Communion in the hand: a news story and some comments

 

UPDATED: 24 Feb 08 – 16:57:

Archbp. Ranjith has denied what is reported below.  Check out the bottom of this entry for the details.

__________________

An old story has floated back into the news by way of The Earth Times.  Let’s have a quick look with my emphases and comments:

Rome – The Vatican is poised to introduce stricter norms on Roman Catholic mass, including halting the taking of communion in the hand and setting a time limit for homilies, an Italian newspaper reported Monday. Turin-based daily La Stampa quoted senior Vatican official, Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don saying the move was necessary to eliminate "extravagancies" that have crept into Mass celebrations.

Provisions include restricting to 10 minutes homilies [While I could think of some folks I would happily impose this on, this will never happen.] and sermons and ensuring that they be exclusively based on the Gospel readings, [This undermines this whole report.  Ridiculous.] said Ranjith who is Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The practice of allowing the faithful to receive Communion – the bread host which Catholics believe represents the body of Christ [Wrong again.] – in their hands would also be "urgently reviewed", Ranjith was quoted as saying.

The Vatican wants the host "placed directly into the mouths of the faithful so they don’t touch it (with their hands)… because many don’t even realize they are receiving Christ and do this with scant concentration and respect," Ranjith said.

The distribution of communion on the hands of those attending mass has been widespread since the so-called Vatican II Council – a series of reforms introduced in the 1960s aimed at making church celebrations more accessible [Can you sense the bias of the writer?] to the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics.

But according to Ranjith the practice was "illegally and hastily introduced by certain elements of the Church immediately after the Council".

"Some people keep hosts with them as a sort of souvenir, others sell them while in some cases the hosts have been taken away to be used in blasphemous Satanic rituals," he said.

Ranjith said the measures to bring back "dignity and decorum" to mass celebrations were in line with Pope Benedict XVI’s wishes, but he did not specify when they would be introduced, nor if they would be issues as an order or a set of guidelines.

Benedict, who earned a reputation as a conservative before being elected pontiff in 2005, last year eased restrictions introduced by Vatican II on the celebration of the traditional Latin mass.

The move which has included softening a prayer for the conversion of Jews contained in the Latin liturgical text, has drawn criticism from Jewish groups who resent what they say remains a singling out of members of their faith.

Meanwhile hard-line traditionalist Catholics have expressed anger over what they say is Benedict’s tampering of the original Latin mass which they regard as sacred.

 

Meanwhile, back at La Stampa, which inspired that piece, this is what was printed (my translation):

The Secretary for Divine Worship proposes reflection on the proproety of Communion in the hand

The Number Two at the Congregation for divine Worship, Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, has tossed out the hypothesis of a reconsideration of distribution of the Host in the hand, widespread after the Second Vatican Council.  The proposal is express in the preface of a book by the auxiliary bishop of Karaganda, in Kazakhstan, H.E. Athanasius Schneider, entitled “Dominus Est: riflessioni di un vescovo dell’Asia Centrale sulla Santa Comunione”.  "The Eucharist, being bread and wine trasubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ, God in our midst, must be received with reverence and in an attitude of humble adoration."  Archbp. Ranjith writes that the Second Vatican Council never authorized the practice of receiving Communion in the hand, a practice that was "introduced contrary to law and hastily in some places" and only later authorized by the Vatican.  And he affirms that this practice has coincided with the beginning of "a gradual and increased weakening of reverential attitudes concerning the Eucharistic species."  He concludes: "I believe that the time has come to take stock of these practices, to rethink them, and, if necessary, to abandon the current practice."  According to Archbp. Ranjith, "now more than evern it is necessary to help the faithful renew a living faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, with the goal of reinforcing the very life of the Church and defending it in the midst of dangers distortions of the faith."

Mind you, this is all old news, reported here in August 2007 and on other blogs a long time ago now, at least in the time frame of the blogosphere.

