Tuesday, December 18, 2018


What is the difference in terms of the effects between this "fuller sign" of Holy Baptism and the one where the priest simply pours some water over one's forehead?

Liturgists have told us for about 40 years or more to drink the Precious Blood of Christ (no actually they said to drink the cup) is a fuller sign of receiving Holy Communion. This is compared to receiving only the Host or horror of horrors receiving the consecrated Wine, the Precious Blood, by way of intinction which they notoriously referred to as "Dunkin Donuts!"

But that is Vatican II vacuous theology that the signs have to be big and bread has to look like bread and it has to be broken and wine has to be red and consecrated in a huge decanter and poured into other chalices, I mean, cups, to symbolize Christ is broken for us, His blood is poured out for us.

The bigger and more authentic the signs and gestures the fuller the sign.

And now we have so many post-Vatican II Catholics who think that Jesus is only symbolized in the huge and fuller signs they can receive.

We know how low the number of Catholics who actually bother to attend Mass is. Out of that low number, how many actually believe that the Mass is a Sacrifice and that it is Jesus, not bread, not wine that they receive. Or do they believe they are receiving only the fuller signs?


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

When it comes to your mysophobia, you do tend to go a bit over the top, Allan.

Signs communicate. They do so best when they can be perceived easily by the people to whom the communication is addressed.

They also do so best when the signs are simple and uncluttered. Think the Nike "Swoosh."

When McDonalds opens a restaurant and puts up its sign, they do not install a pair of Golden Arches about one foot tall, painted on wood, behind the shrubs.

The sign is large, visible to the target audience, and lit electronically from within for those craving Egg McMuffins after dark.

Regarding the bread used, one of our seminary classmates from the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend had been a second grade teacher for seven years before entering the seminary. He was, therefore, preparing his classes for First Communion.

He mentioned once or twice that it was easier for his students to believe that the consecrated host was Jesus than to believe that it was actually bread.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

And to say that there is a "preoccupation with signs" is to slam the entire sacramental system of the Church.

Remember - "A Sacrament is an outward SIGN, instituted by Christ to give grace"?

The outward signs matter greatly. It is a good thing, I would suggest, to be preoccupied with them.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Latin Rite prior to Vatican II was sober and minimalist in her sacramental signs so as not to make an idol out of the signs to the detriment of the true God to which they point albeiin a veiled way.

Bread that doesn’t look like bread, except for us Italians who eat panforte, is a case in point. That the child believes more readily in the real presence while not believing it is actually bread 🍞 is shear genius!

DJR said...

Speaking of "outward signs," thought somebody might appreciate this.

One of our priests from the Eparchy of Parma who is a pastor in suburban Chicago. His brother (RIP) built our iconostasis in our old parish of younger years.

TJM said...

Shocking that Kavanaugh would cite the Baltimore Catechism for authority. If Catholics truly believed in the Real Presence they would kneel and receive the sacred host on their tongue, not grabbing the Host in their paws like a goody. Kneeling and receiving the Host on the tongue is the most powerful witness in belief in the Real Presence. It's not a happy meal

Anonymous said...

I wonder where TJM has found people with "paws"....?

And if you are looking for "shear genius" you will likely find it in a sheep-shearing shed.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Just like drinking the cup. I'd like to see someone do that too!

TJM said...

Kavanaugh, did I hurt your ittle feelins talking about paws? Would mitts have been more "pastoral?"

60's Survivor said...

I would also add that although we hear some priests talk about Communion under both species as a "great sign of faith", I find it a great sign of weak faith. Catholics once always KNEW that both the Body AND the Blood of Christ were present in the Host, making the legions of all-too-unextraordinary lay ministers completely unnecessary and irrelevant. But the graying hippies march feebly on.

Don't even get me started on the ridiculous Baptismal jacuzzis near the entrance of newer churches.

Anonymous said...

I remember one Mass where they tried make “the bread” look like real bread. It more resembled play dough. The diocese requires that such loaves must follow a specific recipe to reduce crumbs. Of course those folks could have made traditional hosts like the nuns of old did, but that isn’t fluffy enough. Then there is the washing of the feet. Pitchers and buckets of warm water and plenty of fluffy towels. Good Grief. Votive candles, churches used to have hundreds lit. Now there are none. That’s the bad sign.

Anonymous said...

"Don't even get me started on the ridiculous Baptismal Jacuzzis..."


To baptize does mean to immerse, right? Perhaps you should read some materials from the Eastern Orthodox view of baptism. As one book about them stated (more or less), Orthodox in the past have been distressed by the West merely pouring water on the forehead, instead of the triple immersion (except in an emergency).

