Tuesday, January 29, 2013

St Cyril Had the Right Idea, Sort Of

Have you seen this prayer which is attributed to St. Cyril?  Not sure what to make of this and to whom it's directed.   I do not advocate reception by hand but I still think this prayer offers valuable reminders of the infinite value contained in the Sacred Host.

In approaching therefore, come not with your wrists extended, or your fingers spread; but make your left hand a throne for the right, as for that which is to receive a King. And having hollowed your palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it, Amen. So then after having carefully hallowed your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it; giving heed lest you lose any portion thereof  for whatever you lose, is evidently a loss to you as it were from one of your own members. For tell me, if any one gave you grains of gold, would you not hold them with all carefulness, being on your guard against losing any of them, and suffering loss? Will you not then much more carefully keep watch, that not a crumb fall from you of what is more precious than gold and precious stones?"

When receiving Holy Communion at both the Novus Ordo and the TLM, I have a habit of glancing quickly at the altar server to ensure he has properly placed the paten.  I have noticed that the paten always contains more than a few particles of the Body of Christ, even at the TLM where everyone receives on the tongue.  This is why Holy Communion should never be administered without the paten regardless of the form of the Mass.  Whether we receive on the tongue (preferably) or in the hand, particles can still fall to the floor, land on clothing, shoes, etc.A few months back I knelt down to pray before Mass at a parish not my own and found a Host smashed to bits on the floor.  I could still see the outline of the cross embossed on It.   I went back to the sacristy to get the priest to have him address this sacrilege as soon as possible.  The way he chose to handle this was less than optimal.  Instead of using a dampened purifcator, he had the altar server pick up the pieces with a paper towel over my protests.  I don't know what happened once they went back to the sacristy but I really felt it was my duty to perform some act of reparation, not only for the original desecration but for what ensued afterward.  If the Son of God can humble Himself to take the form of a frail piece of bread, the least we can do is protect Him in this most vulnerable state by every means available.


  1. I am reading about this happening, ugh!

  2. I don't know if it's me or Blogger but I could not get the last paragraph to print in a font people over the age of 40 can read! My apologies.

    Ugh is right, Kelly. I still think about what I should have done differently to prevent the latter sacrilege from occurring.


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