Keep in mind also that this same auxiliary of Karaganda is auxiliary to H.E. Jan Pawel Lenga, MIC, who made a bit of a name for himself during the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist on this very quesiton of Communion in the hand.  Hee is what I wrote in The Wanderer and on this blog back in October of 2006:

Although at the time of this writing there have only been a few days of speeches, some themes are emerging as common concerns on the part of the attending bishops. We will look at these in the next weeks. For now, however, the issue of the effect of Communion in the hand has been raised and it is worth looking at what was said. His Excellency Jan Pawel Lenga, M.I.C., Archbishop of Karaganda (Kazakhstan) gave us of the materialistic West something to ponder (my translation): “Among the liturgical innovations that have grown up in the West, there emerge two in particular which obscure in a certain sense the visible dimension of the Eucharist in regard to its centrality and sacred nature; these are: the removal of the tabernacle from the center and the distribution of Communion in the hand. When you remove the Eucharistic Lord, ‘the sacrificed and living Lamb”, from the central position and when in the distribution of Communion in the hand there is undeniably increased the danger of losing particles, of profanations, and of a virtual reduction of the Eucharistic bread to the level of ordinary bread, you create unfavorable conditions for a growth in the depth of faith and in devotion. Communion in the hand is becoming common, and is even more and more becoming dominant as the easiest way to go, almost as a kind of fad. … I therefore want humbly to make the following concrete proposals: that the Holy See might establish a universal norm according to which the official manner of receiving Communion would be on the tongue and kneeling. [Amen and amen.] Communion in the hand would be reserved to clerics. May diocesan bishops where Communion in the hand has been introduced, work with pastoral prudence gradually to lead back the faithful back to the official rite of Communion, valid for all the local Churches.”

 

Apparently the auxiliary has taken up the banner and Archbp. Ranjith has sounded the trumpet.

WDTPRS applauds, again, Archbp. Ranjith for his bold words, which – though this story is a little dated – bear fruitful repetition.  

Communion in the hand is a scourge. 

While people still have the right by law to receive this way, we must respect the practice. 

But we must also teach teach teach about this important issue so that, even while the practice remains licit, fewer and fewer will opt to receive in the hand.

_________

From Rorate with my emphases and comments:

The Italian daily La Stampa suggested today that there could be a vast Vatican plan to reform some practices in the new Mass (according to the Missal of Paul VI). It seems, however, that no new norms and regulations for the Missal of Paul VI are foreseen, as Vatican Radio reports:

    Abp. Ranjith denies an article of the daily La Stampa: there will be no new pronouncements on the matter of the celebration of the Mass

    The secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Abp. Malcolm Ranjith, has denied today what is contained in an article published with today’s date on the daily La Stampa.

    The article mentions a supposed "turning point in the Vatican against – it is written – the ‘extravagances’ in Mass and to review some recent practices such as communion in the hand."

    Abp. Ranjith notices that there is in the article a collage of sentences pronounced by him in different contexts which have given rise to out-of-place construction.

    [Ranjith] Clarifies thus that, in the matter of the celebration of Holy Mass, with respect both to the priest and to the faithful, the binding discipline contained in the liturgical books is clear.

    Therefore – Abp. Ranjith affirms -, no ulterior pronouncements regarding the matter are foreseen. The expectation – he concludes – is that the existing norms and indications shall be regularly applied and that the Eucharist be celebrated with devotion, seriousness, and nobility.

RORATE Editorial Note: It seems that all the advocates of the "Reform of the Reform" will have to get used to the idea that the great measure of authentic reform is the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum – and that the Missal of Saint Pius V is their only hope.

The plot thickens.  Remember that there is even within the Congregation a faction arrayed against Archbp. Ranjith.

In the main WDTPRS agrees with Rorate on this point about Summorum Pontificum being the greatest source of hope! 

 

As I had said time and again, the use of the older form of Mass will exert an inexorable "gravitational pull" on the way the newer Mass is celebrated.  It will shift the perception of younger priests about who they are and what Mass is.  It will instill more and more a sense of the Sacrifice that is Holy Mass and the reverence to due the Eucharistic Lord.

With that "gravitational pull" will come, slowly at first to be sure, a shift in the practice of reception of Holy Communion.  That must happen.

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47 Responses to Communion in the hand: a news story and some comments

  1. Aelric says:

    Regarding the quote “and sermons and ensuring that they be exclusively based on the Gospel readings, [This undermines this whole report. Ridiculous.] said Ranjith who is Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.”

    To the contrary, see the following article:

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0800978.htm

    Where we find: “We have to find ways to improve homilies so that they are at one and the same time genuinely exegetical — genuinely interpretative of Scripture — and genuinely catechetical,” said another speaker, John Cavadini, chair of the theology department at Notre Dame.”

