@ArchbishpSample to make liturgical changes in the @archpdx

His Excellency Most Reverend Alexander Sample, Archbishop of Portland has stood up again and again in favor of a strong Catholic identity.  I remind the readership of his stellar sermon some years ago at Assumption Grotto in Detroit (HERE) and his fine sermon at the Pontifical Mass at the Shrine (HERE).

Archbishop Sample just wrote a column for their archdiocesan paper HERE

In this column he writes about reverence for the Eucharist.  He also says that there will soon be issued a liturgical handbook for the archdiocese.

Two of the things that he will establish in law for the archdiocese is the cessation of Communion services and that all shall kneel for the Agnus Dei.

I’ve known Archbp. Sample since the mid-80’s, before either of us entered seminary.  I knew him also as a priest.  I can say that he is one of the most prayerful priests I know.

Please share!

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24 Responses to @ArchbishpSample to make liturgical changes in the @archpdx

  1. taylorhall95 says:

    Excellent news! I think some people wondered if he was truly implementing liturgical reform in the Archdiocese of Portland. Clearly, the answer is yes. Of course, the Archdiocese of Portland is one of the most non-religious places in the U.S. It takes patience and gradual changes to successfully implement liturgical reform in such a place. Hopefully, the liturgical formation of seminarians coming from the Archdiocese of Portland will also begin to reflect those of its head.

  2. taylorhall95 says:

    Excellent news! I think some people wondered if he was truly implementing liturgical reform in the Archdiocese of Portland. Clearly, the answer is yes. Of course, the Archdiocese of Portland is one of the most non-religious places in the U.S. It takes patience and gradual changes to successfully implement liturgical reform in such a place. Hopefully, the liturgical formation of seminarians coming from the Archdiocese of Portland will also begin to reflect those of its head.

  3. Glennonite says:

    I personally have been kneeling during the Agnus Dei for years. The two reasons are: a) It (tactically) wards-off anyone who wants to exchange the ‘high-five of peace’ with me. b) My eyes are prayerfully focused on the Blessed Sacrament upon the altar during the Pater Noster and my heart is begging for mercy; therefore my body posture reflects that.

    It makes me smile to hear the archbishop promote this obvious practice.

  4. Sword40 says:

    The Archbishop was gracious enough to have coffee with us after Mass a couple of years ago. I was impressed with him then and even more so now. Portland is very Blessed.

  5. AM says:

    The Canadian GIRM #43 doesn’t give the local Bishop any say about posture, like the US one does and as the Archbishop says.

    However, the US GIRM #43 doesn’t give the local Bishop the power to regulate posture during the Agnus Dei, only _after_ it.

    So does the Archbishop have the power to do this because well he’s the Bishop and what he says goes? Even if the GIRM doesn’t allow it?

    When can a Bishop restrict what the GIRM allows?

  6. bibi1003 says:

    Kneeling during the Agnus Dei … beautiful.

  7. monstrance says:

    These changes might be just the beginning.
    Imagine the blowback he’s going to get.
    Why do the libs hate to kneel or genuflect ?
    Are we not a universal Church ?
    My experience throughout the country has been that most parish’s kneel at the Agnus Dei.
    Most kneel after receiving Our Lord.
    In my archdiocese, most kneel, but one parish insists on standing.
    Why doesn’t the USCCB stop this buffoonery?

  8. davidvu999 says:

    I know many of them. I attend seminary with them. Many are solid.

  9. GrumpyYoungMan says:

    “We will return to the practice of kneeling after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).”

    Relax. His Excellency is only regulating posture after the Agnus Dei.

  10. Gripen says:

    “We will return to the practice of kneeling after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). ”

    This is quite different than kneeling *during* the Agnus Dei. But an excellent move nonetheless!

