An unavoidable periergos of the extreme papalotry gang, Austen Iveriegh today sticks his nose in where it has no business in Tweet intended to denigrate Joseph Shaw of the UK’s long-established Latin Mass Society. I am a dues paying member of the LMS even though I don’t live in the UK. We have to support these good institutions and their work. “Go and do likewise.”
Shaw posted at the Catholic Herald about reception of Communion during the Traditional Latin Mass in the present environment of contagion.
Shaw rightly states that it is not permitted to distribute Communion on the hand during according to Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I add that the prohibition includes Communion in all rites of the Traditional Roman Rite, such as Communion outside of Mass, or Communion of the sick or dying.
Shaw then observes that the Bishops Conference of England and Wales advised that Communion should only be given on the hand, not the tongue, which leaves traditional Mass goers in a bind.
Well, not really. There is, as Shaw notes, the possibility of a) not going forward for Communion and b) making a Spiritual Communion.
Enter the buttinski.
— Austen Ivereigh (@austeni) March 5, 2020
Liturgical fundamentalism. That is clearly intended as an insult to Joseph Shaw and, indeed, to all who prefer the Traditional Roman Rite. That from a guy who thinks that every word that droppeth from Francis is tantamount to the 11th apparition of Vishnu.
Firstly, note the antinomian attitude of this tweet: blithely ignore the law. It really is the state of affairs that Communion cannot be distributed on the hand in the Traditional Latin Mass, etc. If Ivereigh thinks that he and the New catholic Red Guard don’t have to obey laws, the rest of us do.
The more important the issue, the more important it is to obey the laws concerning that issue. Communion is really important.
Furthermore, I remind the readership that frequent Communion is quite a new-fangled idea, which picked up speed at the time of Pius X. Communion was rarer in times past, probably because people really believed what the Church teaches about the Eucharist and about the gravity of mortal sin.
Somehow, the greatest of the saints whom we venerate today managed to achieve profound holiness and only receive a few times a year. Amazing, right?
Have there been benefits from frequent Communion? I am beginning to wonder. Look around. What’s the state of the Church right now?
By the way, to be able to make an effective Spiritual Communion you have to be in the state of grace.
How many people going forward to stick their hands out for the “white thing” are in the state of grace these days?
Could that be a problem for the present state of the Church? Maybe?
How many of Catholics know or, if instructed, believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist?
But forward they regularly troop, uninformed and unshriven, to get the “white thing” that makes them feel good about belonging before they sing a song together. Alas, that is what Communion time is for many Catholics, I’m afraid. And I really am afraid on that score.
I sincerely think that, if that the number of well-instructed believers were to grow through sound and repeated catechesis, many Catholics would spontaneously choose to receive on the tongue, as their sense of the sacredness of the moment of Communion broadened and deepened.
Here is a prayer to make a Spiritual Communion.
I believe that you are truly present
in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things
and I desire to possess You within my soul.
Since I am unable at this moment
to receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as being already there,
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
“Never permit me to be separated from You.”
This reminds me of the ritornello in St. Alphonsus’ Way of the Cross, which the great saint probably derived from what the priest prays in his second prayer before his own Communion during the TLM: fac me tuis semper inhærére mandátis, et a te numquam separári permíttas… make me to adhere always to Your commands, and never permit me to be separated from You.
God’s laws and unity with the God who gave the laws. Saying this over and over and over again for nearly 30 years has had an effect on me. We are our rites. We pray what we believe and we come to believe and live what we pray.
The Church’s liturgical laws are important. Our sacred liturgical worship shapes who we are. We are our rites. Change those rites or disobey the laws and you harm the Body of Christ, both in the person of our baptized neighbor and in the Person in the Host.
The world doesn’t come to a grinding halt if a faithful Catholic goes to Mass and, even when in the state of grace, chooses not to receive Communion. The world does grind more grittily, however, if someone – even one person – receives without discerning the Body and Blood of the Lord.
We are all harmed by sacrilegious Communions because we are all in this together.
I add now something I noted – also at the Catholic Herald – from the Archdiocese of Portland, where my old friend Archbp Sample carries his heavy mandate. He is deeply imbued with the spirit of the liturgy and he is a fine canonist.
The article states that people can receive on the tongue in this time of coronavirus, but precautions should be take to avoid finger contact with the tongue. Obvious, right? There’s more.
The right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue has been affirmed by the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, which noted Monday that the risk of transmitting infection when receiving on the tongue or hand is “more or less equal.” [I’m not entirely convinced. But wait!]
“We consulted with two physicians regarding this issue, one of which is a specialist in immunology for the State of Oregon. They agreed that done properly the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue or in the hand poses a more or less equal risk,” the archdiocese’s office of divine worship wrote March 2.
“The risk of touching the tongue and passing the saliva on to others is obviously a danger however the chance of touching someone’s hand is equally probable and one’s hands have a greater exposure to germs.”
One’s hands have a greater exposure to germs.
So, it isn’t “more or less equal”, it seems.
The instruction from Portland, citing Redemptionis Sacramentum, goes on also to stress what I have said over the last days: Communion, either way, should be received properly. PROPER reception will greatly reduce the risk of contact hand to hand or hand to tongue.
There is quite a roundup in that article about different reactions and policies in these USA and in the UK. There’s some boilerplate blah blah from a bishop about Communion on the hand “is every bit as respectful as receiving on the tongue” and “there is nothing ontologically preferable to receiving on the tongue”. No, in the first place and, of course in the second place.
The manner of reception of Communion doesn’t ontologically change the Host, which is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. However, as the old adage runs, “Quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur … Whatever is received, is received in the manner of the receiver.” How we receive Communion makes a big difference for us!
The manner of reception is not indifferent. How could it be, given the importance of the act and the moment?
Whatever manner you, dear reader, are presently using to receive Communion, consider well…
Are you in the state of grace when you receive? If you know you are not, reception means big trouble. Sacrilegious Communion is a terrible sin. If are are not sure about your state, you might be able to go forward, but it could be better for you to abstain and go when you are sure.
GO TO CONFESSION! Do you want to receive Communion and not have the slightest worry? Go to confession. FATHERS… do you like the idea that your parishioners might be in a state of turmoil about reception of Communion? HEAR confessions! Teach and preach about confession, the state of grace and Communion.
Bodily postures both reflect our inward attitude and they can shape our inward attitude. Communion should be approached with awe and humility.
Which posture more effectively embodies and then reinforces awe and humility?