Thursday, 22 May 2008

Corpus Christi in Rome: Communion Kneeling and on the Tongue!

Reprinted here from New Catholic at Rorate Caeli from Pope Benedict's homily today:

Adoring the God of Jesus Christ, made bread, broken for love, is the most valid and radical remedy against the idolatries of yesterday and of today. Kneeling in front of the Eucharist is a profession of freedom: who bends to Jesus cannot and must not prostrate before any earthly power, as strong as it may be. We, Christians, kneel only before God, before the Most Holy Sacrament, because we know and believe that in it is present the one true God, who has created the world and has so loved the world to give his only begotten Son.

We prostrate before a God who first inclined himself toward man, as Good Samaritan, to rescue him and give him life, and who knelt before us to cleanse our filthy feet. Adoring the Body of Christ means believing that there, in that piece of Bread, there is truly Christ, who gives true meaning to life, to the immense universe as well as to the smallest creature, to the entire human history as well as to the briefest existence. The adoration is a prayer which prolongs Eucharistic celebration and communion, and in which the soul continues to nourish itself: it is nourished with love, with truth, with peace; it nourished itself with hope, because the One before whom we prostrate does neither judge us, nor humiliates us, but transforms us and makes us free.
Benedict XVI
Homily (Most Holy Body of Christ)
May 22, 2008

Reprinted here from Father Z at What Does The Prayer Really Say:

During the Holy Father’s Corpus Christi Mass, the Holy Father gave Communion only to people kneeling at a kneeler set up before him. This is a very interesting development. The Holy Father has been trying to provoke conversation and a rethinking of many practices, not very good innovations, that have become more or less standard. You can see the kneeler set out.

And the people knelt and received on the tongue. I am sure they were instructed to.

I watched and rewatched the coverage and did not spot anyone receiving in another way from the Holy Father. In so many places it is simply accepted that Mass must be celebrated "facing the people", versus populum, instead of "facing God", ad orientem. So the Holy Father celebrated Holy Mass in the Sistine Chapel, when he was also going to do something very much in his role as Bishop of Rome, when he baptized. He got the conversation going.
Now, in another moment when he is very much Bishop of his diocese, for this great City celebration of the Eucharist, he adminsters Holy Communion on the tongue at a kneeler.
Surely this will start another conversation.
Remember that just the other day the newspaper of the Diocese of Toronto attacked Benedict’s reforms as "backward steps" and the mere suggestion that Communion in the hand wasn’t wonderful.
Remember that His Holiness’s Secretary in the Cong. for Divine Worship, Archbp. Malcolm Ranjith, wrote a preface to a book, Dominus Est: riflessioni di un vescovo dell’Asia Centrale sulla Santa Comunione, printed by the Vatican press which argues for a return to Communion kneeling and on the tongue.
The book is by Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan and it will eventually be in English, I am sure. In the Vatican’s newspaper, Bp. Schneider asked "Wouldn’t it correspond better to the deepest reality and truth about the consecrated bread if even today the faithful would kneel on the ground to receive it, opening their mouths like the prophet receiving the word of God and allowing themselves to be nourished like a child?"
It may be that at the next Mass Pope Benedict will do the same. Maybe he won’t.
But people are now going to be talking.
Piece by piece, he is challenging assumptions.
Brick by brick he is rebuilding what was devastated.
His Marshall Plan for the Church is very much underway.

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1 comment:

paramedicgirl said...

God bless Pope Benedict!