Monday, January 28, 2008

Archbishop Ranjith does it again

I remember hearing the reports of the discussions at the Synond on the Eucharist and being rather disappointed by it all. One of the few interesting interventions was from a bishop from Kazakhstan who suggested that receiving Holy Communion in the hand and standing may be partly responsible for the decline in devotion to the Eucharist. It made sense to me but I was only sad that the idea was only being voiced in Kazakhstan. However Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda in Kazakhstan, has written a book and Archbishop Ranjith has written the preface. He concurs with the bishop`s thesis. I can`t wait for archbishop Ranjith to take over as prefect of the CDW!

Here are some relevant extracts from the preface courtesy of the NLM blog where the whole preface may be read.

At the same time, speaking of communion in the hand, it must be recognized that the practice was improperly and quickly introduced in some quarters of the Church shortly after the Council, changing the age-old practice and becoming regular practice for the whole Church. They justified the change saying that it better reflected the Gospel or the ancient practice of the Church... Some, to justify this practice referred to the words of Jesus: "Take and eat" (Mk 14, 22; Mt 26, 26).
Whatever the reasons for this practice, we cannot ignore what is happening worldwide where this practice has been implemented. This gesture has contributed to a gradual weakening of the attitude of reverence towards the sacred Eucharistic species whereas the previous practice had better safeguarded that sense of reverence. There instead arose an alarming lack of recollection and a general spirit of carelessness. We see communicants who often return to their seats as if nothing extraordinary has happened... In many cases, one cannot discern that sense of seriousness and inner silence that must signal the presence of God in the soul....
Now I think it is high time to review and re-evaluate such good practices and, if necessary, to abandon the current practice that was not called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium, nor by Fathers, but was only accepted after its illegitimate introduction in some countries. Now, more than ever, we must help the faithful to renew a deep faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in order to strengthen the life of the Church and defend it in the midst of dangerous distortions of the faith that this situation continues to cause.


Anonymous said...

Fabulous post Fr..thankyou.

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Yes, I remember Communion in the hand was introduced in England in 1975 0r 1976, as a concession to custom.

It wasn't customary at all.

It was an innovation.

But by then we had entered the era of novelty and liturgical abuse.

gemoftheocean said...

Just out of curiosity how old is the Archbishop? I can remember going to Mass preVatican II and Im afraid some people paint a false picture of the past. To be sure there were many more people going to Mass as a percentage -- but you can not isolate one give constant as allowing for communion in the hand. I suggest that when Humanae Vitae was issued, that's when things really went off the rails.

As it is pointed out elsewhere, the Poles are very pious people overall and they by and large do so with Novus Ordo Mass.

Mind you, I would dearly love to choke people who walk quite a few steps before consuming the Host immediately -- because they mess it up for the 95% who recieve in the hand respectfully. I also suggest that the mere act of receiving on the tongue doesn't guarantee a thing, that when a person gets back to the pew there is no guarantee they won't take it out of their mouth in a kleenex or something and hold a black mass with it. I'd caution against "assuming" about external appearances.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Karen,he was born on 15th November 1947, making him 60 years old. Does this matter? You are clearly out of sympathy with the whole liurgical direction of this papacy. Being the creatures we are we use our bodies to express ourselves. It is my opinion that our current Catholic practice is not working because we are encouraged to be casual in the presence of something that should be life changing. Not often officially encouraged but it seems to be in the Zeitgeist. Asking people to display more outward signs of reverence might drag their souls along with them. Yes Humanae Vitae was a turning point but the liturgical changes were a massive upheaval overnnight and the present papacy is encouraging us to reflect on it all, now the dust has settled, and to see whether it was all for the best. Clearly you are essentially happy with the liturgy as presented in most places today. Most of the blogs you contribute to are written by people who are not. Maybe one of us will persuade you one day!