  2. Pope Evaristus, Martyr says:

    When Communion in the hand was instituted and justified, its supporters made a fundamental mistake.

    They could give you all kinds of quotes SHOWING that Communion was probably received in the hand (at least sometimes) in the very early Church.

    However, they fail to give all the quotes and reasons WHY this practice was eventually abandoned.

    Incidentally, the reformers pick and choose what they brought back from the early centuries. Some practices they took, and others they left.

    For example, in the very early Church, women always wore a white head cover, but they didn’t bring this back, did they?

  3. Tina in Ashburn VA says:

    If this is old news that keeps re-surfacing, is this symptomatic of surfacing expression of laity and clergy, on how we really feel about the widespread abuse of communion in the hand? If this rumor of looking into it keeps spreading, will it come true? Certainly, the abuse and disrespect of the Eucharist is rampant. You’d think when one Host is found left on a pew after Mass or stolen by the devil-worshipper or sold on eBay that there’d be swift reaction by the hierarchy. This is long overdue, old or new news.

    Those of us who have kept quiet our views on the Mass and Communion in the hand, are we now feeling vindicated by the Motu Proprio on the Old Mass, and free from silly rhetoric, we can now speak our mind?

  4. Jamie says:

    Rorate has posted this today: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2008/02/no-reform-of-reform-in-sight.html

    Just to quote a brief bit of it:

    “Abp. Ranjith denies an article of the daily La Stampa: there will be no new pronouncements on the matter of the celebration of the Mass. [...] Therefore – Abp. Ranjith affirms -, no ulterior pronouncements regarding the matter are foreseen. The expectation – he concludes – is that the existing norms and indications shall be regularly applied and that the Eucharist be celebrated with devotion, seriousness, and nobility.”

    So – no reform of the reform in sight (as far as VII and the new Mass anyway). It would appear that it is just the traditional Mass that is being reformed. Maybe the SSPX were right again?

  5. Gregor says:

    Well, Father, it is a mixture of old and recent news and spin. The La Stampa article, which is the apparent source for the article you quote at the beginning, is not the one you link to, but one of today, viz. http://www.lastampa.it/redazione/cmsSezioni/cronache/200802articoli/30431girata.asp
    This article seems to be mostly based on a recent “Petrus” interview, which I translated here: http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/2008/02/another-interview-with-archbishop.html
    However, the article in La Stampa spins the personal observations of Msgr. Ranjith and makes them sound as if a document were forthcoming – which has led Msgr. Ranjith, today, to a dementi, see here: http://paparatzinger-blograffaella.blogspot.com/2008/02/mons-ranjith-smentisce-un-articolo-del.html

  6. TNCath says:

    When I was in the 6th grade and Communion in the hand was being introduced, I remember resisting and being ridiculed by my teacher, a Sister of Charity, who asked me if I thought my hand was any less holy than my tongue. I remember replying, “No, Sister, I don’t. I just don’t like it. It’s not reverent.” It’s nice to know that 21 years later, I have been vindicated. Thank you, Archbishop Ranjith!

  7. Crusader says:

    We can ALL contribute to the return of Communion on the tongue by ONLY receiving this way, and ONLY from a priest, since his hands are consecrated and in my experience, most lay people just do not know how to properly place the Eucharist on the tongue without making finger-to-tongue contact.

  8. Szczebrzeszczynski says:

    No “Reform of the Reform” in sight

    Abp. Ranjith denies an article of the daily La Stampa: there will be no new pronouncements on the matter of the celebration of the Mass

    The secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Abp. Malcolm Ranjith, has denied today what is contained in an article published with today’s date on the daily La Stampa.

    The article mentions a supposed “turning point in the Vatican against – it is written – the ‘extravagances’ in Mass and to review some recent practices such as communion in the hand.”

    Abp. Ranjith notices that there is in the article a collage of sentences pronounced by him in different contexts which have given rise to out-of-place construction.

    [Ranjith] Clarifies thus that, in the matter of the celebration of Holy Mass, with respect both to the priest and to the faithful, the binding discipline contained in the liturgical books is clear.

