Friday, March 28, 2014

Dominus est!

I think I have established in the previous posts that the most proper way, the best way is to receive and acknowledge the presence of the Lord is through Holy Communion being received on the tongue kneeling. Now, here's for some homework assignments.

I recently acquired Dominus Est!: Reflections of a Bishop of Central Asia on Holy Communion by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Karaganda, Kazakhstan. It's a tremendous work, first featuring stories of women who traveled secretly with hosts to the exiled German communities in the Soviet Asian republics, and then considering the historical and more importantly spiritual and pastoral considerations in favor of Holy Communion being received on the tongue. I think it is mostly left for further reading to understand that this also includes kneeling. Honestly, I believe people oppose an altar rail in newly constructed or renovated churches because for whatever reason they do not think Communion on the tongue kneeling should be the norm. For whatever reason, one person at a time kneeling, or one person receiving standing on the tongue, is enough. There is an incongruity between kneeling yet receiving in the hand, so I'm glad that is not an issue.

That work of Bishop Schneider's left me in tears. I was moved by the respect and care for the Blessed Sacrament, and I do not ever wish to receive (not that I did, but it further resolves my conviction) Him unworthily, nor do I ever think myself capably of receiving Him in the hand or standing now that I receive kneeling. The last time I was forced to stand was when I was on crutches and the time afterwards where I could not bend my knees 90 degrees. A few months later, I made the change to kneeling, and it's such a relief and a joy to be able to kneel before the Lord.

Another book to read is Ratzinger's The Spirit of the Liturgy. It will change how you see the Pauline Missal and your participation in its celebration. Although it did draw me in time towards the traditional form. Not quite his intent, but it is what it is.

I would also encourage you to read a lecture by Archbishop Chaput, now of Philadelphia, and a chapter from a book by Fr. Robert Barron on the liturgy. I disagree with His Excellency regarding the usus antiquior but that's a topic for another day...and it is more natural, I think, in the traditional Mass to kneel. It might even be called connatural. These articles were of great help in composing the first post in this series.

Finally, here is the video from the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales on this topic.


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