Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reverence: Catholic Cataclysmic Failure

The past several decades of incredibly bad catechesis, combined with an ever-compounding  failure of Catholics to properly form themselves and thus their children, have effectively caused an inability for many to decipher (much less to be able to explain) what makes the Catholic Church "different" from other Christian ecclesial Communities.

The effects of such have been cataclysmic, and NO, I am NOT over-reacting!

This past Monday, in "Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion: Necessity or Convenience", I stated:
I like to post articles which draw attention to a more reverent attitude toward the Liturgy, the Sacraments, and especially the Eucharist.
Because of the aforementioned reasons, many find this conversation "difficult", and many refuse to enter into it (the discussion) or even consider availing themselves of well-documented Christian history, which is more accessible (and affordable for sure) than ever through today's technology.

That said, I believe the items below "draw attention to a more reverent attitude toward the Liturgy, the Sacraments, and especially the Eucharist":

Fr. Z responds to a question about women lectors in which he states
"because the lectorate has always been a step to Holy Orders, women reading in the sanctuary can be seen by some as a step to the ordination of women to the priesthood."
Of course, a less damaging yet still wrongful misunderstanding can also be concluded via male lectors who clearly are not "officially instituted" as a "step to ordination". See the full post here.
Max Lindenman writes
I've only served as an EM on an emergency basis; it was all I could do to remember to wipe the chalice. I had no idea how much on-the-spot legal analysis the job can potentially involve. 
...and then links to an Ed Peters piece regarding the canons governing reception, distribution  and withholding of Communion.
Adoremus in Aeternum, A Catholic Gathering shared a most excellent article by John Vennari "The Day the Host Dropped" which includes a look at some Christian history
First of all, Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that “out of reverence for this Sacrament, nothing touches it but what is consecrated.” Thus, he said the sacred vessels of the altar are consecrated for this holy purpose, but also, the priest’s hands are consecrated for touching this Sacrament. And St. Thomas said that it is therefore not lawful for anyone else to touch it, except to save it from desecration. (Summa, III, Q. 82. Art. 3) well as how we treated the Eucharist not so long ago

1) From the moment the priest pronounces the words of the Consecration over the Sacred Host, the priest keeps his forefinger and thumb together on each hand. Whether he elevates the chalice, or turns the pages of the missal, or opens the tabernacle, his thumb and his forefinger on each hand are closed. The thumb and forefinger touch nothing but the Sacred Host; 
2) During Holy Communion, the altar boy holds the paten under the chin of those receiving Communion, so that the slightest particle does not fall to the ground. This paten is cleaned into the chalice afterwards; 
3) After Holy Communion is distributed, the priest scrapes the corporal (the small linen cloth on the altar) with the paten, and cleans it into the chalice so that if the slightest particle is left, it is collected and consumed by the priest; 
4) Then, the priest washes his thumb and forefinger over the chalice with water and wine, and this water and wine is reverently consumed to insure that the smallest particle of the Sacred Host is not susceptible to desecration.
Disclaimer: Any links to or references to persons or organizations which may advocate schismatic ideologies or tendencies or in any way lend to an insinuation of anything other than complete fidelity to the Holy See and/or Magisterium are NEVER intended to represent me or my beliefs in any way. NEVER.

On a personal note, my son Brandon and my Faith Formation class will all be receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time tonight. Please say a prayer for these and all children. Thank you, and God's blessings be with you and your families.


  1. Just so we're clear, George, I was exaggerating my own ineptitude for comic effect. I did, in fact, feel inadequate to serve as an EM, but not because the job hadn't been explained thoroughly; it had. But the responsibility felt so awesome, and I was so new to the Church, that it did make very very nervous, and even a little scatterbrained.

    1. Hi Max I really appreciate your taking time to comment on the blog. I personally understood your remarks to be just that and thought they were a good lead-in to the article you posted, so I left them "as-is". I apologize if the way that I composed this post led anyone to think otherwise.
      Also, the purpose of this post (along with a few others) is to encourage Catholics to consider that it wouldn't hurt to be a bit more reverent at Mass and toward the Eucharist. And by the way, thanks for referring to being an EMHC as a "responsibility". Thanks again.
      God bless.