John Vianney on his death bed
(May we all die in a state of grace)
“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:28
It is already being proposed that when we go back to Mass we should wear a mask and only receive communion in the hands.
Aside from the practicality of wearing a mask and receiving communion in the hand (I am thinking how exactly does that work? At some point the mask must come off, which makes them totally ineffective), the larger issue at play here is the spiritual blindness to the battle we are actually in.
While I have no doubt that the intentions of this are good and that the goal is to protect people, it begs the question, what are we protecting? If we protect our physical bodies and we lose our souls, then we have objectively failed in the mission Christ came for.
To be certain, it isn’t the fault of one specific Bishop, or even of our current Bishops as a whole. This is an issue that began generations before ours.
The Mass is the Center of the World because it is where heaven is brought to earth and the Kingdom of God is at hand. The real true presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity, coming down to us on the altar. Placing Himself, once again, among us.
And the question has always been, how will we treat Him? When the Thrice Holy God comes in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, how will we treat Him?
And the answer, in my observation, is, not very well. In fact, we have been crucifying him. We don’t even recognize him in the sanctuary as we chatter away and walk past the tabernacle and the God who resides there.
I have been at a very large church in the United States where Our Eucharistic Lord was left in the pews.
My husband and I have both witnessed people walking away with Christ in their hands and no attempt by the Eucharistic Minister to stop them, one of them even putting Jesus in his pocket.
I have witnessed the Eucharistic Chalice spilled on a woman’s blouse and on the floor.
Do we wash Jesus out with Tide?
I myself have been guilty of irreverence. All the years I received paying no attention what so ever to the particles that fell around me. Our Lord Himself had to show me what I had done. And I wept. And I went to Confession because I am guilty of scourging Him.
How many times did we go up and receive with mortal sin on our soul, with no thought of confession, not thinking twice about the fact that we are violating covenant with God and inviting in the demonic?
When a society loses reverence and awe for the Lord, society itself plummets into chaos, and into paganism. We may think we have moved beyond spirituality into the rational, but we just make a god and an idol of other things.
We have lost our sense of Fear of the Lord, a gift of the Holy Spirit. And it is this loss that brought about the other evils we see today. These things are intimately tied together. When we became irreverent to the Eucharistic Lord, evils like abortion and gender identity become the result. When Catholic Governor’s usher in infanticide, you can bet irreverence for the Eucharistic Lord were a common occurrence.
It was only recently that I realized that reception of communion in the hand was at one time considered an abuse. To be clear, I am not condemning receiving in the hand, for the authority of the church says that we may. But why did they say it?
They said it because the laity were already doing it, and so an indult was issued, and the bar was lowered instead of raised. When we lower the bar we cease to reach for the heights of holiness. We cease striving to be Saints.
The indult is to sanction something outside of church law, with the blessing of authority. So is it sinful to receive in the hand, no. But is it reverent?
I suppose it could be if one took care to make sure particles of the Lord are not falling to the ground to be trampled upon. But why in the world would we even take that chance?
Why would we even allow for the possibility that Jesus can be left in a pew or in a pocket?
We are meant to be guardians of the Sacred. Have we done our jobs in protecting?
Or did we stand by as the apple was bitten and then join in biting the apple ourselves?
Those whom Satan couldn’t get to defy Doctrine he instead uses the Beast of Fear to devour.
We should protect the Eucharist just as Joseph protected the Divine Child for we ourselves are held inside that Body of Christ, militant, suffering and triumphant.
So while we can be prudent when it comes to illness or any of the things that plague us, and I believe we can find safe ways to be at Mass, we would do well to remember, our ability to save ourselves has never proven to be very effective. But there is one who can save us, and he places Himself in our midst, trying to teach us how to love.
When I think of going to Mass in a mask and trying to receive in the hands, I can only picture more abuse not less. A mask like a clown in a show ready to get ahold of and trample Our Blessed Lord. And I hang my head in sorrow that we head in the opposite direction of the one who can truly save us, if only we would have faith and recognize who He truly is. He is the Lord our God and we should have no other gods besides him.
I have missed Him so much the only way I can imagine to receive Him is on my knees and on my tongue. May we not be deprived of giving God due reverence when we return. And may we continue to pray for all Bishops and Priests who have to make these decisions. May Saint Joseph protector of the Universal Church intercede for them.