  11. majuscule says:

    From what I read the new change is to kneel after the Agnus Dei

    “We will return to the practice of kneeling after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). The current practice is to remain standing…” http://www.catholicsentinel.org/Content/Faith-Spirituality/Archbishop-Sample-s-Column/Article/Reverence-for-our-Eucharistic-Lord/4/253/35617

    In my parish (and probably diocese) we always kneel after the Agnus Dei. We had a large group of visitors one Sunday from a neighboring diocese and obviously their norm was to stand.

  12. youngcatholicgirl says:

    God bless Archbishop Sample! I was once at a spiritual conference given by an Institute priest in which he spoke of the Mass of the Catechumens leading up to the Mass of the Faithful (or something to that effect). It made me realize what’s wrong with “Communion Services” (here we call them “Liturgy of the Word with Communion”). How glad I am to see Archbishop Sample do away with them!!

  13. ex seaxe says:

    You had me worrying there, Father, for a while, that I might have been missing something in my practice of standing for the Agnus Dei, and then falling to my knees when the priest says “Behold …”.
    (This is the norm in England) It is something I have done since the 1950s, when as a young teenager I joined the men in standing, while we left the pews for women and children. Stand until “Hanc igitur …”, kneel until the elevation of the chalice. Kneel again at “Ecce! Agnus Dei …”. If fortunate enough to secure a postion by a pillar, use the base as a misericord (but of course only during the sermon).

  14. frjim4321 says:

    It long overdue to discontinue communion services, I can’t believe they still allow them. Although his rational (“There is an intimate and intrinsic link between three realities that is essential in this context. They are the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest who ministers in the person of Christ, and the distribution of Holy Communion.”) is a bit insufficient, in that he does not refer at all to the Liturgy of the Word and the notion of the Liturgy of the Eucharist existing only in relationship to it.

    Another reader already corrected the error regarding when the kneeling would happen (after, and not before the Lamb of God).

    I’m beginning to develop an insight that all of this excessive preoccupation with the sacred species themselves in leading to a rather passive Christianity, as opposed to the more dynamic sacramental theology espoused in the East.

    What’s going on in the West, IMHO, it the reduction of the sacred species to a mere amulet, that I find that rather heartbreaking.

  15. ex seaxe says:

    On the one hand, I like* to have an opportunity to receive the Blessed Sacrament every day, even when our priest is unavailable (one priest, two parishes and a prison to minister to, next parish over an hour’s travel away). On the other hand, the official rite is just Mass with most of the bits missing, which I think is an error. As a very minimum, I would move the penitential rite to where the ‘third confiteor’ used to be, as an immediate prelude to Communion, and I would not have a lay person leading the Lord’s Prayer (or anything else) from the altar.
    *It feeds my spirit.

  16. Josephus Corvus says:

    Related to ex seaxe’s response, I wonder if the priests in Archbishop Sample’s archdiocese have the freedom to set their schedules in order to offer Mass. For example, in my parish, we have one evening Mass per week (Wednesday) which is nice for working people to attend. There is also a morning Mass that day and Adoration between the two. Fr. B will say one and Fr. J will say the other. However, if either priest is gone (vacation, retreat, etc.), that evening Mass is cancelled – even if the priest who is not gone is in the church to do Benediction at the close of Adoration. One night, Fr. J. told us he was not allowed to say Mass.

  17. JimmyD7 says:

    The Holy Rosary Church in Portland is amazing. The Dominican Friars are amazing. And to be able to participate in a Dominican Rite Mass is amazing. That Church changed my life forever. Sadly, I will be moving away shortly and I am already trying to figure what will replace it where I am moving.

  18. Semper Gumby says:

    God bless Abp. Sample.

  19. TonyO says:

    AM asks above:

    However, the US GIRM #43 doesn’t give the local Bishop the power to regulate posture during the Agnus Dei, only _after_ it.

    So does the Archbishop have the power to do this because well he’s the Bishop and what he says goes? Even if the GIRM doesn’t allow it?

    When can a Bishop restrict what the GIRM allows?

    In the Dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause. However, those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.[53]

    Happily, we can point out that the bishop is only changing the part that the US GIRM says he has the authority to determine – the posture after the Agnus Dei.