    Therefore – Abp. Ranjith affirms -, no ulterior pronouncements regarding the matter are foreseen. The expectation – he concludes – is that the existing norms and indications shall be regularly applied and that the Eucharist be celebrated with devotion, seriousness, and nobility.

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/


    Where’s the Marshall plan then?

  9. Szcz: I updated the top entry. Thanks for that tip.

  10. Barry says:

    I had to stop receiving on the tongue for two reasons. First, the priest was inconsistant in his delivery of the sacred host, causing a “fumbling” at times which required me to use my fingers to stabelize the host once placed in my mouth. A sort of de facto reception in the hand. Secondly, the altar servers were sitting in tha sanctuary during communion instead of standing near the priest with a communion plate. I ended up solving this problem on my own by attending the extraordinary form at our local FSSP community. Every so often, however, I will attend a NO mass and will receive in the hand. This is the only real way I have found to keep the host from possibly falling on the floor.

  11. John says:

    Jesus said to Peter ‘feed my sheep!’ So when a priest ‘hires’ others-EMHCs, to feed the sheep he has abandone his charge and the chief reason for beinga priest. That is my take on it. Until the clrical establishment regains this important functionthe sheep will graze any-which-way they please.

  12. danphunter1 says:

    Sczc,

    That is really unbelievable that Archbishop Ranjith is not pushing for the abondonment of the abomination of the reception of our Lord in the hand.
    I know that he has spoken out, strongly, against it, but why does he deny that the Holy Fatherdoes not want to abolish this horrendous practice considering the fact that the Holy Father does not personally aprove of it himself?

    Could it possibly be that His Holiness is throwing all his eggs into one basket, so to speak, namely the Tridentine Mass?
    He see’s the Novus Ordo as a dying breed and a lost cause.

    God bless you.

  13. RichR says:

    In the most recent issue of the Latin Mass Magazine, the Rome correspondent, Alessandro Zangrando, hinted about this faction in the Congregation that does not see eye to eye with Ranjith. Zangrando hypothesized that they may try to get Ranjith sent back to Sri Lanka to replace the Archbishop of Colombo (who just turned 75 and is up for retirement). This, Zangrando says, is because Ranjith is a good candidate to replace Cardinal Arinze, who also just turned 75 and is up for retirement.

    Assuming that the speculation is correct, I have a question: I thought the Pope makes the final decisions on Congregational Prefect appointments, not the curial advisors. Am I wrong here?

  14. danphunter1 says:

    Abandon ship all ye that hoped for an orthodox change in the Novus Ordo.

    For the most part only priests who offer the Tridentine Mass will offer the Novus Ordo correctly and reverently.
    Kyrie Eleison.

  15. dan: For the most part only priests who offer the Tridentine Mass will offer the Novus Ordo correctly and reverently.

    I absolutely object to this irresponsible statement.

    This is a direct attack on many priests who do not know the older form but who strive to say Holy Mass reverently and faithfully.

    This is an attack on my friends, good men who are good shepherds to their flocks.

    I cannot abide this sort of injustice.

  16. Gregor says:

    I don’t think it is fair to deduct from Msgr Ranjith’s dementi that “the Reform of the Reform is going nowhere” or that “he is not pushing for abondoning Communion in the hand”. (And perhaps, Dan Hunter, although I know this will sound patronising, but it is really meant in a freindly and brotherly way, you should just wait and reflect a bit before making angry, hyperbolic comments.) The Archbishop is simply saying that the claims of the article, which basically said that all the points that Msgr. Ranjith raised in the interview would be mandated by some forthcoming document are not true, that such a document does not exist. This does not detract from what he said in the interview (“Communion in the hand needs to be revisited”), nor does it say that changes won’t come to the ordinary form in the future. All he says, a document of the content claimed by La Stampa does not exist at present.

  17. Flambeaux says:

    Dan,

    Fr. Z isn’t the only one who finds your obnoxious statement offensive, untrue, unjust, and asinine.

    Get a grip.

  18. Dr. Joe Hoelscher says:

    Give me a break…. number one, the Latin Mass is going to be celebrated on a very limited basis, so your gravitational pull is flawed. Maybe you need a gravitational pull out into orbit somewhere, because that is where your head is. Number Two, this is all a bunch of nonsense…. the Pope, Benny the 16th, should just have left the prayer vs the Jews out all together…. he has only stirred the pot once again. So far he has pissed off the Muslims and the Jews…. whom shall he scourge next????

