Skip to comments.Vatican says flexibility allowed on posture after Communion (Arinze speaks again!)
Posted on 08/25/2003 8:53:31 PM PDT by narses
Vatican says flexibility allowed on posture after Communion
By Jerry Filteau Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Vatican's top liturgy official has said the church's liturgical norms for posture at Mass do not forbid Catholics from sitting or kneeling when they return to their place after Communion.
The ruling from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, was published in the July issue of the newsletter of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Liturgy.
It said the issue arose when some bishops, seeking to implement the church's new General Instruction of the Roman Missal, directed that those who have already received Communion should remain standing until everyone has received, and then may kneel or sit during the period of silence following Communion.
Responding to what the bishops' Secretariat for Liturgy called "numerous inquiries" on the subject, committee chairman Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago sent the congregation a "dubium," or formal question seeking a clarification of the law.
Many communicants in U.S. parishes customarily kneel or sit in prayer or meditation immediately upon returning to their place, but the newsletter said a strict reading of the new general instruction would seem to indicate that standing is the posture to be taken by all until the Communion rite is finished.
According to the newsletter, Cardinal Arinze's response, received in June, said that the relevant norms were intended "to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture" but at the same time "to not regulate posture rigidly in such a way that those who wish to kneel or sit would no longer be free."
The newsletter explained that No. 43 of the general instruction calls for the people to stand during Mass "except at those places indicated below." It goes on to spell out specific times when the people sit or kneel, ending with "and, as circumstances allow, they may sit or kneel while the period of sacred silence after Communion is observed." No alternative posture during the Communion rite itself is listed.
The newsletter also noted that, according to No. 86 of the instruction, the Communion song is to be sung "for as long as the sacrament is being administered to the faithful" -- a phrasing which indicates that the "sacred silence after Communion" does not begin until after everyone has received.
Noting those provisions, Cardinal George asked if it was the intent of the legislation to forbid the widespread practice of individuals kneeling or sitting after they have received Communion, even though the rite is still going on.
In light of Cardinal Arinze's response that this was not the intent, the newsletter commented, "In the implementation of the 'General Instruction of the Roman Missal,' therefore, posture should not be regulated so rigidly as to forbid individual communicants from kneeling or sitting" immediately after they have returned to their place.
The newsletter also noted that the general instruction, incorporating U.S. adaptations approved by the Vatican, has now been published in book form by the publishing office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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Editor's Note: Copies of the "General Instruction of the Roman Missal" cost $12.95 plus shipping, with discounts available on bulk orders. Orders may be placed by phone at: (800) 235-8722, or on the Internet at: www.usccb.org, by clicking the "Bookstore" link.
IOW, the faithful can do whatever they want.
Sure glad we've got these rubricians who are on top of things!
Rather, the liturgists can't do whatever they want.
Thanks, your Eminence.
There are three postures allowed after receiving the Eucharist: sit, stand, or kneel.
Unless a liturgist wants to levitate somebody, the laws of physics won't let them do much else.
The whole idea of REVERENCE for the Eucharist is lost. Our pastors used to lament the people leaving right at communion or right after receiving communion if they did at all. And on the way out, standing in the back, reading bulletins, talking. When they broached the subject with us from the pulpit, they stressed reverence for the Eucharist and need for personal prayer or respect for those engaged in such prayers. Now, thanks to Vat II many dualities of language, the chaos is heightened.
Sounds familiar. This is the new experience. Many of us remember the old, even post Vat II experience of prayer and quiet and reverence (oh, there's that word again..) and music that was remotely religious. During a previous schismatic period in our local parishes, we got all new signs. They read Church. Not Catholic, not Roman. One attempt at replacement read Catholic. Attendance and donations fell way off - the signs now read Roman Catholic.
I think it is clear that who 'Romulus' was referring to was the liturgistas who are trying to use the Holy Liturgy as their little playground while they play the bully trying to enforce others to do what they decide they want done, as per their latest fad.
The rubrics are important to the Liturgy. The proper interpretation of what they ask for comes from the authentic Magisterium of the Church to be kept obediently and devoutly by the Faithful. It is all the mid-level "experts" who are acting as "rubricians" - nay, immature brats - in trying to confuse the Faithful on these otherwise simple details of the Liturgy.
The good Cardinal's response is meant to keep these types in check. I'm sure they will continue to ignore, fight, and whatever else, these simple explanations.
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