Even being a Priest I even feel unworthy to touch the sacred body of Jesus and being a Arch Priest in the Byzantine Catholic Church we give the sacred body and blood by a spoon to the communicant to avoid any touching
God Bless you Father.
Father please pray for us and bless us. God Bless, SR
This is a wonderful post! You are so correct as far as myself, there have been many times the reverence from myself has not been there. If I missed Mass for some reason I never worried always thinking, “I can go tomorrow.” I will never think that again! I watched the Mass from my Church streamed today and all I could do was cry. In fact when Father consecrated the Host I had to get off of it, it was so painful that I was not there! I tried to stay but I could not.
The hole inside of me because it has been so long since I (you) have received our Lord is as big as the Grand Canyon. I know we have Jesus spiritually and always will. There is such a difference in that and His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Thank you for sharing this, it gave me a chance to vent a little. Love and God Bless, SR
God Bless you.
Susan, I heartily echo your thoughts and concerns presented in this post. ‘The Pause’ provides us with time for deeper reflection on our flawed practices and on what we might have taken for granted and on the possibility of some future changes which could challenge us; the battle as you say with its tactic of incrementation (I might have made that up but you get what I’m saying!) At times the tactics are not so subtle.
May I throw a couple of other thoughts into the ring.
We receive Jesus on the tongue – a singularly most common sinful instrument, whether we receive from our own hand, the Priest’s hand, or the spoon as Father indicates – though we often use it, the tongue, too for praise and thanksgiving. In His goodness and mercy He provides the way out of our unworthiness: to receive Him in the Divine Will. It is Jesus who receives Himself on His tongue at the Last Supper and while doing so He perfects the poor, ignorant and even sinful Holy Communions throughout all time (so many of mine too) and awaits a correspondence at least from some of us. In desiring to receive this gift of the Divine Will we can join Him at the Last Supper in the name of everyone and take His own perfect love, thanksgiving and praise as our own and offer it to Him – in the name of everyone. Who could have ever imagined the magnanimity of such a provision! Lord, please send me help to avail myself of every opportunity to do so because I can be so easily rushed or distracted!
Secondly, and this is a long-standing ‘irk’: the use of the term “access to Holy Communion” – could we possibly be more clinical!! And closely related to the use of it is the wider discussion/argument of who can or cannot ‘have access’ as if the basis is solely inclusivity. If there are impediments to anyone receiving Jesus in Holy Communion (leaving the Mercy of God aside here) should we, the Church, rather be more urgently concerned for the soul’s reconciliation with our Heavenly Father and his/her eternal destiny? This is what Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia seemed to be about – I pray it is working out okay – we know that God can write straight with crooked lines. Jesus has made every single thing – flaw, dilemma, ugliness, heartache, putridity, etc. – right for us with Our Father. What we need ‘access to’ is the knowledge and understanding of the extent of These Acts of Mercy and in true humility and joy, correspond to such Love in the Divine Will. The exposition of the interior life and mission of Jesus as given to Luisa Piccarreta is an eye-opening lesson on our nothingness and His All! I am sure we could spend our whole life and eternity delving the depths of such love – that would indeed be Heaven.
Great points. God Bless you.
How far we have fallen from the vision of True Worship ! Have we ever attended a Mass that even remotely looked like this level of reverence, what is described here below? It is from Sirach 50 , a description of the “Holy Sacrifice” offered by Simeon the priest, itself only a foretaste of the Mass as it could and should be experienced . the Gospel of John says the Hour has come and indeed is here when the FATHER seeks worshippers in Spirit and in Truth ! Worship does begin with the FEAR OF THE LORD. We must implore the Holy Spirit to pour out upon the Church this Holy Fear ! We are speaking in this passage below about a HOLOCAUST. For there to be holocaust there must be a sacrificial offering made. Do we attend Mass with this intention, like St Therese of Lisieux : Lord I offer myself as a holocaust to Your Merciful Love ! God longs to bring down the Holy Flame of Love from His Heavenly throne and cast this Divine Fire upon our altars, in our hearts and in the hearts of our beloved priests !!! I believe that one day, the Mass will be experienced on earth in this fullness of Charity , the day when our collective hearts are more able to receive the Flame of Love that is the Heart of Jesus in the Eucharist. I think we are going to need much more purifying (not of hands and mouths but of HEARTS ) before the Lord permits our return to His House. If things head the way it seems they might , the conditions for our return to His House will in fact only offend Him MORE ! Do we really want to participate in that ? What can the laity do to oppose such a travesty? As I listened to multiple version of the Dan Burke interviews found all over Catholic media. I wondered to myself : Lord, what would your saints do in these present conditions? What do YOU want us to do to help YOU set worship right inside Your House ?