"If Catholics truly believed in the real presence, they would kneel..."


In the Eastern Orthodox Church, which happens to believe in the real presence (though they don't necessarily use the word "transubstantiation"), communion is typically received.....well, standing up.

Sometimes folks at my parish in 30327 kneel to receive. I don't mind it...but my knees are not what they used to be. Getting hard enough just to genuflect!

Православный физик said...

FYI, there are Orthodox parishes, where is customary to receive kneeling. (Though this usually due to a very short priest), but there are those that will prostrate or do the metanoia before receiving. It's not that kneeling is foreign to the East, we just do not typically kneel during non-penitential seasons.

To baptist means to Immerse. East and West used to both do immersion baptisms, until "pastoral reasons" (Isn't that the reason for pretty much every liturgical abuse/inasnity today).......I have no problem with either full immersion or the flowing water.

That said, if one is going to adopt byzantine postures and signs, one ought to adopt the theology that goes with.

Gene said...

There is some "scrupulosity" in the over concern with the mechanics/process of is almost making Baptism a work rather than an act of obedience. I grew up a "King James version-dinner-on-the-ground-Total-Immersion-jumping-up-and-down" Southern Baptist. We dunked 'em. I believe total immersion is more correct.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't think my English teacher (yes I had one!) would agree. Correct is the superlative. So it can't be correct, more correct and most correct! If it is correct; it is correct. The same with perfect, no such thing as more perfect and most perfect. If it is perfect, it is the superlative and thus it is perfect, perfect, perfect not perfect, more perfect or most perfect or worse yet, perfect, perfecter and perfectest just like you ain't going to say Billy the Kid, correct, correcter, and correctest.

Victor said...

Fr K:
The problem is not with signs per se. The problem is with what they are meant to signify and how they do it. In the case of sacramental wine for the faithful, is it meant to signify receiving a fuller Christ, or that Christ has two essential parts, or that there are 2 different Christs, or that this is a sign of people actively participating to the fullest by being wanna be priests?

The Byzantine rite has it right in this respect when the faithful receive the bread and wine simultaneously with the spoon. That is not possible in the Western rites because the bread is unleavened. Fr McD has a proper solution.

Moreover, is the bread and wine a sign of Christ, or Christ Himself, the point I believe that Fr McD is raising?

The need for the wine at all in the new Mass shows that modern theologians and so-called liturgists are more concerned with publishing novelty in order to continue living in their ivory towers than those of the Middle ages who were more concerned with making their faith intelligible. The latter clearly showed that in receiving one species one receives the full Christ. Theology 101 would not even help the former whose sole concern is with the academe.

Anonymous said...

However, there is poetic license.

For those with no poetry in their hearts.... "Here is an excerpt from the textbook High School English Grammar & Composition, by Wren & Martin (2005 edition by S. Chand, New Delhi): Certain adjectives do not really admit of comparison because their meaning is already superlative; as, Unique, Ideal, Perfect, Complete, Universal, Entire, Extreme, Chief, Square, Round.

Do not therefore say: Most Unique, quite unique, chiefest, extremest.

But we still say, for instance: This is the most perfect specimen I have seen.

John Nolan said...

'This is the most perfect specimen I have seen' actually means 'Of all the specimens I have seen, this the nearest to perfection'. Only a pedant would object to the first.

'Unique' can be modified, e.g. 'almost unique'. 'Quite unique' may be considered tautological, but in this case the modifier serves to give emphasis.

P. E. Dant said...

Unique means "one of a kind."

A thing cannot be more or less "one of a kind" than it is.

Quite means "to the utmost degree."

A thing cannot be "to the utmost degree" "one of a kind" since there is no lesser degree of being "one of a kind."

"One of a kind" is "one of a kind" and does not admit of degrees.

John Nolan said...

'The adverbs that unique can tolerate are e.g. quite, almost, nearly, really, surely, perhaps, absolutely, or in some respects; and it is nonsense to call anything more, most, very, somewhat, rather, or comparatively unique.'

HW Fowler: Modern English Usage.

Fowler was not infallible, but he did the language a great service by exposing the sort of pedantry which P.E.Dant articulates above.

TJM said...

P. E. Dant = Kavanaugh

John Nolan said...


Yes, he is fond of word games. Unfortunately he's not in my league and targeting sitting ducks is damned unsporting, don't you know. The sort of thing Johnny Foreigner might get up to.

Gosh, that's ending a sentence with not just one, but two prepositions! That'll give P.E. Dant the vapours!