  19. techno_aesthete says:

    Communion in the hand is an indult.

  20. Raymond says:

    I happily receive Communion in the mouth whenever it’s given by a priest, deacon, or appropriately-vested seminarian. However, when confronted by a extra-ordinary minister, my instincts immediately prod me to stick out my hands. Though I’ve spent my entire life in the post-V2 Church, I just find it hard, psychologically, to receive in the mouth from an EM.

  21. danphunter1 says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,

    I am looking for my violin.

    Gregor,
    I am not angry at all.
    Just very disapointed and sad.
    I was just stating the truth as is being made manifest throughout the Church each and every day.
    Kyrie Eleison

  22. vincentius says:

    A dear aunt of mine passed away recently. I was quite surprised to find the N.O. Mass was said ad orientem! Even my sister who is a “progressive” liked it.
    I guess Newton and Fr Z are right (we’ll exclude Newton’s theology)

  23. Fr. N says:

    ….whom shall he scourge next???? Maybe you, Dr. Joey!

  24. chris says:

    But it IS curious just how the Spirit may be working in this when only a few hints by certain legitimate Church authorities continue to have their effect…maybe becoming even a tsunami in certain circles…as if certain corrections must be inevitable. Guilty consciences coming home to roost perhaps?

    Abp. Ranjith notices that there is in the article a collage of sentences pronounced by him in different contexts which have given rise to out-of-place construction.

    Well, yeah, but you can’t say they aren’t out there at all when they are. So, okay, get those “in-place” constructions and let us go from there!! Fr. Z, can you get those original statement constructions for us (for some, again). I bet they’ll also “hint” to a lot of admissions for those necessary corrections to be made. Or else, true respect for God is failed some more when one may have the greatest moment since the time that such mistakes were made offered for correcting the situation. The grassroots needs to make its backing known to the powers, mentioning the hope that comes with such articles, even when misrepresenting.

  25. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    To agree with Dan but perhaps in somewhat more moderate tones. I do believe that most lay people would be better off abandoning the New Mass. Most of the priests I have encountered in the New Mass, are not really interested in reverence (or regular confession or good catechesis). Certainly, I think Fr. Z travels in a different circle of priests that offer the New Mass, who are not the norm. Notice Barry’s comments above, about not even receiving on the tongue at the New Mass. That said, I believe maybe even a majority of young, recently ordained, priests do care about reverence, and confession and good catehesis. On the other hand, I think the vast majority of priests that offer the Traditional Mass care about about these things. I often wonder if we will see a swell of young priests leaving the New Mass, to exclusively offer the Traditional Mass. I am not trying to paint with a broad brush, and if I am guilty of an over generalization, I am sorry. I can only base this on my personal experiences in the US.

  26. Brian2 says:

    Isn;t this how the MP began: rumor-denial, new rumor — new denial, new rumor– slight confirmation, and so on until finally, it comes out to great fanfare.

  27. AJdiocese says:

    When I was in what passed as Religious Education in the late ’70′s and early ’80′s we were instructed by our priest and teacher that we were not allowed to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. It wasn’t until I was in college, after hearing a homily on the merits of the tradtional manner of receiving, that I first received on the tongue. Today our bishop merely says that priests are not allowed to favor one way over the other in instructions and homilies.

  28. Of all the liturgical changes in the last 40 years, communion in the hand has been by far the most damaging, and even Paul VI tried to stop it! It started in the Netherlands in imitation of Protestant practice, in order to implement liberal theology into the hearts and minds of the faithful.

  29. Matt Q says:

    So this Ranjith thing was a joke? The Church **isn’t** re-examining Communion by hand? Well, so much for attempting to reform the Novus Ordo. I always thought was gimmick.

  30. Ruairi O Duibhir says:

    Today in Saint Kevins Church,Harrington Street,Dublin,Ireland, a Solem Requiem was celebrated according to the T.L.R. THE CHIOR SANG fAURE’S REQUIEM.
    What a wonderful liturgy:the Reverence,the dignity,altoghther uplifting.

