and it was many years before I even knew there was another way to take Communion than standing and in the hand (well, I knew that Episcopalians intincted, from having gone to services occasionally with a relative; and the one time I did that at Mass, our priest did gently inform me afterwards that that was not done).

    While I learned later that Vatican 2-hating trads and Mexican grandmothers did receive on the tongue, I assumed I would never do something so reactionary and icky. Then came the day that I was all prepared to receive, and there was my unconscious baby slung over my shoulder, leaving no hands free. Despite doing a very poor job of receiving (and causing yet another dear priest to gently debrief me after Mass), I found myself greatly taken by the idea of receiving again this way. Now it’s the only way I receive.

    I’ve shared this with many new Catholics when they tell me that they’re not going to learn to receive on the tongue, mostly because they feel self-conscious about it; I remind them they’ll feel more self-conscious the first time they find themselves unable to use their hands at Mass. Our RCIA team leaders make the same point; even if you think you’ll never receive on the tongue, it’s prudent to at least learn how to do so.

  36. John says:

    Previous poster: “We are obligated to obedience to the local bishop unless he contradicts Rome. If Rome, which is the liturgical authority, says it’s ok to receive kneeling, then the bishop cannot forbid it.”

    This is not an instance where the bishops are in contradiction to Rome, though. The GIRM as adapted for use in the dioceses of the United States, says that the proper posture to receive communion is standing and that the faithful should be instructed to do so (Though communion shouldn’t be denied for kneeling). Further, it says kneeling is the ordinary posture during most of the Eucharistic prayer, *except* in circumstances where the ordinary decides otherwise. I agree with those who don’t like it, but it’s nevertheless the way things are in the ordinary form in the US in 2008. You can’t just obey your bishops when you feel like it, otherwise their words have no real force and there’s no cause for criticizing less traditional folks who ignoring liturgical rubrics and such in the opposite direction.

  37. Jordan Potter says:

    John, nowhere in the GIRM as adapted for the U.S. does it forbid receiving Communion while kneeling, and Rome has said the faithful may never be denied Communion for kneeling to receive. Therefore no bishop has the authority to command that all stand to receive and never kneel. If a bishop issues such a directive, faithful Catholics must ignore it or else they would be as disobedient as the bishop would be presumptuous.

    By the way, the adapted GIRM only says standing to receive is the “norm” (or usual way) in the U.S., not that all are bound by law to do so. The faithful are to be told what the norm is and invited to follow it, but Rome says it cannot be required of them. All Catholics have the right to receive Communion while kneeling, even in U.S. where the norm is standing. That’s what Rome says.

  38. Louis E. says:

    So if Fr Renzo di Lorenzo assisted at the funeral of Pope John Paul II,and the president of his episcopal conference had been fighting for the removal of altar rails…that president would be Cardinal Ruini?

    Not sure if there’s a better place to ask this,but are traditionalist Catholics in communion with Pope Benedict (as opposed to the sedevacantists and name-their-own-Pope-ists) concerned with the potential extinction of succession in traditional Holy Orders?
    The Pope and most Cardinals have received Novus Ordo consecration rather than the traditional Latin formula,and I think Bishop Rifan (consecrated by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos,who received Novus Ordo consecration in 1971,but with Bishop Rangel.who received traditional consecration from the traditionally-consecrated Bishop de Castro Mayer) is the only bishop under Vatican obedience to be traditionally consecrated since the vernacular ordinals were introduced.
    Traditionally-consecrated potential consecrators are dying out,so unbroken successions may become impossible.
    Officially it’s a matter of indifference,but how do you feel?

  39. Jordan Potter says:

    Extinction of apostolic succession is impossible. Jesus promised the Church indefectibility — if the new ordination rite does not confer the sacrament, then Jesus’ promise is false and He is not the Savior of the world. There is just no way that God will allow His Church to establish an invalid sacrament.

  40. Quietus says:

    Mark, a great idea for a new crusade! Let us all start kneeling for Communion in Novus Ordo Masses. It may even make a difference?

