How seriously did our forebears take the reception of Communion and their duty to avoid possible profanation of the Eucharist.
Today I saw an interesting entry at Corpus Christi Watershed about a rubric which disappeared by the time of the 1962 Missale Romanum.
It is curious that in the 1962MR rubrics about certain things disappeared, such as the recitation of the so-called Second Confiteor.
I had forgotten about this rubric. Here’s CCW (in case someone is “triggered” by that, it’s not Concealed Carry Weapon):
As late as 1957, the Roman Missal contained this rubric:
Minister autem dextera manu tenens
vas cum vino et aqua, sinistra vero mappulam,
aliquanto post Sacerdotem eis porrigit purificationem,
et mappulam ad os abstergendum.
The Server, however, holding in his right hand
a vessel with wine and water, and in his left a cloth,
a little behind the Priest proffers them
[i.e. the communicants] the purification,
and the cloth to wipe their mouths.
That’s correct: An altar boy followed the priest, giving water and wine to those who have just received Holy Communion.
It seems that this practice fell aside, even as the rubric remained for a time. It was preserved at ordinations and other rare occasions.
The article curiously concludes:
Nevertheless, Fr. Herbert Thurston was probably correct to write, in 1911:
“Nay more, I will go so far as to say that if any priest did carry out the rubric in question, he would—at an early date—have his attention called to the matter by his Bishop, and would be reminded that it was not for private individuals to revive obsolete observances, when they have been suffered to fall into desuetude by a Church fully competent to enforce her own enactments if she wishes to do so.”