Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Pope of Catholic Unity?

Four things Pope Benedict XVI can do right away to restore unity in the Church he leads.

1.  Do away with Holy Communion in the hand.  Not everyone can kneel.  But they can receive Our Lord directly from the hands of the ordained priest or bishop onto their tongue.

2. Celebrate Mass publicly in the Extraordinary Form.  This may happen sooner than we think.  Keep those prayers coming.

3. Re-do the liturgical calendar so that one faction isn't celebrating one feast while the other faction celebrates another.

4.  Require all seminaries to teach our future priests how to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form.


  1. I want the mass restored to pre vatican II. I like kneeling at the rail and only receive from the priest or deacon. Oh and bring back ALL of the Holy Days of Obligation as well.

    Okay there are my gripes for this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

    Blessings to you :)


  2. Very, very good. I hope and pray that all three come about.
    Maybe, as number four we could have all seminaries teaching how to celebrate the EF Mass?

  3. Thank you, Kerri, and to you also!

    Richard, yes, an excellent addition. Three I shall add that to the list.

  4. Slip of the fingers (and the mind). Delete the word three.

  5. i agree. It not even like these are very difficult things to change... well maybe the seminaries, but other than that...
    lets keep praying and hoping

    God Bless

  6. But you can receive it in the mouth now if you wish, why would you deny what other's prefer? I think that would bring disunity, not unity. I prefer it in the hand. It's beautiful to hold for that second.

  7. A couple things...

    In response to recent footage of the Pope in his personal residence, our local priest who was the first in AK to celebrate the TLM (and learned it under obedience to the Archbishop in response to the petition of 400+ people post-Summorum Pontificum) mentioned that the Pope was celebrating the Latin Mass. I think it mattered to him to see the Pope do that. I know this priest has worked very hard to learn the Mass and so it was good for him to get that encouragement.

    I agree about the calendar. My husband and I were just talking about this today that, as much as we love going to the Dominican Rite on Sundays as a family, we long to also be in unity with the rest of the Church in our community in re: to the liturgical readings, saints, etc. I know it sounds silly, but even reading websites like New Advent with the wonderful posts by such priests as Msgr. Charles Pope obviously focus on the Novus Ordo calendar and are not relevant in the same way as they would be if we were celebrating with the same calendar.

    I think there are many other changes that could be implemented to unify the two Rites and the "two camps," as you put it. On the other hand, there are many rites in the Catholic Church and many different cultural expressions of the faith. I don't really think uniformity across the board is the answer so much as increasing awareness and appreciation for the different rites.

  8. Manny, it's not about what I prefer - it's about what is most appropriate for reverent reception of the Body of Christ.

  9. Thanks Mindy, good food for thought.

  10. May I ask if you think Christ put the bread he tore and consecrecated on the tongues of the apostles at the last supper? Do you think that the early church practice putting on the tongues of worshipers? If you want a fascinating read, especially the historical parts, read this:

    I can tell you I find it extremely holy and reverent in my hand. Have you ever took it in the hand?

  11. Ah, Manny :)

    But weren't the apostles sitting around that table the first priests, ordained by Christ Himself? Jesus wasn't simply giving the command to eat His Body and Blood - He was instituting the First Eucharist and instructing His first priests on how to confect the Most Blessed Sacrament.

    For a short time I did receive Holy Communion in the hand - probably less than year of all the years I've been a practicing Catholic, when I first returned to the church. My pastor prefers that we receive the Lord on the tongue, though he allows us to receive either way. He asked us to consider that allowing the priest to place the Sacred Host in our mouth was like Christ Himself feeding His lambs. I have not received in the hand since, nor would I. Plus, since discouraging the practice of reception in the hand, the number of profanations against the Eucharist in our parish is nil. Before this campaign, some 20-something Hosts were found desecrated, some hidden in Missals, a good number found in the heating and air conditioning vents and one, worst of all, on the end of the sexton's broom. We prayed the Litany of Reparation to the Blessed Sacrament and I believe through the efforts of our dedicated priest, a greater reverence for Our Lord in the Eucharist has been instilled.

    So long as the indult is continued, you can receive either way, but having done both, I prefer the way I believe reception of the Holy Eucharist was intended.

    Have you ever received directly on the tongue? I think we are close in age (I'm going to be 51 very soon) and it wasn't an option when I made my First Holy Communion. How about you?

  12. I find it interesting how everyone assumes Christ just passed around His Body at the Last Supper. I think this idea comes largely from popular art such as Leonardo Da Vinci's depiction. If you read books such as Anne Catherine Emmerich's account from her mystical visions in "The Dolorous Passion of Jesus Christ," Christ actually feeds His apostles directly. My point is that it is arbitrary to assume that He placed His Body in their fact, I find it unlikely when I really think about what He was doing. Do we believe it was actually His Body and Blood? Why would He put Himself in a basket or give Himself out as a loaf? (Crumbs, etc.) More likely He fed them directly.

    I have heard someone defend the practice of Communion in the hand due to Faustina's experience in her Diary about how a consecrated Host fell into her hand and she heard Jesus say that He wanted to be held by her. Well, she also was a consecrated religious...His very spouse. I'm not that.

    However, I have definitely seen reverent reception of the Blessed Sacrament in the hand. REVERENCE is really what needs to be emphasized...and if that means someone "makes a throne of their hands" and receives the King of Kings with reverence, I'm pretty much okay with that, even though I don't believe anyone should be handling the Lord except priests.

    If the Church does not agree, who am I to argue?

    At the end of the day, it's one more reason I prefer the TLM or the Byzantine Rite...the role of the priest is not handed out to the laity.

  13. Joyce - Peace. :)

    Mindy, we agree. :)

  14. Oh, I forgot to answer your question Joyce. Of course I have received on the tongue. That was the only way when I was growing up. To be honest I find it less secure on the tongue. I get the feeling the priest is not going to be accurate and hit the tip or the face. But I admit I've never seen it happen. In big fancy churches they have altar boys with these saucer like thing they put under the receiver's mouth (I'm sure you've seen it) in the event it drops. If they do that, then it must fall on occaision.

  15. Manny, that is called a paten and it is not only used to catch the Eucharist if it is used to catch the tiny particles that drop during the distribution of Holy Communion. In the Traditional Latin Mass, the priest keeps his fingers together throughout the end of Mass once he has consecrated the Eucharist so as not to lose any precious particles (until he is actually holding his own fingers over the chalice and the paten). So, that being the case, you can imagine that dispensing Communion into the hand as is usually done at Mass does not in any way account for the particles that inevitably find their way onto the floor and onto people's hands. Distributing into the mouth directly is a much safer way from that standpoint and attests more clearly to the Real Presence.


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