  41. Father John Horgan says:

    I was very happy to read about Bishop Schneider’s article appearing in L’Osservatore Romano. We must pray for other bishops to have the same courage and devotion in their pastoral ministry. We priests can also do more to gently recommend the traditional practice of receiving Holy Communion to the faithful. But we must be prudent in how and when such recommendations are given. Usually it is better to do so when speaking to small groups, not from the pulpit on Sundays. Otherwise one risks confrontations and confusion with people who act in good faith and in accordance with current liturgical law. Thoughtful presentations at the right moment, with allowance for questions and discussion, can do wonders, however. I do so particularly when preparing parents for their children’s first reception of Holy Communion. One of the simplest points to make is that “finger food” is “fast food” or “junk food” in the experience of most children; so why would we want to send that message by having children receive Our Lord in the hand? Parents immediately cue into this idea since they are usually still teaching their little ones table manners at that age. As a result, all of my parish children receive on the tongue and kneeling for their First Communion; and their parents usually revert to the traditional and ordinary practice in order to give them good example. As they grow older, most continue to receive on the tongue. I have had 9 years experience of this in my parish and have seen marvelous results.
    BTW, Bishop Schneider was a classmate of mine at the Angelicum in 82-83. He is a member of the Canons of the Holy Cross of the Opus Angelorum. This movement has been responsible for great increase in Eucharistic adoration as well devotion to the angels wherever it is found.

  42. Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. says:

    Louis E: You are implying that the new rite of the ordination (consecration) of a bishop is invalid or is deficient and that a bishop consecrated in this rite is either not a bishop or not fully a bishop. This is material heresy. A bishop is fully a bishop if he is consecrated in any rite approved by the Church that has the proper matter and form. The new rite is approved by the Church. There is no difference between a bishop consecrated in the new rite or one consecrated in the old rite.

  43. chris says:

    Hmmm…this reverence protocol goes a bit deeper in my mind than mere positioning. I am for the new reorganization with kneeling rails so no one would even think of deviating, but right now that just isn’t there and it is really pretty impossible for most elderly…and the boomers are getting there…to kneel on hard floors and get up again without physical assistance. That being said, the part about the dirty hands, well I would venture to say that probably a whole lot more sin takes place today through the tongue that Christ (and the Trinity) rests upon. And as far as the particles being dropped…unless the paten is called back into use, the same can happen on the tongue delivery.

    Re: respectful positioning in receiving on the tongue at communion rails…while living in Germany, receiving communion at such churches was really a free for all. Everyone crowded up and almost prevented the communicant from rising and being able to respectfully navigate out of the mob, so anxious were the folks to quickly take the opening. I found it to be really disruptive of any peace. While living in Italy and visiting various shrines with human relics on desplay for respectful viewing and prayer, it was the same thing – pushing and shoving with loud talk. Cultural, yes, but there WAS at least the structure so dearly desired here, and yet….

  44. Tom says:

    “First of all, why did the officials at St. Peter’s even allow the filming to take place? I realize there are all kinds of cameras taking pictures all over the Basilica, but I would think a camera for a PBS documentary would have been rather ostentatious, especially one following someone up the Communion line!”

    I failed to indicate that the woman in question received Holy Communion during an outdoor Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica.

  45. Louis E. says:

    I am merely noting that some believe that the new sacraments are invalid and wondering if those who think the new are valid but the old are preferable care about whether unbroken succession through the old becomes extinct.

  46. TNCath says:

    “I failed to indicate that the woman in question received Holy Communion during an outdoor Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica.”

    Another good reason why the Holy Father’s preference to have ceremonies inside the basilica rather than outside has much merit. At the last consistory in November 2007, the consistory itself and the Mass the next day took place inside the basilica. Afterwards, the Holy Father went outside to greet the people unable to get into the basilica. To me, this better safeguards the Eucharist as well as makes better usage of the space available to accommodate the ever-growing crowds at St. Peter’s since Pope Benedict’s election.

  47. Tom says:

    I pray that the Holy Father will, during World Youth Day 2008, announce that henceforth within the Latin Rite, the Faithful are to kneel and receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

    I am certain that the tens of thousands of young Catholics present at WYD 2008 would thank and applaud Pope Benedict XVI if the above were the case.

    What a percent time to announce such a return to Holy Tradition…and again, tens of thousands of young Catholics present at WYD 2008 would support the Holy Father…and return to their parishes as the first wave of young 21st Century Catholics determined to support the restoration of Tradition.

