From a reader:
I wanted to inquire about a pious habit I have acquired from my parents who have acquired it from their parents.
At the Mass, immediately following the words of Consecration when the Host is lifted up, when the bell is wrung thrice we have always struck our breasts once and said silently to ourselves, "Lord I am not worthy to receive you, etc."
Now my knowledge of the rubrics for the Novus Ordo are not exhaustive, but I don’t recall ever reading this. I did, however, recall seeing at a TLM a reference within the Missal explaining that one should say at the elevation: "My Lord and my God." I have also noticed a few ladies and gents over the years with a bit more gray in their hair than the rest also strike their breasts at this moment, but it’s relatively rare. My question is, is this anywhere within the rubrics or merely a pious action that developed over the years, much like the modern holding of hands during the Our Father at Novus Ordo Masses?
Frankly, I think you can do what you want at that moment.
Some people prefer to do nothing external. Many say "My Lord and my God!", echoing St. Thomas the Apostle.
I know that there were directives against the priest who is saying Mass from doing this, but the laity may do as they please.
I have no problem at all with these acts of piety, which are intimately personal and harm no one. In a similar way, if people want to hold hands during Mass, at any time, fine! Just don’t try to compel anyone else to do it. Moreover, people are never to be directed to hold hands.
It would be interesting to know what practices people have for this mysterious moment during Holy Mass.