Wednesday, March 28, 2012

THE HOLY COMMUNION PROCESSION--IT ISN'T WHAT WE WERE TAUGHT AS POST-VATICAN II CATHOLICS, IT ISN'T THE FAITHFUL PROCESSING TO RECEIVE CHRIST, IT IS THE PROCESSION OF THE CELEBRANT TO DISTRIBUTE THE CONSECRATED OFFERINGS! THIS IS A LIGHT BULB MOMENT FOR ME!

In my previous post on the Eastern Rite's Divine Liturgy and its corresponding Orthodox counterpart, the Jesuit priest, Fr. Taft writes the following about processions in the Divine Liturgy:

"...Right after the intercessory prayers following the readings, is a procession bearing to the altar the gifts of bread and wine prepared before the beginning of the liturgy. It is said to prefigure Christ’s coming to us in the sacrament of His Body and Blood. Both these fore-shadowings are fulfilled in two later appearances, the procession of the deacon with the gospel lectionary to the ambo for the reading; and the procession of the celebrant to distribute in communion the consecrated gifts, after they have been blessed in the Eucharistic prayer."

I've never thought of the Communion Procession as the priest processing with the Eucharist to distribute Holy Communion to the faithful, in effect, Christ processing to the faithful, "Coming to us in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood." The truth of this statement is that Christ comes to us, accepts us, makes us a part of the Church through Holy Communion and thus saves us in all these actions which are God's actions in the Liturgy, not ours! The only reason we are in the Church and even at Mass is because of Jesus. His grace has brought us here.

But most of us modern Catholics were taught that we (the laity, the congregation) form the Communion Procession to come to Christ, but isn't that a corruption of what this procession actually is? The Priest is the one processing with Christ to bring Christ to the faithful, similar to a Eucharistic Procession with the Monstrance in Lourdes, where the sick are blessed by the Eucharist as the priest passes by them in the procession.

We've gotten it backwards since Vatican II and truly obscured the Communion Procession by eliminating altar railings and the priest walking back and forth to bring Christ in procession to them, Christ coming to them! This is tied into that other post-Vatican II corruption that we ourselves make the liturgy, we do the liturgy but in fact the Liturgy is God's work to save us! Why were we duped by such rubbish that was taught as though it was truth, a newly revealed, post-Vatican II truth? We were led down the garden path to the slaughter in these idiotic theological "spirit of Vatican II" corruptions.

The light bulb moment that the Latin Rite has a Communion Procession as the Eastern Rite understands it came to me when I recalled as a child receiving Holy Communion at the altar railing. The priest is the one processing--thatis the Communion Procession! Duh! But liturgical theologians told us, our coming forward to receive Holy Communion was the Communion Procession. It is a procession of course, but not the Communion Procession, the Priest is doing the Communion Procession and acting in Persona Christi in doing so! We've hidden that reality with the modern manner of distributing Holy Communion on the run, standing and in the hand!

Watch how Holy Communion is distributed to Communicants kneeling at the traditional altar railing and please comment on who is really processing in this video--its the priest to the faithful--the Procession of the Celebrant to distribute in communion the consecrated gifts!

And from Cardinal Burke about Pope Benedict's teaching us about kneeling for Holy Communion as a powerful form of due reverence to Christ in Holy Communion:

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Be careful Father. There are several priests in the diocese ready to smash your light bulb.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Well, it certainly is better Christology.

Father Shelton said...

"Be careful Father. There are several priests in the diocese ready to smash your light bulb."
I think the reality is that we priests committed to the authentic application of VCII principals see what needs to be done, and get excited about the prospects of doing it, but there's hardly any way to proceed without that bulb getting smashed.
So, we blog.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

So write large volumes of letters to the Pope...bother somebody about it.

Carol H. said...

Anon,

They'll have to get by me first- and I know I'm not the only one who will jump to Father's defense.

Henry said...

As I was there in the 1960s, it seemed to me that a key factor in the disintegration of the liturgy was the excessive obedience of priests in carrying out orders that they knew or strongly believed to be wrong, hence their lack of initiative in finding ways to do what they thought right. The question is what alternative a faithful priest has--when his bishop goes off the trail--other than simply to follow him in error. I could not give a simple clearcut answer then, and cannot now.