  48. Kim D'Souza says:

    Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been living in Montreal, but just restricting myself to a small part of the island, intact altar rails can be found at a number of Montreal churches including Notre Dame de la Salette on Park Avenue, St Patrick’s Basilica and the crypt of St Joseph’s Oratory…

  49. Tom Lanter says:

    FR. Z & Friends;

    Why everyone should stop, get out, and genuflect at a landfill or at the very least bow reverently as they speed by;
    There is no way that in every Catholic church or any other location where Mass is read and Holy Communion is received in the hand that you will not find a trail of small particles which are Our Lord’s Precious Body. Most of these small particles are picked up by powerful vacuum cleaners where they flow into a very dry bags. In due time these bags are put into waterproof plastic bags and sent to the local landfill surrounded by many other plastic trash bags. There they are covered with clay and everything is compacted. You can see where some of these particles could remain dry and not decompose and I think Our Lord would still be there in those man made mountains which have become tabernacles. If this sounds farfetched consider our local trash mountain. Here they have been drilling for methane, in the process of drilling they have brought up printed materials, book pages, news print, etc., which I am told even after thirty years are in surprisingly good shape. Do these landfills contain The Real Presence?

    JMJ

    Tom Lanter

  50. truthfinder05 says:

    Re: comment by georgeaquinas
    Fr. Z, correct me if I’m wrong;
    Just as priests may refuse to hear hear confessions without a screen, I believe that they can refuse to distribute Holy Communion in the hand. I believe I read this on EWTN, but I am terribly sorry if I read this wrong.
    Anyways, it was nine years since my first communion and my gr. 2 teacher told us that we could receive Our Lord either way. More preferrence was given to receiving in the hand, but nothing negative was said about receiving on the tongue. However, we were never told that we could kneel. Another thing, I cannot really rememeber ever being told that the consecrated bread and wine are truly the Body and Blood of Christ. I try to make this point very clear to the children I teach in catechism. However, I now receive on the tongue. I cannot bring myself to receive on the hand anymore. I try not to look down on anyone who does. Does anyone find it weird when cloistered nuns and monks don’t receive on the tongue?
    Please pray that I will stop being such a coward so that I will receive while kneeling? And, maybe a few more prayers so that I will have the courage to wear a veil and request the extraordinary form of the Mass?
    God Bless

  51. mwa says:

    The paten has been called back into use:
    Redemptionis Sacramentum, (On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist, March 25, 2004, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments)
    #93: “The Communion-plate [or paten] for the Communion of the faithful should be retained so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling”.

  52. T. Chan says:

    Of course, Karaganda, Kazakhstan IS Latin Rite, even if the country is a bit to the East.

    Yes, Father, that is what I had guessed, and it is probably a missionary territory too, given that most of the population is Muslim? That is why I included “Western country” in my question, which is more rhetorical than serious.

  53. Dan says:

    RBrown stated…

    “We are obligated to obedience to the local bishop unless he contradicts Rome. If Rome, which is the liturgical authority, says it’s ok to receive kneeling, then the bishop cannot forbid it.”

    And just who is to determine that, you?

  54. BK says:

    Comment by RBrown: “We are obligated to obedience to the local bishop unless he contradicts Rome. If Rome, which is the liturgical authority, says it’s ok to receive kneeling, then the bishop cannot forbid it.”

    Amen.

    “Keep one eye on your bishop, and one eye on your Pope. If your bishop disobeys your Pope, close that eye.”

  55. vox borealis says:

    Kim D’Souza:

    “Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been living in Montreal, but just restricting myself to a small part of the island, intact altar rails can be found at a number of Montreal churches including Notre Dame de la Salette on Park Avenue, St Patrick’s Basilica and the crypt of St Joseph’s Oratory…”

    Oh sure, lots of churches still have altar rails, but I have never seen anyone receive communion at the rail, save for a few folks at the cathedral. just HOW long have you been away from Montreal? : )

  56. Kim D'Souza says:

    vox borealis: The parish I am most familiar with was not a traditional parish nor was the church a design, but it had an intact altar rail. When I left Montreal in 2005, Holy Communion was only given at the altar rail at Notre Dame de la Salette on Avenue du Parc, but all were free to receive in any of the ways allowed by law (any combination of: standing or kneeling; on the hand or on the tongue). A priest I knew had also introduced this practice at his parish, but was then moved to a newer Church which regrettably does not have an altar rail. I know by hearsay of another priest who did the same. So, perhaps I exaggerated when I turned three into “several”, but that was not my point.