Here is the USCCB translation of Sirach 50, which is very poor indeed. May it nevertheless fill us with a HOLY DESIRE to worship in Spirit and in Truth !!
Greatest of his family, the glory of his people,
was SIMEON the priest, son of Jochanan,
In whose time the house of God was renovated,
in whose days the temple was reinforced.
In his time also the retaining wall was built
with powerful turrets for the temple precincts.
In his time the reservoir was dug,
a pool as vast as the sea.
He protected the people against brigands
and strengthened the city against the enemy.
How splendid he was as he looked out from the tent,
as he came from behind the veil!
Like a star shining among the clouds,
like the full moon at the festal season;
Like sun shining upon the temple of the King,
like a rainbow appearing in the cloudy sky;
Like blossoms on the branches in springtime,
like a lily by running waters;
Like a green shoot on Lebanon in summer,
like the fire of incense at sacrifice;
Like a vessel of hammered gold,
studded with all kinds of precious stones;
Like a luxuriant olive tree heavy with fruit,
a plant with branches abounding in oil;
Wearing his glorious robes,
and vested in sublime magnificence,a
As he ascended the glorious altar
and lent majesty to the court of the sanctuary.
When he received the portions from the priests
while he stood before the sacrificial wood,
His sons stood round him like a garland,
like young cedars on Lebanon;
And like poplars by the brook they surrounded him,
all the sons of Aaron in their glory,
With the offerings to the LORD in their hands,
in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel.
Once he had completed the service at the altar
and arranged the sacrificial hearth for the Most High,
And had stretched forth his hand for the cup,
to offer blood of the grape,
And poured it out at the foot of the altar,
a sweet-smelling odor to God the Most High,
Then the sons of Aaron would sound a blast,
the priests, on their trumpets of beaten metal;
A blast to resound mightily
as a reminder before the Most High.
All the people with one accord
would fall with face to the ground
In adoration before the Most High,
before the Holy One of Israel.
Then hymns would re-echo,
and over the throng sweet strains of praise resound.
All the people of the land would shout for joy,
praying to the Merciful One,
As the high priest completed the service at the altar
by presenting to God the fitting sacrifice.
Then coming down he would raise his hands
over all the congregation of Israel;
The blessing of the LORD would be upon his lips,
the name of the LORD would be his glory.
The people would again fall down
to receive the blessing of the Most High.
And now, bless the God of all,
who has done wonders on earth;
Who fosters growth from the womb,
fashioning it according to his will!
May he grant you a wise heart
and abide with you in peace;
May his goodness toward Simeon last forever;
may he fulfill for him the covenant with Phinehas
So that it may not be abrogated for him
or his descendants while the heavens last.
Lovely post, but there are some misunderstandings. CLARIFICATION: Early Church Fathers encouraged and allowed receiving the Eucharistic Lord in the hand. This isn’t something which began in irreverence, and as the Lord clearly teaches and expects, we should not judge the intentions of others. Read #21 from St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s “On the Mysteries” here:
I know the quote of Saint Cyril. And Cyril points out how not to leave particles of the Lord to be trampled. As I did state it isn’t that it can’t be done reverently – but I have rarely seen it. And there is debate as to whether it was approved and encouraged. The Didache does not mention the mode of reception. Pope Saint Leo (440-461) said we receive by mouth. Council at Constantinople (680-681) forbade reception in the hand. Synod of Rouen (878) said Eucharist may not be placed in hands of lay man or woman. And for me, in good conscience I want to receive on the tongue to ensure I do not drop any particles of our Lord. And the church law says I should not be refused. I would be and am obedient. I am also heartbroken. That was my point in writing this. They are asking me to violate my conscience. I can only then be as reverent as possible to ensure the Lord isn’t trampled. But my heart aches. And the abuses I have seen would not take place if it was not distributed this way. I am not judging the intentions of anyone by saying that, I am observing the actions around me. Jesus has been found in the pews, put in pockets, and to be stolen for Black Masses at Harvard….why would we not choose to protect Our Lord? That was my point. I even said it wasn’t a sin.
