In Awe of the Eucharist

3 Responses

  1. Fr Sean Collins CSsR says:

    wonderful to see that one of our leading bishops is bringing us back to the centrality of our faith and reflects upon those who have removed the Blessed Sacrament to side chapels, stripped the altar rails away and thereby taken away from the sense of the sacred. Compare with the profound and uplifting photograph on the front page of the solemn installation of the new Abbot Van DerLinde O.Cist in Austria.

  2. David says:

    Silly me, I thought altar rails existed to keep cattle, horses and other animals out of the sactuaries of churches, especially rural churches, as originally intended by their medieval designers. Now we want to use them to keep women and the laity out in the name of restoring the sense of the sacred. Surely the whole church is sacred? Has anyone noticed that foremost church in the Catholic world, St Peter’s basilica, doesn’t have altar rails and never did? What were Michelangelo, Bramante, Pope Julius II and and the twenty popes that followed thinking when they designed it? Obviously the rot started with them.

  3. P.R.Margeot says:

    Besides demarcating the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, the altar rails exist also for the faithful to receive, kneeling, on the tongue, the Body of Christ with reverence and awe. Receiving communion standing and on the hand is a sacrilege and most priests know that truth. We do not forget that we are witnessing the Sacrifice of calvary , with the priest facing the crucifix, and he and the faithful look at that crucifix. Their eyes are glued on it and the tabernacle. It is not the case when the priest faces the people: then all eyes are glued on him, the priest, and that is not quite correct. Of course, in such masses, the idea is generally that it is a convivial meal among brothers and sisters and it is therefore quite natural that everything is relaxed and friendly and that the people should receive their food in their hands. It makes sense, I must admit. It is logical. However, we can judge a tree by its fruits. The fruits from the Tridentine mass are numerous, that mass has showered the world with grace and blessings for many, many centuries, and it was the mass of the Saints and martyrs and is the mass of all time. The Pope has declared in 2007 that it is the extraordinary rite: quite rightly, it is an extraordinarily beautiful and rich mass which has proved itself. It is extraordinary and is attracting more and more young priests. Salus animarum luprema lex.