  31. Kiran says:

    I just wish people would stop catechizing people/refusing communion for kneeling/recieving communion on the tongue/genuflecting before receiving communion at Novus Ordo Masses. Not all priests do, and by and large, it is actually Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who do so, and by no means all of them either. But it is a problem.

    I do think it would be a good idea to abolish communion on the hand, and EMs. I used to act as one by the way (though I did not like doing so and for this among other reasons switched to the Extraordinary Form). I don’t think the people acting as EMs are bad (and this is something which it is important to remember), just that the practise should go.

    Probably Pope Benedict (who is wiser than I) is doing things slowly…

  32. Kiran says:

    Funnily enough, on the NLM, nobody seemed to object to the 10 minute restriction. Some of the best homilies I have heard have been longer, though it is true that a number of people would spend 5 or 10 or 30 minutes talking about the time their dog scratched their back….

  33. Mrs. Bob Irvin says:

    Can I just give a little rant on what I want? After all, what shall be will be.
    What is want is…
    A return to the Mass of my childhood. It was a mixture of the Latin Mass and the contemporary Mass of the late 60′s. Not like the Mass of today.

    A good and loving parish that focuses on children’s education and adult’s togetherness.

    Music that soothes the soul at one moment and gives your heart gladness with elegance in another.

    Nuns and priests who have time to spend with every parish member. For baptisms, births, deaths, sickness, evil, etc.

    I pray for enough seminarians to fulfill these needs. It looks bleak. Why do young men not see the value in giving their life to Christ? I pray for this daily. It must turn around in order to help the Church in the US strong.

    Peace
    S

  34. Anita says:

    A ten minute restriction on homilies will absolutely not work. Some times it takes almost that much to read certain gospel readings. In my parish the homilies on Sunday are at least 20-25 minutes long and are wonderful in depth teachings on the Mass readings. Also, to John, who said priests that use Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are not doing their job, is totally off center on that. Most churches do not have enough priests to serve at all Masses and most Masses have more people than one priest alone can handle. I happen to be an Extraordinary Minister and we are trained to do our job correctly and with all the reverence expected. We only have two priests in our parish and six Masses. There is no way that those two can serve all six Masses, so they need us to help out. Don’t knock it if you don’t have full understanding of situations where it is needed.

  35. Kiran says:

    Anita, I think the practice of EMs should go having been one, not just because EMs are sometimes irreverent (though they are at least some of the time) nor because I found it impossibly draining. It is because (a)the sacred does (because of who we are as human animals) need clearly defined boundaries (b) the practice does independently of intention of EM or priest encourage irreverence (c) because the Mass was supposed to stop time, and it is the last place that should have been constrained by it (d) By all reports there are far fewer Catholics at Mass now than there were 40 years ago. So, what has changed? Why is it that priests could give out communion to everybody in 1967, but not in 2007? I think part of the answer lies in the fact that we as a Church have capitulated to the bustle of the times and it is time we said “Enough!” loud and clear.

    I agree as to homily length.

  36. jack burton says:

    The theological topology that is achieved in the traditional communion rail scenario is a valid and eloquent expression of the unifying and transfiguring act of Communion as the theandric and sacerdotal interpenetration of man and the cosmos in the mystery of God’s condescension. The ontological relations of God, man and creation, as well as the high priestly motif and the eschatological meaning of the event are perversely obscured in the typical cast of thousand EM scenario that is found in many parishes.
    It is ironic since the new liturgy is practically defined as being “for the people,” and yet in which scenario are the faithful being more properly ministered to? I can only speak from my own experience but at my TLM parish I receive a solemn benediction from an Alter Christus in a settings that articulates the seriousness and dignity of what is taking place; when I am forced to visit one of the novus ordo parishes in town I am shuffled down the aisle so swiftly that I cannot hope to recollect myself and I am given the Eucharist by any old random lay person in tacky street clothes. The impression given is that the Communion of the Faithful is a relatively unimportant part of the liturgy that ought to be over with as soon as possible because it is apparently a mere burden.
    The traditional Mass expresses a greater respect for the Communion of the Faithful in this regard. In the novus ordo (as typically celebrated) the communion of the priest is focused upon as a pivotal moment in that it is done versus populum and quite often the celebrant says the private prayers out loud and attention is drawn to this action. The Communion of the Faithful on the other hand is apparently unworthy of much attention or care and it is virtually anathema to suggest that it would be worthwhile to restore a more solemn and dignified scenario. How is the importance of the people being affirmed in all of this? – By the excessive and often illicit use of Ems? This might serve to obscure the meaning and dignity of the priesthood but by so doing it further distorts and trivializes the Communion of the Faithful.