    But this gives us an opportunity to visit the different adaptions of the GIRM by different conferences of bishops. As I understand it, the universal norm is to remain standing after the Agnus Dei – that’s what’s in the Roman Missal (Novus Ordo). The US bishops, however, asked to keep the US practice of kneeling after the Agnus Dei that had been in place way, way back into the past. The Vatican granted permission for the US adaption to the GIRM to be that in the US, the norm is to kneel after the Agnus Dei, but that the ordinary can specify otherwise. Consequently, all Bishop Sample is doing is returning the diocese to the US norm, instead of making use of an EXCEPTION to that norm granted in $43 to specify otherwise.

  20. Uxixu says:

    Agree with one (kneeling and on the tongue for the Latin Rite), but not the other (restricting Holy Communion to Mass). Would be better to restore the old rule restricting Mass from an hour before dawn (aurora) and an hour after noon (meridiem) with the ancient exceptions for All Souls and the Nativity (and perhaps now the Easter Vigil, though that was not the tradition since at least the 8th century).

    Vespers should be the norm in the parish as well as the cathedral and this fits Vatican II’s explicit exhortation from Sacrosanctum Concilium. There’s no reason why a Communion service should not be attached to this for the working Catholics who cannot attend.

    It would also be worth considering removing the Communion rite from the Mass entirely… perhaps after every Mass, if not also abolishing row by row Communion which entices some to unworthy reception as they’d be oddballs if left in the pew for wagging tongues to gossip wonder why they’re not going up… and the alternative of going up for a blessing is perhaps praiseworthy… except it’s now rarely to a priest but to a layman with no authority or ability to do any blessing…

  21. Carrie says:

    I never understood having Communion services. Neither do I support having tabernacles or adoration. I’m sure that will ruffle feathers here. But the Last Supper, the Emmaus meal— these were Jesus teaching us about Eucharist. It is a meal, a celebration of Jesus’ very real presence with us, a memorial of his life and suffering and death, a call to live as Christians. Jesus said: Take and eat. Not— eat and store the rest (no— we invite more to the meal so there aren’t leftovers); or, take and stare at me. The Eucharist is a live experience at Mass. For the sick and those who cannot be there, or when priests are on vacation— there is Spiritual Communion. And within the context of a beautiful prayer service, this can be very moving.

  22. drforjc says:

    Fortunately, Carrie, the Church has a true understanding of the theology of the mass and the Eucharist, so we can safely discard your rather Protestant-derived personal interpretation.

  23. michaelthoma says:

    >>Carrie says:
    17 May 2018 at 7:04 AM
    I never understood having Communion services. Neither do I support having tabernacles or adoration. I’m sure that will ruffle feathers here. But the Last Supper, the Emmaus meal— these were Jesus teaching us about Eucharist. It is a meal, a celebration of Jesus’ very real presence with us, a memorial of his life and suffering and death, a call to live as Christians. Jesus said: Take and eat. Not— eat and store the rest (no— we invite more to the meal so there aren’t leftovers); or, take and stare at me. The Eucharist is a live experience at Mass. For the sick and those who cannot be there, or when priests are on vacation— there is Spiritual Communion. And within the context of a beautiful prayer service, this can be very moving.

    Hmm.. this is the Lutheran/’one-version of’Anglican theology. Certainly not Catholic or Orthodox in any sense. Take and Eat certainly does not exclude storing or staring (if that’s how you want to belittle prayer). We are certainly not told to mumble innovative words to our Deity either, prayer – in the Bible – always includes incense and Liturgy, however, protestants and even contemporary ‘charismatic’ Catholics disagree.

  24. Carrie says:

    Michaelthoma, I’m not certain I caught the meaning of your last sentence; but—I can think of plenty Biblical examples of prayer that don’t include incense and liturgy. I wasn’t arguing that point. I very much believe Eucharist belongs in the Mass—with or without incense (I prefer not, as it makes me very nauseous, though I appreciate the idea). I think the bishop was right to discontinue Communion services.

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