Wednesday, March 25, 2015

THIS SHOULD BE A UNIVERSAL NORM! OH, WAIT, I THINK IT IS!

More bishops and priests need to emphasize these universal norms concerning Holy Communion. Thanks to the southern priest in Alabama who placed this on his blog,
  • Father B. Jerabek, J.C.L.

    Birmingham, Alabama — formerly Rome, Italy

Inspiring Episcopal Leadership on the Eucharist

I was recently pleased to come across a decree issued by the Archbishop of Ferrara, Italy, Most Rev. Luigi Negri, who is an impressive leader in the Italian church. This bishop takes seriously his duty to safeguard the Holy Eucharist in his local church, and so, in this decree, summarizes the relevant norms from the various sources of Church law and also issues some norms of his own. This document impressed me so much that I translated the entire thing and share it with you here. (My source for the original Italian doc.)
Archbishop Luigi Negri
Archbishop Luigi Negri
Just take a look at this. The archbishop directs that in all the churches of his archdiocese, the following statement should be read before the distribution of Holy Communion:
THOSE WHO RECEIVE THE LORD IN THE HAND SHOULD DO SO WITH DEVOTION, THEY SHOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO LOSE ANY PARTICLE, AND THEY SHOULD CONSUME THE HOST RIGHT AWAY IN FRONT OF THE MINISTER.
THE FAITHFUL ARE REMINDED THAT COMMUNION IS RECEIVED KNEELING OR STANDING; IN THIS LAST CASE IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT, BEFORE RECEIVING THE SACRAMENT, THE FAITHFUL SHOULD MAKE THE APPROPRIATE GESTURE OF REVERENCE, AT LEAST BOWING THE HEAD.
REMEMBER ALSO THAT THOSE WHO INTEND TO RECEIVE THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST IN COMMUNION MUST BE IN THE PROPER CONDITION TO BE ABLE TO DO SO:
- THEY MUST KNOW THAT THEY ARE RECEIVING THE LORD JESUS, WHO IS PRESENT BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, AND DIVINITY;
- THEY MUST NOT BE IMPEDED BY CANON LAW;
- THEY MUST NOT BE IN THE STATE OF MORTAL SIN, SINCE, IN SUCH A CASE, IT IS NECESSARY TO RECEIVE ABSOLUTION BEFOREHAND IN THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION.
The decree also covers things like the use of the communion plate (paten) and altar bells – and more. There’s at least one thing that might not make sense to American readers (the thing about additional tables for First Communion – this may be more of an “Italian problem”), but overall I think that much of this decree will be inspiring and edifying. Click the following icon to download it:
Click icon to download.
Click icon to download.

While it has no binding force outside the Archdiocese of Ferrara-Comacchio, in any case it may instruct some, edify others, and perhaps even inspire some priests and/or bishops to exercise similar leadership on a parish or diocesan level.

The Most Holy Eucharist is the Church’s greatest treasure, and in times like these when belief in the Real Presence seems to be quite weak in some areas, and where shocking abuses of the Blessed Sacrament seem to be occurring with a startling regularity, such episcopal leadership is most opportune and, indeed, very inspiring.

Thank you, Archbishop Negri!
English translation of the decree by Rev. Bryan W. Jerabek, J.C.L.

6 comments:

JBS said...

I don't understand why so few parishes use the Communion plate. Both the Roman Missal itself and the Vatican instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum say it is required, so why isn't its use more widespread?

Cletus Ordo said...

This is a good thing. However, he neglects to mention that the universal norm for the Church IS receiving on the tongue and that Communion in the Hand is only given to us by INDULT. Indults are NOT the norm! I would be even more encouraged if he and other bishops would follow Bishop Athanasius Schneider's lead and DISCOURAGE Communion in the hand.

And Father, you never answered a question that I posed a week or so ago: In your parish, are children taught ONLY to receive in the hand for their First Communion? Does anyone tell them that receiving that way is not the norm for the Church? Or does the DRE go along with the enforced mindset that "ALL CHILDREN WILL BE TAUGHT TO RECEIVE IN THE HAND UNTIL ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS HAVE NO MEMORY OF RECEIVING COMMUNION ON THE TONGUE"?

I would sincerely like to know how it works in your parish and what the rationale is.

Paul said...

The previous two Sunday masses I attended, the EMHC hit the side of my mouth with the Body.

I think they were trying to flick Him into the mouth.

Shameful.

Mr. Matt said...

We have to sanctify ourselves before we can convert others. We work so hard to widdle down our religion to make others comfortable that we are losing who we are and have essentially become like the rest. If we believe in the true presence we must act and live it.

Anonymous said...

very stylish chasuble---sure don't see those type these days! Unfortunately as father has pointed out, we had our "iconoclasts" starting in the 1960s---I recall back in 1990s visiting an Anglican Church in Virginia, and the priest there was wearing the traditional, cross-shaped chasuble (unusually ornate for a state which traditionally has been "Lowe Church" in its Episcopal worship). I asked where it came from, and he said something to the effect they were discarded vestments from Chicago (as in the Catholic Archdiocese up there), about to meet their fate in the dumpster. At least someone rescued them!

Anonymous said...

In response to the article and Paul's comment: Three or four years ago, Easter, I found myself in line to receive our Blessed Lord from a Eucharistic minister. He obviously was not accustomed to administering the Blessed Sacrament on the tongue so attempted to 'toss' the host into my mouth. Thankfully there were altar servers with patens and the server for the OTHER Eucharistic minister happen to 'catch' our Lord on the paten to which MY Eucharistic minister said "good catch!" I, myself, was mortified!
Never again did I get in any other communion line except Fr.'s.
However, now I attend TLM where I receive our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament kneeling and on the tongue; where HE comes down from Heaven once more to feed me. Lord, I am not worthy.