    Anyway, I find it interesting that in the early Church the parts of the Mass to be truncated when the pastoral need arose (namely when the liturgy was typically in excess of three hours) pertained to the foremass whereas in the novus ordo these values are reversed (the popularity of EP II testified to this fact). Perish the thought that the so-called ‘prayers of the faithful’ might be excluded for the sake of brevity, or perhaps that the sermon might be five minutes or less or that the offertory procession might be minimized. The second reading was also a grave concern in the 1960’s while the many holy prayers of the Canon were considered redundant and repetitive accretions.
    The order of the Mass was reconstructed in such a way that I would dare say that the “liturgy of the word” has been ironically impoverished since it now in fact diminishes the sacramental, prophetic and iconic dimensions of the rite in favor of Protestant didacticism.

  37. George says:

    The traditional method of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is the official
    norm,-communion in the hand is an indult.
    Not every bishop or diocese permits this indult; I believe the practice is
    non existent or forbiden in Poland (or was until very recently).
    Contrary to the law of the Church and in gravely sinful violation certain priests
    in Holland and France(?)dared to introduce this. Concerned Bishops came to Rome,
    Pope Paul polled all the bishops and decreed that the traditional way would remain.
    Guidelines were given to try to curb the worst abuses where the practice remained.
    They were written in French not latin(AASedis)(to show this was not to be univers
    lly in force?). Someone please correct me or clarify.
    applied

  38. Sometimes 10 min isnt enough to make a point. However, I do know priests that need to cut down their homely time. 15 min would suffice for me.

    As for Communion on the Hand, it needs to go. We only have it by indult, all Rome needs to do is deny it (just like the one for EOMHC’s cleaning the vessels for Holy Communion).

  39. Matt Q says:

    George wrote:

    “The traditional method of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is the official norm, –communion in the hand is an indult. Not every bishop or diocese permits this indult; I believe the practice is non existent or forbiden in Poland (or was until very recently). Contrary to the law of the Church and in gravely sinful violation certain priests in Holland and France(?)dared to introduce this. Concerned Bishops came to Rome, Pope Paul polled all the bishops and decreed that the traditional way would remain. Guidelines were given to try to curb the worst abuses where the practice remained. They were written in French not latin (AASedis) (to show this was not to be universally in force?). Someone please correct me or clarify.”

    ()

    Wherever this “indult” isn’t allowed, it certainly isn’t in America. I haven’t heard of a parish not allowing Communion by hand, and as I travel across the country, each parish I’ve happened to drop in on does so.

  40. Gloei says:

    I strongly think that Holy Communion be not given in the hand to the parshioners only placed in the mouth. I also would like to just receive from the priest. I really don’t think that a 10 minute sermon is logical. Also our priests need to relate to all the things that are happening today and telling people to follow the 10 commanments and not be afraid to tell people what is right and wrong because they might not come to church if you tell them what they do not want to hear. We need this badly in our parishes. People also need to dress properly out of respect to going to God’s house. I would love to have Latin masses again. Gloria

  41. Tracy says:

    Do we all not have OUR OWN job to do? I believe that the more we compromise the
    ‘Original Church’ the more we give it to the Enemy! Is God not Past, Present and
    Future? Jesus is here NOW just as He was and will ever Be! We have no right
    to change what God has given us, and I believe with immovable volition that
    Jesus wants us to take the Host from the Priest’s Hand (the one who Jesus sent
    to represent Himself), not our own.
    I’m sure we all agree that the priest represents our Lord in the flesh giving
    Himself to us in the Host. The reason that we do not take the Lord in our own
    hands is that we could drop a piece of the Holy Flesh or perhaps decide to
    keep it without consuming it (as those who work for the Enemy would!).
    Thus, there is far less a chance of defiling, disrespecting and
    continuing to “crucify” Jesus Christ if the priest (who represents the Lord) does
    the job of handling the Sacred Host. In Christ, Tracy Illes

