Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Why it upsets me so...



The wonderful Abbey Roads 2 blog of Artist and all-round fluff-bundle Terry Nelson has been commenting on the recent statements of Archbishop Ranjith regarding communion in the hand and kneeling to receive communion. One commentator stated that they hoped 'Communion on the tongue' was not seen as a litmus test for orthodoxy and vice-versa. I felt I had to reply....

Bit of a fallacy involved here : it's not whether it's local praxis that makes it a litmus tests ; it's where communion in the hand is enforced that indicates something exceedingly suspect - for instance in seminary it was seen as a warning alarm of Tridentinism if someone received on the tongue and in group masses [performed on coffee tables [once someone placed an upright brass crucifix on the table and it was picked up and thrown onto an armchair by the presiding priest] communion was distributed ilegally before the priest consumed - we were expected to sit there on our bean bags holding the host for up to five minutes ; when I was in a benedictine monastery being part of a team which took underprivileged families on holiday - the kids made their own communion bread which was consecrated - crumbs went everywhere all over the room and was subsequently hoovered up or swept off the kids' jeans and sweaters...
My kids were seen as renegades at school because I had told them to disobey their headmistress and schoolteacher and only receive on the tongue; one got a severe dressing down and ended up in tears - they replied that they were doing what their father told them to do - the teacher's response was 'you do what everyone else does !!!'
I've seen priests have 'hissy fits' because a sacristan has brought out silver chalices and patens when they have demanded porous unglazed pottery [one of a certain priest's 'chipped mug chalices' was stained red/brown inside from years of non-purification...
One seminarian I knew used to genuflect before reception [his home parish was run by an old traditionalist lithuanian priest] - it was a significant contributory factor to his expulsion from seminary [quote: we don't want any of this pre-council rubbish here !!!]
we had liturgy lecturers who would be incensed beyond all imagining at suggestions that an altar was anything other than a wooden table - they ridiculed notions of reliquaries , ordered us that once we were ordained we had to ensure the tabernacle was removed from the sanctuary as soon as possible in our designated parishes, that benediction and adoration of the blessed sacrament was an obscene anachronism and that we should replace this 'respect for Jesus' by worshipping the 'fully present' Christ when the priest announced the gospel.
We were told that saying the Hail Mary at the end of the bidding prayers was 'illegal' , an english invention 'banned by Rome!!!!' and [get this] that the time when the consecration was completed [in other words Jesus was not fully present in the host and chalice until this point] was at the great Amen after the doxology!!! The participation of the congregation performed the contributory actions of the consecration - not the priest ???

Mother Teresa was asked what the most terrible thing in the modern world was - she was ridiculed, dismissed and mocked by replying 'communion in the hand'...

I really don't think people understand what is going on within the church - this neo-protestantisation has reached cataclysmic proportions - and the major asault has been on the dignity and respect afforded to the blessed sacrament. This picture offends us all - but think about the reality that's occurring in churches around us - and what is really going on...


1 comment:

the mother of this lot said...

Yep, with you all the way on this one!