    Perhaps my comments were unclear, so let me attempt to say more directly what I was trying to say in the first place: Montreal parishes have the good fortune of still having altar rails, unlike my Toronto parish where a beautiful marble altar rail was ripped out and turned into paper weights. Any priest who has an altar rail should use it, because simply shifting the location of Holy Communion to the altar rail will exert a “gravitational pull” that will lead people to receive our Lord on the tongue, kneeling. Parishioners will generally see this as the priest exercising his legitimate freedom, without impinging on their freedom. In this way, greater reverence can be achieved without priests having to lay down the law.

  57. Kim D'Souza says:

    Oops, that should read: “nor was the church a traditional design.”

    P.S.: Of course I’m well aware that Montreal doesn’t have that many traditional priests, so many of the mercifully-preserved altar rails are going unused.

  58. Fr. W says:

    If the Holy Father experienced even once what I experience at any given funeral, wedding, or 1st Communion (the relatives), he would immediately require the Communion rail and reception on the tongue. Even with an explanation to non-Catholics, etc. hands are reaching to take, people walk away and I wonder if it is a souvenir, people say ‘thank you’. A friend’s Church the priest has a woman who constantly takes the Host, beaks it, and puts half in her pocket for her granddaughter at home. Who knows what evil things are being done with the Host.

    If Catholics are approaching and kneeling down at a rail, there is no way that a Methodist will decide to go to that too.

  59. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Louis E… No, NOT Card. Ruini. Also, re-read the excellent comments of Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

    =============

    BK: “Keep one eye on your bishop, and one eye on your Pope. If your bishop disobeys your Pope, close that eye.” Excellent!

    ============

    Father John Horgan… Great work! Whenever I see that kind of situation, or am in it, I hope that the bishop will publically encourage the same kind of effort. It makes things SO MUCH EASIER when people have heard the same thing from the bishop. Good for Bishop Athanasius Schneider!

  60. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Fr. W., it’s good, even necessary these days to have “bouncers” (call them ‘porters’ or acolytes or whatever else). Priests are obliged to follow up on the “souvenir” people.

    I do it ALL the time. It is an occasion to bring many back to the faith, and that occasion MUST be used. Helpers on either side of the priest are always kept busy. I’ve had two on either side in one wonderful parish, the two closest holding patens, the two furthest away making sure people consume the Host. Repeated instructions even on normal occasions (Sunday Mass, even weekday Mass) finally starts to get the point home.

    It seems to me that the priest at the friend’s church must correct the situation with the woman who takes the Host (if he even knows about this) or he will be liable to penalties in Canon Law.

    You make an excellent point: “If Catholics are approaching and kneeling down at a rail, there is no way that a Methodist will decide to go to that too.”

  61. Malta says:

    Fr. Z: \”Mark: Would the TLM priest have been as welcoming to someone who wanted to stand to receive Communion? I wonder. There is often considerable scowling in those occasions. And Communion in the hand (which I hope goes away forever)? Negative impressions can be left at TLMs also. Still and all, the attitude of reverence must be fostered at EVERY Mass.\”

    Fr. Z, someone should not be allowed to receive communion standing up, in the hand, at a TLM. Think of it this way: If one goes to an Orthodox liturgy where they receive on the tongue, standing up, and I went, and saw everyone receiving on the tongue standing up, and, instead, I knelt, and put my hand out to receive (in other words, a real abberation) I would hope to be corrected. If someone is severely handicapped in some way, they might stand to receive communion at a TLM, but everyone else on earth can notice those around them and adapt.

  62. techno_aesthete says:

    Fr. Horgan, this is the second time today I have read about Opus Angelorum. The first time was on EWTN’s update page on Mother Angelica. I found their Web site. Fascinating.

  63. Joachim says:

    Holy Eucharist has been jammed into our teeth– when we have opened our mouths to receive;
    It has been thrust into our unsuspecting and unprepared hands– when we have opened our mouths to receive;

    Holy Eucharist has been left on the floor under the pew during Christmas Eve Mass–three hosts from three teenagers;
    Holy Eucharist has been popped into the hands of little tiny children who have gone up to receive a blessing– they have come back to the pew with the little host;

    Holy Eucharist has been found torn to shreds and left on the side walk outside of a church….

    The abuses against the Holy Eucharist are infinite.

    How He has suffered from our irreverence
    and indifference, and in some cases, deliberate malice.
    What a Mighty and Powerful God we have
    to love us so much as to suffer this for us.

