special occasion

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 28, 2008

On the feast of Corpus Christi, communicants knelt to receive the Blessed Sacrament from Pope Benedict. That break from the usual Vatican practice-- ordinarily the faithful approach the Holy Father standing to receive Communion-- prompted a good deal of comment. But a Catholic News Service story assures us that this is not necessarily a permanent policy change:

Vatican officials said the gesture at the May 22 Mass outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran does not mark a permanent change in papal liturgies, but highlighted the solemnity of the feast and a connection to Mass practices in the past.

So you see, when you don't want to highlight the solemnity of the occasion or the connection to Catholic tradition,....

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  • Posted by: - May. 30, 2008 11:44 PM ET USA

    My problem is not so much kneeling as it is the transition. Though I would like to kneel for reception of the Eucharist, I'm afraid that I may knock someone over on the way down or be very slow and unbalanced when trying to stand again. Having the rail assists in the balance, and having the kneeling done on a step keeps the knees from bending past 90°. Some practical justification to go along with the spiritual and theological.

  • Posted by: - May. 28, 2008 4:41 PM ET USA

    I for one see no problem in returning to the kneeling reception of the Host as long as the recipient is physically able to kneel. I churches where standing is now the general rule, the individual has the option of kneeling if he wishes. It is probably a sign of devotion to do so.

  • Posted by: - May. 28, 2008 4:02 PM ET USA

    Please God, inspire your Church to give us back altar rails so we may kneel to receive you as we did for so many centuries. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

  • Posted by: - May. 28, 2008 10:14 AM ET USA

    Read the short comment which was overlooked by many. G. Marini stated "...the decision 'was a solution adopted for (the feast of) Corpus Domini,' but as for the future, 'we'll see.'" Two words, economical at best. One wink, no charge. Underlying meaning of the exchange, priceless. There are some practices that Catholic prelates don't buy. For everything traditional and beautiful, there's Benedict XVI.