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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A rogue instruction in the new people’s cards for Mass


Earlier this month I wrote about a new rubric that has been approved by the CDW for England and Wales concerning the reception of Holy Communion. This says that in England and Wales, Holy Communion is to be received standing but adds the important qualification “though individual members of the faithful may choose to receive Communion while kneeling.”

I also mentioned the unconvincing claim in “Celebrating the Mass” concerning the act of reverence before receiving Holy Communion:
"In England and Wales it is through this action of walking solemnly in procession that the faithful make their sign of reverence in preparation for receiving Communion."
This has now been superseded by the new rubric which states that when they receive Holy Communion standing, “it is recommended that the faithful bow in reverence before receiving the sacrament.” It is a solid bet that both of these sections of the new rubric were insisted upon by the Congregation for Divine Worship.

It is surprising then, to see that in the cards for the people that are published by the CTS, the following instruction is included:
“Communicants come forward in reverent procession: they receive Holy Communion standing.”
This is unsatisfactory because it omits both the instruction to bow in reverence, and the option to kneel, while implying that the "reverent procession" is a sufficient act of reverence before receiving Holy Communion.

I'm not blaming the CTS for this; I presume that they produced the card under the direction of the Liturgy Committee of the Bishops’ Conference. Was their advice given to the CTS before the final text of the rubric was received? Or is the Liturgy Committee simply going to ignore the qualifications that were mandated by the CDW because they don't like them? In either case, I think that the New People of God have the right to what has been given recognitio by the Holy See.

Interestingly this rogue instruction does not appear in the people’s cards produced by the Redemptorists or McCrimmon.
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