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This weekend we had our first Masses with the new Communion rail. After one of these Masses I was talking with one of the old guard parishioners (great guy), and he loved the rails. He told me that "years ago" (I love that expression), they had a Parish Council meeting, and Fr. X wanted to remove the side altars (along with many other alterations), in this beautiful church. The old guard parishioner said, "It was a hard fought battle that night, but we wore him down and he did only minor alterations.” I said, "My ... how times have changed ... that priest got criticized for trying to remove sacredness ... now I'm getting criticized for trying to bring it back."
Since we were celebrating our new Communion rails, and the Gospel saw Peter, James and John fall prostrate before the presence of God - I deemed it a perfect time to shed some light on one of those post-Vatican II innovations – Communion in the hand while standing. We began with a little history lesson …
An Indult Born Out of Disobedience
The practice of receiving Holy Communion in the hand first began to spread in Catholic circles during the early 1960s, primarily in Holland. Shortly after Vatican II, due to the escalating abuses in certain non-English speaking countries (Holland, Belgium, France and Germany), Pope Paul VI took a survey of the world's bishops to ascertain their opinions on the subject. On May 28, 1969 the Congregation for Divine Worship issued Memoriale Domini, which concluded: "From the responses received, it is thus clear that by far the greater number of bishops feel that the present discipline [i.e., Holy Communion on the tongue] should not be changed at all, indeed that if it were changed, this would be offensive to the sensibility and spiritual appreciation of these bishops and of most of the faithful." After he had considered the observation and the counsel of the bishops, the Supreme Pontiff judged that the long-received manner of ministering Holy Communion to the faithful should not be changed. The Apostolic See then strongly urged bishops, priests and the laity to zealously observe this law out of concern for the common good of the Church.
A MUST read.