Skip to comments.Bishop says Catholics should kneel, receive communion on tongue
Posted on 01/08/2008 1:33:05 PM PST by NYer
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The reverence and awe of Catholics who truly believe they are receiving Jesus in the Eucharist should lead them to kneel and receive Communion on their tongues, said a bishop writing in the Vatican newspaper.
"If some nonbeliever arrived and observed such an act of adoration perhaps he, too, would 'fall down and worship God, declaring, God is really in your midst,'" wrote Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, quoting from the First Letter to the Corinthians.
In a Jan. 8 article labeled a "historical-liturgical note," Bishop Schneider reviewed the writings of early church theologians about eucharistic reception and said the practice of laypeople receiving Communion on the tongue was the predominant custom by the sixth century.
The article in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, appeared under the headline, "Like a nursing child in the arms of the one who nourishes him."
Bishop Schneider said that just as a baby opens his mouth to receive nourishment from his mother, so should Catholics open their mouths to receive nourishment from Jesus.
"Christ truly nourishes us with his body and blood in holy Communion and, in the patristic era, it was compared to maternal breastfeeding," he said.
"The awareness of the greatness of the eucharistic mystery is demonstrated in a special way by the manner in which the body of the Lord is distributed and received," the bishop wrote.
In addition to demonstrating true adoration by kneeling, he said, receiving Communion on the tongue also avoids concerns about people receiving the body of Christ with dirty hands or of losing particles of the Eucharist, concerns that make sense if people truly believe in the sacrament.
"Wouldn't it correspond better to the deepest reality and truth about the consecrated bread if even today the faithful would kneel on the ground to receive it, opening their mouths like the prophet receiving the word of God and allowing themselves to be nourished like a child?" Bishop Schneider asked.
In 1969 the Vatican published an instruction allowing bishops to permit the distribution of Communion in the hand. While at papal liturgies most people who receive Communion from the pope receive Communion on the tongue, they also are permitted to reverently receive the Eucharist in the hand.
Why not just dump Vatican II altogether?
Works for me.
Works for me too, unfortunately all the churches that I have visited have ripped their kneelers out.
I could kneel on the floor but I’m not sure some of 70-80-90 year old neighbors could.
In that case, they wouldn’t have to kneel. At my parish, any disabled or elderly person who can’t kneel will either try to get to close as they can to the altar rail and receive, or sit in the front and have the priest come to them.
Our inner sanctuary is elevated, but the altar rail was taken out years ago. All they would really need to do is put cushioning on the step.
Frankly, I’d kneel in broken glass and count it as a blessing.
Could be done relatively easily...
The parish is plenty rich enough to afford a new altar rail - we just did a renovation of the church a year ago.
This is really the only sensible manner of receiving Communion, if one actually considers what he’s doing. If I am not worthy for the Lord to enter under my roof, then surely I must approach Him in fear and trembling to receive Him as reverently and humbly as I am able.
Push the altars up against the front wall, reestablish the position of the tabernacle in the center of the altar and rebuild the communion rails.
Altar boys with patens, communion on the tongue while kneeling and Masses in Latin.
These are a few of my favourite things...
CNS? Isn’t that the wholly-owned subsidiary of the USCCB? Wonder who let this through . . . and what his new job will be! ;-)
Sounds good to me. Actually, I think the Pope is taking a stealth approach: don’t confront VatII and its aging goon squad, just breeze on past it. Maybe in a few years, we’ll all wonder if it was just a bad dream...
“Christ truly nourishes us with his body and blood in holy Communion and, in the patristic era, it was compared to maternal breastfeeding,” he said.”
This is true...and in the patristic era people received communion standing up, like we still do in Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy.
“”If some nonbeliever arrived and observed such an act of adoration perhaps he, too, would ‘fall down and worship God, declaring, God is really in your midst,’” wrote Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, quoting from the First Letter to the Corinthians.”
Sort of like this?
“”When we journeyed among the Bulgars, we beheld how they worship in their temple, called a mosque, while they stand ungirt. The Bulgarian bows, sits down, looks hither and thither like one possessed, and there is no happiness among them, but instead only sorrow and a dreadful stench. Their religion is not good. Then we went among the Germans, and saw them performing many ceremonies in their temples; but we beheld no glory there. Then we went on to Greece, and the Greeks led us to the edifices where they worship their God, and we knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth. For on earth there is no such splendour or such beauty, and we are at a loss how to describe it. We know only that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. For we cannot forget that beauty. Every man, after tasting something sweet, is afterward unwilling to accept that which is bitter, and therefore we cannot dwell longer here.” Then the vassals spoke and said, “If the Greek faith were evil, it would not have been adopted by your grandmother Olga, who was wiser than all other men.”
Oh, right, that was an Orthodox Divine Liturgy, not an N.O. folk mass under the direction Sr. Trixie and her electric guitar. Do you suppose some pagan who went to an N.O. folk mass or better yet a clown mass where the laity knelt to receive communion would be so impressed as to believe that God dwelt there with men?
Most churches whose sanctuaries were built after Vatican II were designed with no altar rail or areas to kneel. The church I grew up in in New Youk was built around 1960 and has the rail. The one I attend today in FL does not.
That's a really nonsensical comparison.
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