    We have been denied Holy Eucharist if we kneel to receive….
    I have been ridiculed for genuflecting before I receive….
    I have been scorned and at one time, vehemently forbidden to kneel during the Consecration at Holy Mass and after receiving Holy Communion…
    chastised like a criminal for kneeling to adore…

    Even so, we have suffered so little and He has suffered so much.
    There is no way that we could ever show too much reverence to such a Loving God.

    This article refreshes my soul.
    It is time.

    Praise be Jesus Christ, Forever and Ever!

  64. Jacques DUMON says:

    I agree with the opinion of James M since this was exactly the same mean that an old Catholic priest had found to avoid giving Communion in the hand in a church where I attended the mass in jan 2007 in Rome with my wife:
    The priest dipped the host in the wine and placed it in the mouth of the communicants, even to those with open hands.
    If there was a true will to stop the communion in the hand, it would be easy to present this practice from now as the unique and mandatory way of doing.
    In my opinion, nobody can object.

  65. Oleg-Michael Martynov, Una Voce Russia says:

    BTW, Bp. Schneider is an auxiliary bishop to Arch. Jan Pawel Lenga of Karaganda, the one who spoke in favor of the traditional way to receive Communion at the Bishops’ Synod (to no avail, alas). So they have this in common.

  66. Henry Edwards says:

    If Catholics are approaching and kneeling down at a rail, there is no way that a Methodist will decide to go to that too.

    Growing up as a Methodist over a half-century ago, we knelt at the communion rail to receive. The first I ever heard of standing for holy communion was when we Catholics were told to do so.

  67. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Henry Edwards,

    I must have been having a ‘senior moment’ (apologies to seniors!). You just reminded me of a Lutheran pastor who became a Catholic priest. He told me that his Lutheran flock always knelt for communion at the altar rail.

    Also, I was once in a small village with many denominations, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, etc. They were all putting altar rails back into their churches. This was part of a drive to make the whole village more rustic, not necessarily for any religious reason.

    However, it just goes to show that good catechesis is best, both for Catholics and any visitors.

    Thanks

  68. Henry Edwards says:

    By the way, the adapted GIRM only says standing to receive is the “norm” (or usual way) in the U.S., not that all are bound by law to do so.

    The Adoremus Bulletin made available the transcript of the discussion of the USCCB meeting at which the staff/committee-written U.S. GIRM adaptations were approved. (Some readers may be unaware that the USCCB is set up so that little is done as a result of floor discussion by the bishops themselves; they merely receive initiatives prepared by staff and committees, almost always rubber-stamp them, frequently without having a final version to read before voting. I once heard a well-known U.S. bishop say that USCCB procedures gave him no more influence over alleged bishops’ policies than an ordinary layman has, that what comes out of the USCCB is controlled by their staff, not by the assembled bishops themselves.)

    At this particular meeting, some bishops actually arose to express concern over the standing-communion norm. They approved it only after being assured that the standing norm was “descriptive” rather than “prescriptive”. That is, it simply described the most usual way of receiving communion in the U.S.

    However, some were concerned that if adopted it would later be interpretive as prescribing how communion should be received in the U.S. Imagine that!

  69. Henry: Which is why it is not good to tinker with things this serious in the liturgy and Catholic identity.

  70. Habemus Papam says:

    I’m old enough to remember the tremendous reverence shown by communicants ( including the fact that not everyone fled the pews and rushed up to the altar). The contrast with what takes place at MOST Novus Ordo Masses today is so great , I can no longer bring myself to attend this sacrilage. The thought of The Body of Our Lord being scattered on the floor is itself enough to keep me away.

  71. Different says:

    Malta,

    The Orthodox and many Eastern Catholic churches give Communion by intinction so the priest would have to correct you to at least receive on the tongue. It would be wrong for him to place the Body and Blood in your hand. I don’t know if kneeling is even an approved posture in the eastern churches. I think that it probably is not. So, a correction might be in order since the communicant is approaching in an “unapproved” posture.

    It would seem that a priest should be tolerant of any Communicant who approaches for Holy Communion in an approved posture. Since standing and kneeling, in the hand and on the tongue are all approved postures for Communion in the Western Church, then a person should not be corrected for making use of them even if that posture is different from nearly everyone else at that particular Mass.

