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The Eight Secrets of a Good Mass

And four ways the faithful can help

By on Thursday, 24 January 2013


The Vatican is preparing a manual that will help priests celebrate Mass more correctly. This is surely to be welcomed by all priests and all laity. After all, we all want to get the most out of the great gift that is the Mass, don’t we?

I have recently been on holiday and during my time off I went to Church “disguised” as a layman and observed a few things. I am sure lots of people would like to put in their bit as to what goes into the new manual, but here are my thoughts, for what they are worth. Not all of them are of equal importance.

• Start the Mass on time. If it says six o’clock, then let it be six o’clock, not five past or seven past.
• The priest should turn up in good time. Seeing a flustered looking chap rush in at one minute to does not help. After all, Mass is important, and for important events we always turn up in good time, don’t we? Besides, ones needs to prepare.
• Wear a chasuble, and make sure it is the correct colour.
• When you preach, it really is not a good idea to go on too long. And to help you keep within a reasonable time frame it is a good idea to plan the sermon. Less really is more when it comes to saying things: say it concisely and people may get what you are saying; say it in a prolix manner and your meaning may well get lost in the verbiage.
• The same goes for bidding prayers. Short and sharp. And do we need them in the week? I doubt it.
• Do not leave bits of the Mass out. The Opening Prayer, the Creed, the second reading – why do these sometimes fall by the wayside? There can be no good reason for this.
• Do not ad lib, and especially do not as lib during the Eucharistic Prayer. The people surely want to hear the words of the Church not the words of Father Joe (or whatever he is called).
• When celebrating Mass, look at God, not at the people, especially not at the strangers in Church (you never know, one of them might be a spy from the Catholic Herald.)

All of the above applies to the celebrant, but there are some points that ought to be recognised by the faithful.

• Don’t answer your mobile in Church. And when you do, which you should not, do not converse in a loud voice on the said phone, especially during the Eucharistic Prayer. In fact, just switch the thing off.
• Arrive on time.
• Yes, you have lots of important things to discuss with your neighbour, but surely they can wait twenty minutes? After Mass, you can talk to your heart’s content. During Mass, talk to God. Silently.
• Leave your shopping alone. No need to rustle through the contents of that bag at all.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and I am sure that many readers can add further points, based on their own experience!

  • Mark


    1. Have a church building that truly communicates the sacred and inspires.2. Music that truly communicates the sacred and inspires.3. When possible, the priest should speak from a traditional high pulpit.4. Traditional vestments that communicate seriousness.5. Sermons should be arguments based on scripture and tradition, not platitudes.

  • kinkysox

    I agree with you, Dbarchard, and Petertheroman.

    The tabernacle SHOULD be put back where it belongs - at the centre of things.

    As the nucleus is in the centre of a living cell, so should the tabernacle containing Our Blessed Lord in form of bread be the centre of our vision on the altar, the centre of our undivided attention and the centre of our lives.

    Also, it makes as much common sense to do this as it is practical and more secure, too.

    I heard of one church which is taking relocating its tabernacle back to the centre instead of to the side. I sincerely hope this starts a domino effect and reaches all other churches.

    Never mind how much it will cost! Leave that side of things to God, His Holy Mother and enthusiastic donations. It will be an investment in the long term which will reap back what you can’t possibly add up on a calculator.

  • kinkysox

    I’d add to the horror that is chewing gum in church… kids eating bags of flavoured crisps in church – in this case, a nuclear version of pickled onion!


    And people who think they are flaming Danny Boyle or Steven Spielberg whizzing around with their camcorder or smartphone thingies during Holy Mass when it comes to weddings, baptisms and holy communion! They stand in front of your pew and linger there for the killer shot and then they walk backwards and forwards like a malfunctioning robot wearing cheap aftershave (or insect repellent). Worse still, you can see the designer elastic waistband of their underpants peep brazenly above their trousers!

    And the ‘ladies’ wearing killer heels and skirts resembling cummerbunds!

    Are they hoping that the poor priest might have a mishap captured on camera to send into You’ve Been Framed or YouTube?

    Stop. This. Now!

  • JabbaPapa

    The tabernacle SHOULD be put back where it belongs - at the centre of things

    The tabernacle is, technically, supposed to be eastward — not “on the altar” as such…

    Any churches oriented East/West where the tabernacle is NOT central are therefore abusive — but where a church may be oriented otherwise, there is nothing wrong with placing the tabernacle in an eastwards chapel — provided that this is done properly !!! (and conversely, there is also nothing wrong with placing it centrally in such churches)

    For example, the church where I was baptised is oriented North/South, and the tabernacle is in a chapel that is eastwards — BUT this chapel is located towards the end of the church, and this chapel is actually located behind the altar — so that facing the altar during Mass *also* requires facing the tabernacle, despite its non-central location.