If we truly love the Lord and are one with Him, we will also have a great love for ourselves (because we are one with the Lord who is now part of our persons) and our neighbors as ourselves. If we know that we can infect another by receiving on the tongue and the following transmission of virus via the touch of the priest’s hand to our lip and lips of others, then we claim to love while not really loving ourselves (we recklessly infect ourselves) nor our neighbors (we recklessly infect them). Isn’t that true? We say we love, but in our scruples, we would rather infect others or be infected rather than relax our disciplinary scruples even when the Church, in her wisdom and authority, directs that we should. I understand you because I have also felt that way and have done the same thing. I am saying that we need to go deeper in thinking and acting on this during these times. We cannot hurt the Lord in the Eucharist by chewing the species, but we can hurt him by spiritual darts such as unbelief, pride, presumption, despair, willful disrespect, hatred, etc. If we do approach Him and willfully make our hands into a throne for Him out of love and respect for Him and love and respect for ourselves and our neighbors, isn’t that pleasing to the Lord?
Francis, you follow your conscience. The Lord knows your heart. I am not judging others, I am simply stating their forcing me to receive in the hands violates my conscience. I do not believe the Lord makes people sick. I also believe if done properly receiving on the knees on the tongue exposes one to less transmission of contagion than hand to hand. Our hands are far dirtier than our mouths and when I have received kneeling on the tongue, the only thing that touches my mouth is Jesus. The Priests hands do not, when kneeling. I will be obedient, but my heart is also broken. Just as it was when they kicked my son out of Catholic School for my following of conscience and protesting the graphic sex education they wanted to force on him.
Do you believe that one can love the liturgy and rubrics more than the Lord Himself? Also, the Lord does not pass infections, that is done by our own actions of free will and vice.
Yes I do. I think people can make a God out of the Liturgy and rubrics. I have talked about that in my posts. I believe mistakes can happen at Mass when it comes to Liturgy and rubrics and the Lord is merciful. I also think willful disregard of the rubrics is sinful. I have seen a lot of that too. It is a narrow road.
Francis I went through and read again and I think I did misunderstand some of what you were saying. I apologize. I deleted most of the comment chain because it was unproductive. I again apologize. We should all do well to stop judging, myself included. Please forgive me.
“If we know that we can infect another by receiving on the tongue and the following transmission of virus via the touch of the priest’s hand to our lip and lips of others, then we claim to love while not really loving ourselves (we recklessly infect ourselves) nor our neighbors (we recklessly infect them). Isn’t that true? We say we love, but in our scruples, we would rather infect others or be infected rather than relax our disciplinary scruples even when the Church, in her wisdom and authority, directs that we should. ”
Hmmmm. This is such a strange response given Susan shared with us her dialogue with Jesus regarding this; the sinfulness and irreverence shown to Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. I sense a challenge and temptation to make her and others doubt by using “scruples” as a tool to shame and quiet her. Just as Lucifer did to Eve in the garden, ” did God really say that?”….”did God really mean that?”
Frankly, this isn’t about scruples. The Church could use some scruples if that’s what you’re calling it Francis. Also, your use of the word “recklessly” is interesting. Many loaded words! Powerful words meant to disarm one in their convictions to please the Lord God first, above ALL things. What can I say? I read your words Francis and they appear loving and instructive but at the same time, undermining and determined to shame one into giving up their convictions to please, love and serve Jesus.
This virus has been in this country since before Christmas. This means that we have been to Mass many times with infected people and miraculously, not one outbreak was ever traced to a Catholic Church. All of this “abundance of caution” shows is a complete lack of faith in the power of Our Lord and a fear of being blamed and shamed for making someone sick. To witness the Catholic Church respond to this is heartbreaking, and I believe reveals the true state of the faith of the body of Christ.
You may mean well Francis, but I disagree with your seeming judging under the guise of love. Because you present them as questions, they appear to be calling one to examine their motives. But in reality, you are saying we do not love our neighbor or ourselves if we insist on Communion on the tongue. You are presenting your judgments under another form. God bless, and when the time comes, praise and thank God in the Eucharist however you choose to receive Him.
Lengthy reply. No, you misjudge my words and intentions.
Since I am being judged, am I allowed to defend myself here? She says I’m using scruples as “a tool to shame and quiet her.” This is a false accusation. Am I allowed the justice of a response? Or will you not defend me after your apology?
