The Society of Saint Gregory the Great is a membership association of Catholic laity formed in 2008 to promote divine worship in accordance with the Supreme Magisterium of the Church. The Society has its own schola cantorum, and regularly sponsors presentations and workshops on the Sacred Liturgy, Gregorian chant, and sacred polyphony.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Bring Back the Communion Rail?
A blogging deacon, Greg Kandra, who previously
defending the practice of receiving Holy Communion in the hand and standing,
has “changed his mind”; you can read his complete blog post here.
Deacon Kandra says that
after several years of standing on the other side of the ciborium—first as an
Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, now as a deacon—and watching what
goes on, I've had about enough.
After describing some of
the more atrocious things he’s seen happen at Communion, he notes:
reminded week after week that people have no uniform way to receive in the
hand. There's the reverent "hands-as-throne" approach; there's the
"Gimme five," one-hand-extended style; there are the notorious
"body snatchers" who reach up and seize the host to pop into their
mouths like an after-dinner mint; and there are the vacillating undecideds who
approach with hands slightly cupped and lips parted. Where do you want it and
Communion rail at St. Mary's in Pendleton, OR
Catechesis, he maintains,
has been tried in his parish and the results are less than positive.
modern liturgy has become too depleted of reverence and awe, of wonder and
mystery. The signs and symbols that underscored the mystery—the windows of
stained glass, the chants of Latin, the swirls of incense at the altar—vanished
and were replaced by . . . what? Fifty shades of beige? Increasingly churches
now resemble warehouses, and the Body of Christ is just one more commodity we
stockpile and give out.
kneeling to receive on the tongue help alleviate some of this? Well, it can't
hurt. And for this reason: to step up to a communion rail, and kneel, and
receive on the tongue, is an act of utter and unabashed humility. In that
posture to receive the Body of Christ, you become less so that you can
then become more. It requires a submission of will and clear knowledge
of what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what is about to happen to
The faithful receiving Holy Communion at Mass
There are other good points
in the article supporting the author’s idea that a renewed sense of reverence
would be the result of bringing back the communion rail. He concludes by pointing
Benedict XVI]…will only give communion at papal Masses to those who kneel and
receive on the tongue. He was gently making a liturgical point. Are we paying
what I've seen, I agree with him. We need to get off our feet, and on our