Marc said...

Henry you have really identified the problem. Priests have a duty of obedience to the bishop. What is a priest to do when faced with an obligation to the bishop that turns away from the correct path? What a difficult situation and a situation that many priests find themselves in, particularly in the United States.

I tend to think that the obedience to the Church and the Magisterium comes before the obedience to the bishop.

My thinking is this: What if you were one of the priests in the diocese of Bishop Arius? Do you follow Arius into his heresy or do you remain faithful to Truth?

Well, if you're a priest in the diocese of a Modernist bishop, you must follow Truth and not heresy regardless of your obedience to the bishop. But, what sort of manifestation would one need to conclude that any particular bishop was a Modernist?

It is a shame that priests even have to consider such difficult questions. That is why they need our prayers!

Joseph Johnson said...

Anonymous at 4:16,
It is only by having these discussions on blogs such as this one that these "lightbulb" ideas can be proposed, publicized, and promoted from a grassroots diocesan level with both laity and clergy involved in the discourse.

Hopefully, more people will consider Father's proposals and possibly adopt them, at least at an intellectual level (until such time that they become a prevailing reality). In this way, the "lightbulb smashers'" views will either be changed through these discussions on the merits or simply become more and more the minority viewpoint.

I realize that a majority view does not guarantee truth, but, here we are talking about discretionary matters of liturgical application or practice (praxis) and which methods best express and reinforce elements of our Faith. For Catholics, the Faith is not determined by debate and majority vote but the pastoral methods and practices (which should be used to serve the teaching of the Faith) can be debated (as they are here). Many of us believe that long historical practice doesn't become long historical practice without time proven merit in service to the teaching of the Faith.

Anonymous said...

I've now twice within the past 1 1/2 years had the privieldge of receiving Holy Communion at the altar rail.
This post put words to my understanding of the experience.
The laity do a mad rush to kneel and receive Jesus, and the priest is doing a visually obvious Communion Procession..Christ is spending Himself to go to his flock...and His flocks runs to Him.
This blog post definitely broadened my understanding and way fo thinking about this.
I'll never regard it the same again...whether OF or EF.
~SqueekerLamb

Templar said...

I understand Obedience.

I understand Law.

I don't understand how a Bishop can force obedience to do something when no law is violated. Obedience is owed in all lawful matters, but if the Church permits the distribution of Communion at an Altar Rail, to Communicants Kneeling and on the Tongue (and who can deny that it does) then how can any Bishop prevent a Priest from doing this in his Parish? To provide such direction would be unlawful.

Would we kill at the direction of a Bishop? If we say no then we have already established that our obedience to the Bishop has it's limits, it's a matter of where we wish to place that limit.

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - Who gets to decide whether or not a bishop is a "Modernist" (heretic) and on what basis is such a determination made?

Marc said...

Pater, did you miss the part of my comment where I asked that very question? Here is what I said:

"But, what sort of manifestation would one need to conclude that any particular bishop was a Modernist?"

Father Shelton said...

Marc,
Perhaps you should have used capital letters!

Marc said...

Father Shelton, you're right... let me try that post again:

Henry you have really identified the Problem. Priests hAve a duTy of obEdience to the bishop. What is a pRiest to do when faced with an oblIgation to the biShop that turns Away froM the cOrrect path? What a Difficult situation and a situation that many priEsts find themselves in, paRticularly in the UNited States.

I tend to thInk that the obedience to the Church and the MagiSterium comes before The obedience to the bishop.

My thinking is this: What if you were one of the priests in the diocese of Bishop Arius? Do you follow Arius into his heresy or do you remain faithful to Truth?

Well, if you're a priest in the diocese of a Modernist bishop, you must follow Truth and not heresy regardless of your obedience to the bishop. But, what sort of manifestation would one need to conclude that any particular bishop was a Modernist?

It is a shame that priests even have to consider such difficult questions. That is why they need our prayers!

Marc said...

I'm just kidding, Pater! Oh, and by the way, if you're at St. Joseph's tonight for the penance service, feel free to come downstairs to RCIA for my talk on the Seventh Commandment and we can debate liturgy afterwards!

;-)