Please, all who are attempted to judge my words in the worst possible way, I am expressing what I know, not judging or manipulating anyone. Do you accuse a teacher of manipulating students, too? I write about myself as well because I know this feeling and have experienced the scruples. Yet, here, among those who come to this blog, I am judged as someone who comes here to manipulate and shame, and that can not be farther from the truth. I’m done here and will no longer follow this blog.
I am sorry you feel this way. I will only say for my part that you are sincere in your intentions. And yesterday I did misread some of what you wrote which is why I apologized. You asked if you could defend yourself, you may. I will say Sally’s words also rang true which is why I engaged so much yesterday in the first place – I did feel shamed for wanting to be more reverent – as if my reception on the tongue would somehow kill people – that’s how the devil uses your words. Spiritual warfare is real we are watching it right now.
That’s okay. What’s done is done. As Lord counsels. Very clearly, we are not welcome here and so we move on and take our gifts with us.
I never said you weren’t welcome ever. I said your words were used to wound me, as mine were used to wound you I suspect, which is why I reflected and apologized. If you feel the need to leave that’s is your choice. I wish you nothing but blessing for your soul.
If a doctor extends his hand to help a wounded animal and he presses the injured or diseased area, it is expected that the wounded animal might turn and bite the doctor’s hand. But, was the doctor extending his hand to hurt the animal? Of course not. No, the doctor did not use his hand to hurt the animal; he used his hand to aid the wounded animal. The wounded animal simply reacted according to instinct.
I forgave you for your words. Your analogy is incorrect though.
I do not usually do this, but you said something that I said. “I do not believe the Lord makes people sick.” To which the response was, “It is not Jesus making us sick, it is the hands of those He is placed in.” My response to that was, “I don’t believe that either, so you are saying that Jesus can be contaminated with germs and viruses, either you believe that is Jesus or you do not.” So I am there with you.
I wanted to relate a story to you though that happened to me, and this might make you feel a little better regarding hand verses tongue. If you indeed have to do it in the hand.
I always received on the tongue. Then one time the Eucharistic minister looked away and did not hit my tongue! I was able to catch the Host in my hand. Since then I have always received it in the hand. I do so because I would skip many heart beats if Jesus was dropped to the floor because of someone or myself not paying attention.
Also St. Faustina was given it one time and it dropped in her hand and she asked the Lord why He let that happen to which His reply was, “I just wanted to rest in your hand for awhile.”
I understand what you are saying here and Francis. Again I am like you, “Jesus is not going to make us sick!” Maybe this will help you a little until things get back to normal. The mask thing makes no sense. God Bless, SR
Francis, could you clarify where judgments of others intentions were made? I ask because the shaming threat of “judging” is inappropriately used so I would like you to clarify please. This threat or admonishment if you will is used frequently by the secular as well as Church and has done very well in silencing Truth. Paul tells us we are to judge those in the Church. “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?”
Please explain your comment. Thanks.
It might be really useful to listen to any one of the several interviews of Dan Burke on Catholic Media. Susan already suggested it. He basically says the same thing in each interview which is this: put in proper and complete context, receiving on the tongue Normally (meaning according to the Norms) is meant to only happen while kneeling, as originally intended by the church . So receiving on the tongue while standing is in itself NOT the original scenario and one fraught with potential troubles and dangers. When distributed in the proper way, the fingers of the priest never “should” touch the lips, nor the cheeks, and not even the tongue itself ! The Sacred Host “normally” should be firmly placed directly on the tongue, with no touching by the fingers of the priest or deacon , a “minister” who has properly learned how to do this. The “trouble” has come with the presence of Eucharistic ministers who have not learned or are not comfortable with distributing on the tongue. Dan Burke does a lovely job of helping us to understand what this is meant to “look like” . Then he explains what happened as he lay in the hospital , basically getting ready to die. And how the Lord let him understand the spiritual MEANING behind Covid-19, for the laity in particular, for the House of God. He did not have any spiritual “lights” concerning any other aspect of the Covid-19 repercussions, but only a message for Catholic laity. Meaning for US, the House of God. I come back again to Jeremiah 1-11, which is the Word I was receiving exactly at the same time as Dan was in hospital fighting for his life. Together, one gets a full-on stereo understanding of what God is trying to tell the Church right now, and yes , it is ALL ABOUT our Liturgical abuse and our inner state of sacrilege rooted in idolatry, ours , the laity. Please read Jeremiah….