    A person should not be corrected for kneeling at an ordinary form Mass, and a person should not be corrected for standing at an extraordinary form Mass. Our Church tells us both are approved postures, who are we to disagree?

  72. Henry Edwards says:

    The thought of The Body of Our Lord being scattered on the floor is itself enough to keep me away.

    In some churches where a TLM follows a Novus Ordo Mass, the first task of the priest and altar boys (upon arrival for the TLM) is to cleanse and purify the floor in the areas where EMHC’s were stationed with chalices.

  73. Deborah says:

    How many parishes are using the Communion-plate/paten as directed by the Holy See?

    “The paten has been called back into use:
    Redemptionis Sacramentum, #93: “The Communion-plate [or paten] for the Communion of the faithful should be retained so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling”.

    Actually, the Communion plate (also called paten) has never gone out of use.

    If you are not using these at your parish…you should be. The instruction to prepare the Communion plate for use during the Sacred Liturgy is/always has been in the General Instructions of the Roman Missal.

    GIRM – #118. The following are also to be prepared:…the Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful

  74. TNCath says:

    I daresay there isn’t ONE parish in our diocese (except for at the Extraordinary Form Masses said in two parishes on Sundays) that uses the paten during distribution of Holy Communion at Mass. As I recall, as Communion in the hand became more prevelant, the patens eventually disappeared.

  75. malta says:

    Different,

    You’ve got to be kidding! Do you really think that it is an acceptable norm for Catholics
    at a TLM to stand-up and put their hands out to receive communion?

    That would cause more division, not less. The reason our Holy Father derestricted
    the TLM in the first place is to mend such divisions and foster greater awe and
    reverence in the liturgy. When communion was allowed in the hand it was specific
    to the NO mass, not traditional rites.

  76. Henry Edwards says:

    In my diocese there is at least one parish that I believe never quit using communion patens, and my own parish has just recently re-introduced communion patens. Also, starting even more recently, all our altar-servers now receive on the tongue, as do a slowly increasing number of adults (especially apparent at daily Mass).

    Regarding reception at a TLM, I’ve attended many TLM’s in many places for many years, and never anywhere seen a single person attempt to receive on the hands, nor standing, except in a few isolated instances of a visually obvious infirmity that prevented kneeling. This even though obvious “first-timers” are seen at most TLM’s nowadays. The atmosphere at a TLM is so reverent and sacral that no one would think of departing from the norm there, including people visiting who would not think of departing from the quite different norm in their home parishes.

  77. Mary says:

    I’d be interested to hear

    Henry Edwards: Some [bishops] were concerned that if adopted it would later be interpretive as prescribing how communion should be received in the U.S. Imagine that!

    Fr. Z: Which is why it is not good to tinker with things this serious in the liturgy and Catholic identity.

    Fr. Z, and Fr. Renzo or any visiting priests, would you then support laypeople taking up “Mark’s crusade”? [Mark, I like the idea, I have done at some NOs but not regularly–I wondered how priests see this.)

  78. Mary says:

    Whoops, ignore the first line.

  79. Mary says:

    I have been to a TLM where a few people put out their hands, but the priest was so old he just slapped them away so they stuck out their tongues. :)

  80. Habemus Papam says:

    Henry, its a tragic sign of the times that I’m pleased to hear about priests cleansing and purifying the floor.

  81. Different says:

    Malta,

    As long as the communicant was not trying to use a different posture as a means of protest, then, no I think it’s perfectly acceptable.

    Allow me to rephrase your post….

    “You’ve got to be kidding! Do you really think that it is an acceptable norm for Catholics
    at a NO to kneel down to receive communion?

    That would cause more division, not less – it might even cause tripping! The reason our Holy Father derestricted the TLM in the first place is to mend such divisions and foster greater awe and reverence in the liturgy. When communion was allowed in the hand it was specific
    to the latin rite mass.”

    My position is simple…communicants who approach for Holy Communion in an approved posture ought not to be scolded or rebuked for making a legitimate choice in posture. Whereas your position seems to be…communicants who approach kneeling for Holy Communion at a NO Mass ought not to be rebuked or scolded…but communicants at a TLM who apprach standing should be told to kneel down. Why the double standard???

    Please note, if it can be shown that standing is not an approved posture (it seems to me to apply to the latin rite which would include the NO and the TLM) for Communion in a TLM, then I will gladly revise my position accordingly.

