Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Flummoxed

I'm flummoxed at why some people choose to receive Holy Communion in the hand and standing. If that's really Christ the Lord, why not kneel and why not receive Him on the tongue? Why deny God the glory?

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What could possibly induce a person who's aware of the great mystery before Him, the Creator hidden behind a veil of bread, to stretch out his hands while standing and not drop to his knees in adoration and receive his Lord an God reverently on the tongue. Why worry about what people think and what people might say or whether or not it looks strange. If it's the right thing to do, why not just do it? Why fear man?

Someone needs to help me out here cos I really can't think of anything.

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Server Lawrence, doin it right

And besides, doesn't it look super cool? =)

PS
Do pray for our new servers that they may persevere in doing what is right despite the crap that might come their way.

Addendum:
Perspective
I've received several interesting comment. I like comments, that's why I don't have comment barriers such as type in the word or whatever. But sometimes, when we do something, it's good to have perspective. So here's some perspective.

This comment:
"And if you favour everything being done properly you will have to find also an adequate vestment for the gentleman who is distributing the Holy Communion. For me, that is even worse than receiving in the in the hand or standing - it shows little respect for the ministery he is playing... "

Are these ministers dressed well enough for you?

And this:
" OK OK, but...but...arrrgh...wearing sneakers with cassock and surplice is a crime! "

How about with a nice slipper?
They're wearing black shoes. Next time, I'll have recruit some to the above to serve since their outfits are coordinated.

Perspective, folks. The photos above were from a Wed weekday Mass on 2 separate weeks. How many parishes have servers on weekday Masses? How many parishes do you know of in Malaysia or Singapore which have black cassocks? How many servers have you come across kneeling for Holy Communion? Heck, not only servers, but anyone kneeling in this day and age for a Novus Ordo Mass?

Do get back so I can compile some statistics to gently persuade our new servers, who are doing great work, BTW, that they are out of the norm.

Again, perspective, folks.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK OK, but...but...arrrgh...wearing sneakers with cassock and surplice is a crime!

Anonymous said...

And if you favour everything being done properly you will have to find also an adequate vestment for the gentleman who is distributing the Holy Communion. For me, that is even worse than receiving in the in the hand or standing - it shows little respect for the ministery he is playing...

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I would love to show the Creator God as much respect as I can,(it will never be what He deserves) but here are my reasons.#1 When we were made to give up the old style of receiving we were taught to think in terms of unworthily begging for Jesus' presence by a hands begging posture. I thought I should be teachable and see things as the Church was teaching.
#2 I always did feel funny sticking my tongue out: it is in all other circumstances a very vulgar gesture.
#3 There is contradictory teaching now on what posture to take but I am quite old now and unless they put the altar railing back in I might make it down but I'll never get back up and that would be very ackward indeed. (I manage genuflection because I can hold on to the end of the pew.)
#4 right now our bishop has required us to stand after communion and that was tried (by some/many) for a few weeks but almost everyone has gone back to kneeling after receiving communion by now (except for in some of the churches which took the kneelers (the furniture; not the people) completely out.
So there are my paltry but real reasons.
still love your blog
nan

Anonymous said...

Lol, super cool shoes... maybe it's time to get them some cheap black taichi shoes... :)

DonAaron said...

Ok I would love the receiving 'communion kneeling' practice, but using the kneeler would be a good start. And besides that I don't quite understand the meaning for standing after receiving communion and for what the heck its been put into place... (again another creative job by bishops/priests - just as His Emminence Francis Arinze had pointed)... what bout grandmas and grandpas who could not even stand or kneel due to their disability, or what about the ones . Mind you, there are some who have really aged, and they still practice kneeling @ point of times...

If it feels awkward when receiving communion on the tongue or vulgar to stick out the tongue, den what about the Tridentine Mass? They stick out the tongue and, the best part is... only priests distribute communion... no worries for EMC's forcing you to stand and take in hand or embarrassing you.

Oh ya on another note... the sneakers and cassock-surplice vesting, really and I mean really really does not fit into the picture. I've seen lay people and clergy in sandals with socks but oye... not the sneakers, even the full black sneakers would be ok...(just a friendly comment) :-)

Andrew said...

Hello Nan,

Nice to hear from you again. Of course in the days directly following Vatican II and in those turbulent times, there were many uncertainties and still much respect for the authority of priests, so no blame there as it was the priests who asked for this change and many good Catholics followed then in good conscience.

It's not the fault of the people in most cases because the priests and bishops give grief to those who try to follow the old practice.

And of course no one can be expected to some something physically impossible. My grandma can't kneel at all. Otherwise she would not be able to get up.

Thanks again, Nan, for sharing your experience and reasons. This post was mainly aimed at those who are physically able and yet refuse for ideological reasons. Non serviam is their motto. =)

DonAaron,

No kneeler because it's not something the priest encourages, unlike the Pope's Masses in Rome where it's compulsory to kneel on the kneeler provided when receiving from the hands of the Holy Father. And it's not like the priest actively promotes this practice as older posts on this blog have archived.

Although there's an old doctor in his late 80's who visibly struggles to kneel and genuflect and really struggles to get up after that during the portions of the Mass, not all can do that. That's heroic fidelity and something I deeply admire. But it did not rub off on his kids and grandkids tho.

And on the awkwardness, my God, it is. It's very awkward and people will stare at you. That's why I'm so proud of the new servers who are willing to do that. Your a young guy to do it? I take my hat off to him.

It takes real guts to do it in public, to be counter-cultural and to go against the trend of the majority and even the preferences of the priest. I really salute them and am very happy for them.

Do pray that they may stay the course.

As for the shoes, well, one thing at the time.

Vernon said...

One small point for Lawrence and the other servers: The purpose of the Communion Plate is to catch any host which may be accidentally dropped by the Priest. It should therefor be held immediately under the chin (under the hands if Communion is in the hand) and not a considerable distance away where it can do no good.

Anonymous said...

Dear Andrew ,

Brandon here ...how r things with u ? Your servers looks excellent compared to the other photos..u guys lead by example and I know it is tough considering the liberal climate in our hierachy ...

Last weekend I attended the St Francis Xavier feast day mass at St.Paul's hill where Bishop Paul said mass. I am so dissapointed to see girl's altar servers and the disease has spreaded to other churches ..sorry to say the liturgy was horrendous...

Sadly they set a bad examle of the Catolic liturgy considering many non Catholics were around..

DonAaron said...

Was the liturgy that bad? The last time I attended mass @ SFX Malacca, the mass was pretty ok (but that was during Fr Reginal's time bout a few yrs back), not really a big issue for me on girls serving though... Well any ways, boys will be boys...

Anonymous said...

new priest new style ...

so quick to copy the west when come to girl servers but now when the west is turning to tradition ...they say it is awestern thinghy...

DonAaron said...

Well in the west its a sad thingy that the girls are more dedicated then boys...

& speaking bout tradition, I do not understand what it has got to do with being a western thingy, end of the day, most of the western thingys practice are eastern in tradition... :-)

Anonymous said...

hehehehe boys would be boys somehow but choice do we have ...keep on tryin the vocations unless u want woman priest ...hehehehe

well that is what the bishops say on the western and eastern thingy ...keke

brandon