Monday, January 21, 2013
A Tale of Two Churches
My priest gave a fabulous homily yesterday... he talked about ways to receive Communion, and how the pope now only gives Communion to people kneeling, and how while the US bishops gave "permission" (and made it the norm) to receive standing and in the hand, he was encouraging people to try to receive kneeling, and he even brought out a kneeler and said that anyone who wants to could use it during Communion.
OTOH, at my husband's parish (the largest in the diocese,) this week they printed a blurb with very careful wording that really did say/imply that you should receive standing, since that is the norm in the US. ugh
What a contrast.
The thing that strikes me the most about one of the things my priest said (and I've known this, just never thought to put it in words,) the way we receive Communion is instructive. He said that quote that I've heard before, "(Some non-Catholic said), 'If you Catholics really believed what you said you did about the Eucharist, you would be crawling up the aisle to receive.' " Our body posture not only demonstrates what we believe, but our beliefs can change b/c of what our body posture is!
So... I just feel rather depressed about that whole situation, especially the arrogance of the pastor at my husband's parish who thought that was an appropriate thing to put in the bulletin. (Keep in mind, this huge parish, for the first 30 years of it's existence, up until this new pastor came in 3-4 years ago, was a GREAT parish. No hanky-panky silliness was tolerated!)
The thing that gives me consolation, is my strongly held belief that, in my lifetime, we will see a return to either mandated reception kneeling and on the tongue, or else everyone will naturally go that way. The Church cannot be sustained while continuing to treat the reception of Communion in such a casual manner. I know that there are many people (especially those reading this) who do receive on the hand who do NOT have casual views of the Eucharist, (I myself receive on the hand for a variety of reasons,) but I think that overall within the Church in the US, the lax attitude towards Mass and the Eucharist is either encouraged or enabled by reception standing.
at 10:14 AM