If you will bear with me a moment longer, I also want to say this: the most essential part of our faith is meant to be our relationship with Christ, our person communicating with His Person . Relationship breeds revelation. Think of ANY relationship you have , and how you get to know that person, intimately, over time. Any time a soul is “convicted” by the Holy Spirit there is deep, penetrating , personal revelation that occurs. We can all think of an example of that , surely, when we have been “convicted” of something by the Holy Spirit. Right ?
When this happens to a soul, for example on the subject of “how” to receive Him, the soul simply “must obey” the Holy Spirit and then converts, it changes its manner of receiving Him. Conviction is powerful and frightening and definitive, in the sense of experiencing the FEAR OF THE LORD. Conversion IS the fruit of this type of Conviction. Susan just gave us a recent “encounter” she had with the Lord and told us what that was like, right here on this blog !
On the other hand, if a soul is “only” doing what the church teaches out of obedience and devotion, that is worthy and good and righteous. Yet ….in some cases (scruples? ) it can sometimes be rooted in RELIGION, which is FEAR OF MAN. The Law is never meant to be “above Love” . The Law IS LOVE ! It seems to me that God longs for us to be in deep, personal and intimate relationship with Him directly, underscored through and by Holy Mother Church. Just like a river runs in a “bed” with “banks” on each side. The water flows freely, yet there are limits and boundaries to its flow. What we are talking about is this: Am I living my faith on the edge of the river, sitting on its banks ….. OR …..am I living my faith from within the running waters, not only swimming in the river by actually being carried along by it? (See Ezekiel and Revelation on just how life-giving it is to Live in the River !!!) The Word tells us that there will come a time when the sheep do not have sound instruction from shepherds and God says HE HIMSELF will teach us. He Himself will feed His sheep . Have we not arrived at that moment ? That is the Conviction of the Holy Spirit: God Himself speaks to the soul. Not through another person ….
IF we have this relationship with God , guided by the Holy Spirit, then I believe we will “know” how to do right by God in the Eucharist and not offend Him. I conclude with yet another recent blog Susan gave us on the BREATH OF GOD, nouma or ruah (not sure of the spelling of Greek and Hebrew ) … the Spirit of God that breathes His Life in us and upon us. THAT is what Covid-19 has done: satan is attempting to take the breath away from us….. to separate us from the Holy Spirit who is our source of Love, Truth, Light, Life. Let us implore the Holy Spirit with constancy and fervor, and try to live our spiritual lives from within the Cenacle ! I am sure that we will KNOW what to do , moving forward. I have been asking God what sort of “push-back” He desires of us. And He says : Not by sword. Not by might , but by My Spirit ! HE will be the source of Victory (see: B16 Verbum Domini. Or JPII on the Holy Spirit ) Come Holy Spirit , come ! Come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary your well beloved spouse !
Lucy, what you say is true. Very nice, thank you! The sadness is that 90% of the Catholic Church has no knowledge of these things. Truly a famine, and our Lord’s words are true “My people perish for lack of knowledge”…I too think He is shepherding those who desire a shepherd Himself. Thankfully.
Looking through the comments I note the typical but hackneyed citation to St. Cyril of Jerusalem. With all charity to Ms. Philips, she is wrong. Saying we hurt the Lord when we chew on Him? That was a red herring, or a complete misunderstanding of your position.
First, You and presumably Ms. Philips are Roman Catholics. Respect your tradition (and that, Sue, is what you are doing). I am a Ukrainian Greek Catholic. Sr. Cyril of Jerusalem belonged to the Catholic Church, but to the particular Church of Jerusalem. As Daniel Galadza has shown in in his superb book, Liturgy and Byzantinization in Jerusalem, the church in Jerusalem had its own liturgical traditions and customs separate and distinguishable from the Roman Church. The late Father Robert Taft SJ in his lectures reduced in the writing in his book Through Their Own Eyes: Liturgy as the Byzantines saw it, stated that Roman Church needed to respect their own liturgical traditions, not appropriating those of other particular churches (oh, oh, cultural appropriation, lol!) In another case, Taft said and that Latins should not go around citing the practices of the Jerusalem church as an authority for their own changes, but rather, should look to Latin authorities, just as you did, Susan (good job).
a.) It is fair to cite Cyril as a Latin for dogmatic purposes (such as arguing the real presence), but not for liturgy and liturgical customs. This is why in the Commission addressing women deacons they have had to distinguish between the practices of the other particular churches, such as Constantinople, and that of Rome, for example. Citing to Cyril in matters of reception of communion (as opposed to what communion is) can be done comparatively, but not authoritatively. It is a distinction easily lost and confused.
