Do you recall that I asked for help to determine a good way to attach houseling cloths on a Communion rail? HERE Many of you came through.
By the way “housel” is a Middle and Old English word for “Eucharist”. It is also a verb, “to housel” means “to administer Communion”. There are wonderful archaic words for our sacramental practices which, when we use them, puts us in touch with our forebears. Think of “shrift”, which means absolution. There is a verb, “to shrive”, or “to hear a confession, to absolve”. Once you have been absolved you have been “shriven”. When you confess, be brief… short shrift, as it were. If you have been “aneled” you are probably in trouble. The verb “to anele” is “to anoint, give extreme unction”. The term “extreme unction” refers to the last moments of life, when you are “in extremis” and “unction” is from Latin ungo, “to smear, anoint”. But I’ll finish this short rant… but I won’t rantize.
Rail cloths are practical, in that they help us to protect the Host from falling to the floor or, quod Deus avertat, into unconsecrated hands. They are also theological, in that they show that the Communion rail or, often, altar rail is related to the … wait for it… altar, which is also clothed in linen.
Last night we installed some cloths… I think they are Houseling Cloths 1.0, because we will need to make some changes, upgrades.
In any event, we did it. After all, the old Rituale Romanum requires that a clean white cloth be extended before those who receive Holy Communion (IV, ii, n. 1) prescribes that a clean white cloth be extended before those who receive Holy Communion…. “ante eos linteo mundo extenso“. In some places people will put their hands underneath the cloth and even hold it up under their chins, although now we generally make use of Communion patens.
This is at St. Mary’s in Pine Bluff, WI where I help out.
Drilling guide holes for the screw in ring bolts.
Now the big question remains… hands under or over! I wrote on that once, HERE.
How about a POLL? Chose your best answer and, if you wish, give an explanation in the combox. Anyone can vote, but you must be registered and approved to comment.