Friday, March 23, 2018
STANDING OR KNEELING FOR HOLY COMMUNION, ON THE HAND OR IN THE MOUTH? WHICH ARE INTRINSICALLY MORE "REVERENT" LOOKING--APART FROM INWARD DISPOSITIONS WHICH CAN'T REALLY BE JUDGED?
At His Holiness Wednesday catechesis on the Mass, this is what the Holy Father said about the reception of Holy Communion:
According to the ecclesial practice, the faithful approach the Eucharist normally in a processional form, as we have said, and, standing with devotion or kneeling, as established by the Episcopal Conference, receive the sacrament in the mouth or, where permitted, in the hand, as preferred.
What is interesting is that Pope Francis had to add the codicil standing with devotion to the standing part, but not to the kneeling part. Why? Because kneeling is intrinsically more devotional and automatically so, than is standing (from the external viewpoint).
On top of that anyone who watches so-call Communion Processions, will note that externally the kneeling position looks far more reverent and with devotion than the standing position which looks like a chow line, and people constantly on the move with no time to actually reflect in a devotional way on Who it is they have received on the spot.
Add standing and receiving on the hand and a whole host of other problems (no pun intended) occur to the wrong ways to receive in the hand, to moving hands, to adults and children popping the Host into their mouths or bringing the Host back to the pew to share, adore or drop on the floor or bring home as a good luck charm or for a Satanic black mass.
Some wise guy wrote the following:
In placing the emphasis where he does, Francis is also following the logic of the reformed liturgy, which quite consistently pruned away from the Tridentine liturgy later medieval developments and returned to a form more like the practice of the Church’s first five or six centuries. The Church has made it rather clear, in the way the liturgy was reformed after Vatican II, that the Church does not hold the late medieval developments to have been entirely for the good.
Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander! A future Council of the Church can imply that "the Church does not hold the post Vatican II developments (on the Liturgy or how to receive Holy Communion) to have been entirely good!