    (of course, facing “ad orientem” in such chapels would then logically mean eastwards not towards the altar, but that’s another question … :-) )

  • Gildaswiseman

    “There is a GREAT difference between expressing some discontent with a certain liturgical laxity that the new Order of Mass can sometimes allow, and the loss of certain theological specifics that were explicitly provided in the text of the Old Mass — and claiming the New Mass to be “inconsistent and disparate with the Catholic faith and the purity of doctrine”, as you have done.”

    Okay! These theological issues are never easy. Also I apologize for not placing the necessary quotation marks in my last post. Just to put the matter straight, I have not personally said anything about the New Mass; neither have I commented upon its validity or legality. I simply asked you a question.  I sent you an insert from the Otttaviani Intervention.  The Ottaviani Intervention or Short Critical Study on the New Order of Mass was a study of 5 June 1969 written by twelve Roman Catholic theologians, who worked under the direction of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.[1] Cardinals Alfredo Ottaviani and Antonio Bacci sent it to Pope Paul VI with a covering letter of 25 September 1969. You may of studied it, I do not know. The crux here Jabba is that the Novas Ordo Mass was designed to be an ecumenical Mass and has thoroughly pleased  Protestant theologians and organisations. Archdeacon Pawley, a Protestant observer at the Council, considered that the New Mass had “outstripped the Liturgy of Cranmer, in spite of the latter’s 400 years start in modernity”. Also the New Mas is structured in such a manner that it appears to conform to the demands of Luther. I.E. Mass facing the people, from an altar table, in the vernacular, the replacement of the Roman Canon,with Eucharistic prayers; said aloud as opposed to silently (Trent declared an anathema to those who claimed that it should not be said silently). New offertory prayers which reflect the Jewish grace before meals and  The consecration prayers now being a narrative instead of a formula. the mystery of faith removed. Thank the Lord that the Holy Father replaced the phrase “for all” back to “many” and thus correcting a theological dissension.  The mysterium fidei  is not of course the same as a proclamation of our faith as said after the consecration in the Novus Ordo. It is instead the directing of our awareness to the miracle and mystery of Transubstantiation. “What is seen differs from what is believed and what is believed differs from what is seen” These are just some of the many concerns that many pre-Vatican II, traditionally minded Catholics have. Holy Communion in the hand, where particles of the Blessed sacrament fall to the ground because their is not communion plate. and dispensed by people who do not have consecrated hands is another complete reversal of everything we were taught before the Council..Of course for validity of the Mass, the necessary conditions of matter, form, intention and a validly ordained priest is essential. So to deny the validity of the Novus Ordo is problematic and extreme caution is required if one wishes to remain in good standing with the Church.To criticize its seemingly outward Protestant form and appearance and to consider that this liturgy is  banal, demystified and that it weakens the faith and is clearly open to abuse is not heretical; to say so would mean that many eminent and holy Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests and the faithful are heretics and that would be just plain nonsense.  It would be a heresy indeed to deny that the Mass is the propitiatory Sacrifice of Calvary. That Christ is not substantially present in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, as defined by Trent. That the priest alone offers this sacrifice to the Father, as Christi Persona; and that the Children of God, witness this Sacrifice. One just hope and prayes that the Novus Ordo does in fact fulfill these necessary conditions. As for me I will go where I know that the Mass is without doubt liturgically correct. And before sweetjae jumps in with two guns blazing, that liturgy is found in the Latin Mass Society of which I am a member, The Fssp, the Institute of Christ the King and any Catholic Priest that will celebrate the Tridentine Mass, including the SSPX. I know that many good Catholics  have problems with this society, but I am convinced that one day their true place in the Church will be recognized and applauded by Rome for its preservation of the Traditional priesthood and the Tridentine Mass in all of its pristine purity; time will tell.

  • Inquisator

    I take it you will bring this up with the authorities in St Peters, where incidentally the tabernacle is placed in a side altar for private prayer and reflection by those who wish to use the church as a church and not a museum.  On another note, I always assumed that the altar and the ambo were the central points of reference for the celebration of Mass.