Second, at Cyril’s time, and today in most eastern church’s we use a napkin or houseling cloth that is held under the communicant’s chin by the subdeacon as they receive. They used to have houseling cloths on the altar rails of Roman Catholic Churches before 1920, and the communicant would put his hands beneath it and raise it up to catch the host if it fell. In the Church of Jerusalem, the cloth was there to catch any crumbs. The communicant was supposed to eat it when they received our Lord for the Deacon or Priest. It easy easy to cite Cyril as a source, but you need to understand his context – if you take him out of context as Ms. Philips does, you act irreverently.
Third, part of your case Sue, is built on reverence. Going through Ms. Philips arguments, this is not a concern for her. Well, if she wants Cyril and Church of Jerusalem as her authority, then she should follow along and say the prayers that we now say before communion, that are said in the Contemporary Church of Jerusalem that is not Latin or Armenian:
O Lord, I believe and profess that you are truly Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the first.
Accept me today as a partaker of your mystical supper, O Son of God, for I will not reveal your mystery to your enemies, nor will I give you a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief I profess you:
Remember me, O Lord, when you come in your kingdom.
Remember me, O Master, when you come in your kingdom.
Remember me, O Holy One, when you come in your kingdom.
May the partaking of your holy mysteries, O Lord, be not for my judgment or condemnation but for the healing of soul and body.
O Lord, I also believe and profess that this, which I am about to receive, is truly your most precious body and your life-giving blood, which, I pray, make me worthy to receive for the remission of all my sins and for life everlasting. Amen.
O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
O Lord, forgive me for I have sinned without number.
Funny, all those who pushed for communion in the hand never pushed for the inclusion of these prayers into the Latin rite. Go figure.
Thank you so much, James.
Rome lost so many awesome prayers in 1965. I just discovered the Greater Litany and Rogation Mass of April 25th. Wow. How can we have dared to cease to pray this way ?
Thanks be to God that the Eastern Lung has retained so much for us…. precious treasures that one day WILL return when we are again united , in accordance with Our Lord’s prophecy of John 17 !!
We have now begun the process of our Universal Pessach…and it will end in the complete Restoration of both Unity and Truth in Worship.
God is soooooo GOOD !
I can only imagine what Mass would be like, people’s faith would be like if these prayers were used at Mass. It’s really a palpable lack of the spirit of Holiness that is so prevalent today. God’s Holiness. Thanks for the prayers James, so nice to be lifted up for a moment! 😊
Returning to Mass…at 25 % capacity ? Families are allowed to sit together but all others must remain at 6 feet apart on the pews. I have been doing some research and trying to look at all the play-outs of these proposals . The Lord keeps saying to me : TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES !!!
It seems that the new norms that are going to be imposed by the state will say: NO SINGING in church cuz it spreads germs . And NO COMMUNION in church cuz it spreads germs any way you distribute it hand or mouth , no matter what. So basically a parish can open if they want us to sit together a few per pew and listen to Readings in silence together. You get the picture . That will go over like a lead brick.
But here is the real deal: I cannot fathom how or why we would be forbidden EUCHARISTIC ADORATION in silence. Right ? Now this might just bring us a massive breakthrough of God’s Grace: Every single parish doing EUCHARISTIC ADORATION 24/ 7 all across the globe????
Pause and contemplate that scene for a moment…. 🙂
GOD IS SO GOOD. HE IS IN CONTROL. HE WILL BE GLORIFIED. HE WILL NOT BE MOCKED.
In Altotting , Germany the priests have been instructed by the local Bishop to permit certain families to keep a sacred reserve of the Holy Eucharist at home, so they can maintain Eucharistic Adoration, in the domestic church. In Saint Maximin/Ste Baume , France, the priests there are going to homes to celebrate the Sacraments …every day they visit homes , say Mass and hear Confession. Just like Drs can make House Calls, Jesus is asking His priests to make Sacramental House calls. It seems that , prophetically, we are already moving into the underground, domestic church. Perhaps it is time for us to prayerfully consider what we can do to prepare our homes to become places of worship…The step after which will be the protection of priests themselves, in our homes. May those with eyes to see and ears to hear , take note….
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