  42. Chris says:

    I have never agreed with taking commuion in the hand and NEVER WILL! I am old school ,and even still wear a veil to Mass! our of respect of course. I applaud any Bishop,Priest,or Our Holy Father that has the courage and strength to uphold the the proper respects due to Our Lord in the Eucharist, I never agreed with EM’s giving out communion either,and I have always loved it when the altar boys are there with the Priest during communion time.Catholics have something no other faith HAS! WE HAVE the BLESSED SACRAMENT! It deserves the respect and homage by receiving it on our tongues and NO OTHER WAY! How long will it be before things change to get us back to the way we need to be regarding respect for OUR LORD in the MASS! Thank You for reading this :)

  43. Matt Q says:

    I was reading on different websites about this very subject and then back to here and I got that disappointing feeling that the rumblings of Reforming the Novus Ordo is in fact just the garbage truck going by. It’s nice to know different people on different sites have the same sentiments as we do here.

    Case in point:

    Anonymous ( that’s what they posted themselves as ) wrote:

    “It would seem to me that this means that the only reform going on now is the reform of the 1962 Missal. The SSPX are looking more attractive by the day!

    I knew all along that there would be no “Reform of the Reform.” The low-life liturgists and other neo-Protestants in the Vatican would never permit it. This Pope, while well intentioned, is very wimpish about ruling, governing, guiding, directing, with concrete directives, rules, pronouncements, guidelines, changes etc. Everyone in the Vatican is more interested in preserving the legacy of Vatican II… and of John Paul II, than in rescuing the Church from collapse. And that is sick.

    The only salvation for the Catholic Church is the Tridentine Latin Mass. And perhaps the SSPX.”

    ()

    To that I say that person said it very well. My opinion is that Ranjith has been threatened somehow. Notice that when someone in the Vatican comes out speaking forcefully for Tradition, they suddenly backtrack or quietly vanish back into the woodwork. On the other hand, let some fat-mouth Vat2 liberal like Piero Marini or a Richard McBrien fly off the handle, they get to carry on forever. No restraint, no hushing of them. It’s then reported it’s their own opinion, etc. Funny how the same isn’t accorded to those who stand up for Truth and Tradition.

    Regarding SSPX, I appreciate their efforts and what they stand for, I really do, but until they are apostolically regularized, no.

  44. Matt Q says:

    The above entry was running a bit long, but I did want to add that it seems odd Archbishop Ranjith came out so forcefully and directly when it came to castigating ( and rightly so ) recalcitrant bishops and priests who refuse to follow Summorum Pontificum, but his speaking out on Communion by hand and its need to be re-examined, he is now suddenly refuting it, all of a sudden his comments were taken “out of context?” Why then no clarification on what that context is? What’s wrong with this picture here?

  45. Matt Q says:

    Chris wrote:

    “I have never agreed with taking commuion in the hand and NEVER WILL! I am old school, and even still wear a veil to Mass! out of respect of course. I applaud any Bishop, Priest, or Our Holy Father that has the courage and strength to uphold the the proper respects due to Our Lord in the Eucharist, I never agreed with EMs giving out Communion either,and I have always loved it when the altar boys are there with the Priest during communion time. Catholics have something no other faith HAS! WE HAVE the BLESSED SACRAMENT! It deserves the respect and homage by receiving it on our tongues and NO OTHER WAY! How long will it be before things change to get us back to the way we need to be regarding respect for OUR LORD in the MASS! Thank You for reading this :)

    ()

    Dear Chris:

    I appreciate your sentiments exactly. While I grew up never seeing women wear veils in church, I am beginning to see it now little by little. I think this is a good thing it creates a greater sense of modesty.

    I really do believe in the effort to re-establish Sacred Tradition back in this Church. I also believe there is an effort to destroy said Sacred Tradition, and that this effort is actually an ideological warfare to destroy the Church and souls. They make it sound like they are doing something wonderful for the people but in fact what they are doing is destroying the very foundation on which the Church is built so they can create their own secular-humanist church. Whether this is intentional or not, the result is the same–loss of souls, loss of Tradition.

  46. John says:

    Form is form.
    The Lord requires we receive with the heart.After we receive we need time to contemplate the Person that we take for granted.We are putting the emphasis on form not on the realization of the real presence.Does the Father care how His children receive?We are to worship in Spirit and in Truth.