Sunday, August 28, 2011

Prie Dieu Continued

I have mentioned that the new altar missals will contain a rubric requested by the bishops of England and Wales which says that standing in a queue is the normal way here to receive Communion but that some individuals may wish to kneel and if people don`t kneel they should bow before receiving. We`ve not made much progress with the bowing but I have provided a prie dieu for the benefit of individuals who may wish to kneel. This has been placed by my side when distributing the host. So far at the Saturday vigil only one or two have availed themselves of the opportunity of using it but about five people use it at the Sunday Mass. Last week one of these people suggested it might be easier to use if I stood behind it. So we tried this today and I`m happy to say about another four people availed themselves of the prieu dieu.

At the parish council tonight I heard that there are others who would like to kneel but feel conspicuous using the prie dieu. The parish council is looking into ways to accommodate them and yes some of the commentators here will be pleased to hear we are going to look into some form of rail.


FrankE said...

When we were young we never felt conspicuous kneeling at the communion rail, which is really just a long prie dieu... :-)

Rails Please said...

I really cannot understand why anyone should object to an altar (Communion) rail. It caters for all shades of opinion concerning the reception of holy Communion. Everyone can approach the rail and either kneel or stand as current Church law allows. Those who wish to kneel and receive on the tongue can do so. Those who wish to kneel and receive in the hand can do so. Those who wish to stand and receive on the tongue can do so. And those who wish to stand and receive in the hand can do so. This commonsense arrangement is virtually impossible under the current slow shuffle queue imposed on the faithful by most priests who habitually stand off the sanctuary thus pushing the faithful away from the altar and sanctuary.

No one, including bishops and priests, can dictate to anyone else how they must receive holy Communion (within acceptable norms, of course) and yet those who refuse to allow the installation of an altar rail are acting as bullies against those who wish to kneel, especially older people who might wish to kneel but cannot get down and up again without the assistance of something to lean on. Why is it that churches are so quick to spend money to build ramps to accomodate the disabled yet refuse to allow rails for the elderly and infirm? If someone does not wish to kneel then that is their business. If someone else wishes to kneel then that is THEIR business - AND NO ONE ELSES. These parish bullies who object to altar rails should be told in no uncertain terms to mind their own business, do what they want to do, and not to deny others their spiritual preference.

Our bishops in their wisdom have declared that Catholics in E and W must form a queue. In all my years of listening to the Gospels I have never heard Jesus order everyone to form a queue in order to approach Him. Can you imagine the feeding of the five thousand if the Apostles had told everyone to form an orderly queue before they would start distributing the loaves and fishes?

With the imposition of a queue to receive holy Communion the faithful are forced to approach in a manner which smacks of authoritarian officialdom and is something that would have appalled Our Blessed Lord. The great value of an altar rail is that it allows as many as possible, within the constraints of available space across the sanctuary, to gather in a line at the edge of the sanctuary to await the reception of their Lord. It is one of the finest sights in a Catholic church to see an expectant line of communicants kneeling at the altar rail, and then moving aside to be replaced by another wave of communicants, and on it continues with the priest moving effortlessly along the line until everyone has received. Why was this changed?

Anonymous said...

Here in Brighton communion is given along the step, about 35% kneel though there is no rail or Prie Dieu. Communion is given under one kind.

Name, Please. said...

Here we have another example of how to distribute holy Communion. This was posted on the Zenit News Agency site. Priests and extraordinary ministers please note.

Q: I am a deacon [permanent] and was informed that it is a questionable procedure to mention the person's name when administering the Eucharist; for example: "Mary, the Body of Christ!" etc. My pastor does this routinely. Is this proper and licit? -- R.J., Allentown, Pennsylvania

This is all very well if you are known to the priest but what happens if you are not? Perhaps, in the interest of fairness, the priest will ask the name of the recipient before presenting the Host? The mind boggles. Whatever next? Perhaps we could wear name badges as this would solve the problem and make us feel valued? It would also help at the 'kiss of peace' where we would be able to mention the person's name as we move from pew to pew shaking hands and making new friends.

Anthony Bidgood said...

I occasionally attend 'The Star of the Sea' church in West Melbourne now in the hands of Opus Dei priests. For some time there has been a prieu dieu that one can avail oneself of.
Queues are not the problem. At the EF of the Mass that I attend on Sundays the congregation still queues to kneel at the altar rails. For those infirm the priest leaves the sanctuary and gives Communion in the first pew. The altar gates being opened and closed to accommodate this.

In Christo

James M said...

Great work Fr Michael. Heaven loves it! At some point we realise it is madness not to kneel.

Genty said...

Would it be possible to reserve one of the front pews for those wishing to kneel?

FrankE said...

Genty -
"Would it be possible to reserve one of the front pews for those wishing to kneel?"

This is apparently the norm for many parishes which celebrate the EF and have "lost" their communion rail. It does make it a bit awkward for people to approach and leave the front pews in a natural manner. Perhaps it might be easier if the second pew was removed (all in the spirit of Vatican II of course...).

Anonymous said...

'some individuals may wish to kneel...'

Unfortunately this option does not exist in the Diocese of Glasgow:

'The Archbishop of Glasgow, Scotland has told Catholics in his archdiocese not to kneel to receive communion.

“The Faithful should follow the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, namely coming to communion in procession and standing to receive Holy Communion,” wrote Archbishop Mario Conti in a letter to all his priests, dated August 25.

“Standing in our Western culture is a mark of respect: kneeling at the altar rails (where they continue to exist) is not the practice envisaged by the instructions in the Missal,” he stated.'

This brings to light some important questions in regards to obedience. Rome or the local ordinary?

Sum Romanus

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