From a reader…
Our liturgy folks tape little sticky notes on the floor where the army of EMHC are to stand at communion time at Mass.
There are red sticky notes with W1, W2, W3, etc. indicating “Wine” and yellow sticky notes indicating “Bread” (or maybe they mean “Body”, but somehow I doubt it). Should we sabotage their efforts by surreptitiously removing them? The constant referring to the Sacred Elements as bread and wine instead of the Body and Blood is frustrating.
Ah, liturgical choreography! Always an entertaining spectacle. When it’s done right, no one even notices it (nor should they), but when things go wrong and someone is standing in the wrong place at the wrong time, it can be … sub optimal.
Before the advent of post-it notes, we had masking tape on the floor to mark positions. Before masking tape, I’m sure there were other directives. The intricate patterns of marble and granite in some of the great cathedral floors had as at least a secondary effect of providing positions for generations of altar boys, errant subdeacons, and confused clergy of every stripe.
Removing the post-its would probably lead to their replacement. Moving them to other spots on the floor (or the walls!) might lead to liturgical anarchy (¡hagan lio!). Replacing them with something better might be the most kind thing. What that something might be, I have no idea.
One option is that they use their brains (aka The Personal Computer Almost Anyone Can Use). I am reminded of a moment many years ago when I was reading some Latin with the famous Fr. Reginald Foster. It was a hard passage with some vocabulary that (then) I was a little insecure about, so I had recourse to my dictionary. “One of these days, Zuhlsdorf,” he growled at me, “you’ll get tired of looking that word up and you’ll LEARN IT.”
The labeling of EMHC spots as “bread” and “wine” is probably innocuous, even the Roman Canon, after the consecration refers to the Blessed Sacrament as “bread” (albeit “Holy Bread of eternal life”), but still it is symptomatic of disrespect for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, a minimizing of the sacred. It may be cumbersome to refer to someone who is distributing the Blessed Sacrament as “An Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion Distributing the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (and that may be difficult to write on a post-it note), but certainly we can come up with some short-hand that is more fitting than “W1.”
Also, let us remember that July is the month for fostering our devotion to the Most Precious Blood. Perhaps the parish priest might benefit from a reminder about that.
Meanwhile, how about “Chalice 1?” “Chalice 2?” “Host 4?” “Host 17?” (BINGO!!!!)