  • Gildaswiseman

    This is an insert from Pope Pius XII about the subject. It is from an article by The late, great, Michael Davies.
    This condemnation of Pope Pius XII was aimed at an influential faction within the hitherto papally approved liturgical movement. Pope Pius did not hesitate to denounce in the strongest possible terms certain theories and practices promoted by this faction: “false, dangerous, pernicious, a wicked movement, a false doctrine that distorts the Catholic notion of faith itself.” One of the pernicious theses it promoted was that the impact of the Sacrifice of the Mass was lessened if Our Lord were already present in a tabernacle upon the altar. But in an address to a liturgical congress in Assisi in 1956, this great Pope warned that their true motivation was to lessen esteem “for the presence and action of Christ in the tabernacle.” He insisted, correctly, that “To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and nature should remain united.” If this was true in 1956, it is still true today. It is to be regretted that one of the post-conciliar documents has actually suggested that “it is more in keeping with the nature of the celebration” not to have the Blessed Sacrament reserved on the altar from the beginning of Mass. [Eucharisticum Mysterium, Instruction of the Sacred Congregation of Rites on the Eucharistic Mystery, May 25, 1967, par. 55.]It is interesting to note that all those people who bang on about legit Councils and the teaching of the Pope are so inclined to be unaware of  what the Councils and Popes actually teach. I don’t mean you when I say this.   

  • JabbaPapa

    Interesting – thank you.

  • AnneMarieTherese

    Our Sanctuary is clogged with (mostly redundant) servers and we don’t like to mention the flock of ‘ministers of Communion’ that then join them.

  • Gabrielmcd

    Latin is the official language of the Western Church, not the Universal Church. This is often overloooked. GMD

  • JabbaPapa

    OK thank you very much for these clarifications :-)

    There is a certain amount of disagreement surrounding the Otttaviani Intervention, and although it’s a fairly long time since I read it, IIRC the views contained therein could be characterised as being licit theological opinions — rather than being simple expressions of what is to be believed de fide.

    To criticize its seemingly outward Protestant form and appearance and to
    consider that this liturgy is  banal, demystified and that it weakens
    the faith and is clearly open to abuse is not heretical

    This is correct — but to balance that statement, the Novus Ordo Mass as it is typically served in Italy, the South of France, or Spain does not usually have the sorts of protestantisms/anglicanisms that one might find in its English translation as served in the UK or US, for example.

    The Mass as it is served in our own parish does not seem at all banal, demystified, or weakening towards the Faith — nor do abuses occur (though some traditionalists might suggest that some ordinary liturgical features of the Mass are abusive, even though they are not).

    I’ll have another look at the document I suppose, I think I’m more aware of the various questions than when I first looked at it.

  • Linda Fawkes

    Excellent article! Very true!

  • JabbaPapa

     Ottoviani Intervention :


    This assertion seems to us to embody a serious equivocation.

    Opinion. Personal feelings of unhappiness are insufficient to overthrow Church doctrine, and the document never justifies that this equivocation is either real or pertinent (as it is an impressionistic analysis).


    Let us begin with the definition of the Mass given in No. 7 of the “Institutio Generalis” at the beginning of the second chapter on the Novus Ordo: “De structura Missae”:

        “The Lord’s Supper or Mass is a sacred meeting or assembly of the People of God, met together under the presidency of the priest, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. Thus the promise of Christ, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”, is eminently true of the local community in the Church (Mt. XVIII, 20)”.

    The definition of the Mass is thus limited to that of the “supper”

    This statement is greatly flawed — in fact, the Mass is defined in the above extract as “a sacred meeting or assembly of the People of God”

    Furthermore :

    None of this in the very least implies either the Real Presence, or the reality of sacrifice, or the Sacramental function of the consecrating priest, or the intrinsic value of the Eucharistic Sacrifice independently of the people’s presence.


    “27. In Missa seu Cena dominica populus Dei in unum convocatur, sacerdote praeside personamque Christi gerente, ad memoriale Domini seu sacrificium eucharisticum celebrandum.”

    “72. In Cena novissima, Christus sacrificium et convivium paschale instituit, quo sacrificium crucis in Ecclesia continue praesens efficitur, cum sacerdos, Christum Dominum repraesentans, idem perficit quod ipse Dominus egit atque discipulis in sui memoriam faciendum tradidit.”

    In the second part of this paragraph 7 it is asserted, aggravating the already serious equivocation, that there holds good, “eminently”, for this assembly Christ’s promise that “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. XVIII, 20). This promise which refers only to the spiritual presence of Christ with His grace, is thus put on the same qualitative plane, save for the greater intensity, as the substantial and physical reality of the Sacramental Eucharistic Presence.