  82. Henry Edwards says:

    Henry, its a tragic sign of the times that I’m pleased to hear about priests cleansing and purifying the floor.

    This past Sunday, when our TLM celebrant — a young pastor of an ordinary form parish — cleansed and purified the floor where the spilled Precious Blood had been left from the preceding Mass (a frequent occurrence), he was observed to first lean down to reverence it with an apparent kiss. Someone commented afterward that this moving act, viewed by many there early — was more catechetical than anything he could have said in a sermon.

  83. Paul Murnane says:

    I am grateful for the good bishop (and all of you wonderful priests) for taking up this issue. In these parts, it seems an increase in kneeling and communion-the-tongue is something to be fought. Recently, our pastor placed the following in our bulletin:

    Recently I have been asked a number of questions regarding the correct way for the reception of Communion. The following are the guidelines from the “General Instructions of the Roman Missal (GIRM), or the “Guide for Sunday Mass” by Cardinal Mahony
    *The Faithful process forward beginning from the back (which we do very well).
    *When the person in front of you is “receiving” you bow or genuflect. The reason being that
    when the Minister holds up the Host saying “The Body of Christ”, we should be looking at
    them and ready to respond “Amen”. (Here we need improvement).
    *You may then receive the Body of Christ by mouth or in the hand (which is the more correct
    way since Jesus said “take and eat”).
    It is also more hygienic, both for the priest and
    others who are receiving.)
    *On returning to our seat, we remain standing until all have received, (unless it is too
    difficult to do so) in solidarity with the whole Community. I hope this will help answer some
    of your questions.

    I had never heard the “take and eat” argument before to promote communion in the hand, but over the past couple of months have heard it with greater frequency.

  84. Different says:

    Paul,

    Let me guess, you also have Communion under both species with people drinking from the same chalice…that’s perfectly good, but Communion on the tongue is “unhygenic.” What a bunch of…nevermind.

    Does anyone know the origin of this “people in back come up first?” Which is really very awkward because the people towards the front can only get in line when the line is very very short. As a consequence they remain standing (or sitting) in their pews. Ironically, if the formed the line like normal people, the people at the back would be IN line and everyone would be of a more “unified posture” which is really what it’s all about.

    Apologies for the sarcasm.

  85. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Yup. Take and eat, said to the Apostles, who were ordained priests at the Last Supper.

  86. Anne Scanlon says:

    All this discussion about kneeling/standing was never an issue until very recent times…..for The Tridentine Mass there was never, nor is now, and I doubt there ever will be an “option” for the reception of Holy Communion. Actually for more than thirty years the ‘norm ‘ was to kneel…..no one ever beat me over the head while I was, in my ignorance, standing. Now I am apparently seen as disobedient and appear to be ‘holier than thou’ !…..hmmm ….let us all give this some serious thought…from whence does this come ?

  87. Jordan Potter says:

    in the hand (which is the more correct way since Jesus said “take and eat”).

    What malarkey. If I remember right, the Greek word translated “take” means “receive.” It may or may not involve reaching out a hand to grasp or hold something.

  88. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    I said: “Yup. Take and eat, said to the Apostles, who were ordained priests at the Last Supper.”

    But, Jordon Potter is exactly right when he says: “the Greek word translated “take” means “receive.” It may or may not involve reaching out a hand to grasp or hold something.”

    But, take the worst translation of the Greek, and the result is the same, for, in that case, nevertheless, “Take and eat,” are words directed to the Apostles, not to any laity, and the Apostles were ordained priests at the Last Supper. Priests and laity are not the same at Mass regarding the reception of Holy Communion.

  89. Jacques Dumon says:

    Fr Renzo, in latin, the true words are: “Accipite et manducate: Receive and eat”
    I agree with you that, anyway, the apostles were allowed to touch our Lord’s body since He made them priests while on the contrary he forbade Mary-Magdalene to touch His ressurected mystical Body saying: “Noli me tangere”, “Don’t touch Me”.
    In the same way, a few days later He allowed Thomas to place his fingers in His wounded side since Thomas himself was a priest.
    When our beloved Church will once acknowledge that she is wrong with the Communion in the hand?

  90. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Thanks, Jacques Dumon!

    If I remember correctly, there was some heated debate on this long ago:

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2007/09/summorum-pontificum-does-not-create-an-ecclesiastical-jurassic-park/

    Cheers!