    Latin “eminenter” mistranslated as “eminently” — in fact, it means “higher”

    How is something “higher” on the “same plane” ???

    Misinterpretation from poor translation, therefore the analysis seems to be unacceptable.

    In no. 8 a subdivision of the Mass into “liturgy of the word” and Eucharistic
    liturgy immediately follows, with the affirmation that in the Mass is made
    ready “the table of the God’s word” as of “the Body of Christ”, so that the
    faithful “may be built up and refreshed”; an altogether improper assimilation
    of the two parts of the liturgy, as though between two points of equal symbol

    This is a forcible translation and interpretation.”reficiantur” does not have “refreshed” as it’s primary meaning, but rather restored, remade, renewed. Clearly, this is intended as a reference to the cleansing of sins effectuated through Christ’s sacrifice ; NOT to a “refreshing” little snack or meal.the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the supper
    and the memorial instead of upon the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of
    False premises > false conclusionsIII1. Ultimate End. …

    This end has disappearedOpinion. And not very orthodox opinion either, IMO.2. Ordinary End. This is the propitiatory Sacrifice. It too has been deviated
    from; for instead of putting the stress on the remission of sins of the living
    and the dead, it lays emphasis on the nourishment and sanctification of those

    As seen above, this is a false analysis based on mistranslation … though “80. Cum celebratio eucharistica convivium paschale sit, expedit
    ut, iuxta mandatum Domini, Corpus et Sanguis eius a fidelibus rite dispositis ut
    cibus spiritualis accipiantur.” is supportive of the criticism, as far as the text of the Missal (rather than the Mass itself) is concerned.However : “Gestus fractionis a Christo in
    ultima cena peractus, qui tempore apostolico toti actioni eucharisticae nomen
    dedit, significat fideles multos in Communione ex uno pane vitae, qui est
    Christus pro mundi salute mortuus et resurgens, unum corpus effici” — ”
    Sacerdos panem frangit et partem hostiae in calicem
    immittit, ad significandam unitatem Corporis et Sanguinis Domini, in opere
    ” — “81. In Oratione dominica panis cotidianus petitur, quo
    christianis praecipue panis eucharisticus innuitur, atque purificatio a peccatis
    , ita ut sancta revera sanctis dentur”3. Immanent End. Whatever the nature of the Sacrifice, it is absolutely necessary
    that it be pleasing and acceptable to God. After the Fall no sacrifice can
    claim to be acceptable in its own right other than the Sacrifice of Christ.
    The Novus Ordo changes the nature of the offering turning it into a sort
    of exchange of gifts between man and God: man brings the bread, and God turns
    it into the “bread of life”; man brings the wine, and God turns it into a
    “spiritual drink”.
    This, OTOH, is just equivocationOpinion.Christ is present only spiritually among His own: here, bread and
    wine are only “spiritually” (not substantially) changed
    Sigh … “3. Mirabile etiam mysterium praesentiae realis Domini sub
    speciebus eucharisticis, a Concilio Vaticano II
    aliisque Ecclesiae Magisterii documentis eodem sensu eademque sententia, quibus Concilium Tridentinum id credendum
    proposuerat, confirmatum, in Missae celebratione declaratur non solum ipsis verbis
    consecrationis, quibus Christus per transubstantiationem praesens redditur, sed
    etiam sensu et exhibitione summae reverentiae et adorationis, quae in Liturgia
    eucharistica fieri contingit.”Disinformation.It’s actually an objectively heretical statement.In the preparation of the offering, a similar equivocation results from the
    suppression of two great prayers. The “Deus qui humanae substantiae dignitatem
    mirabiliter condidisti et mirabilius reformasti” was a reference to man’s
    former condition of innocence and to his present one of being ransomed by
    the Blood of Christ: a recapitulation of the whole economy of the Sacrifice,
    from Adam to the present moment. The final propitiatory offering of the chalice,
    that it might ascend “cum adore suavitatis”, into the presence of the divine
    majesty, whose clemency was implored, admirably reaffirmed this plan. By
    suppressing the continual reference of the Eucharistic prayers to God, there
    is no longer any clear distinction between divine and human sacrifice.
    This is more pertinent — hopefully the forthcoming document from the Curia will be helpful in this respect.It does not *change* the theology of the Mass, but the omission does provide unclear instruction to priests for celebrating the Mass.IVThe mystery of the Cross is no longer explicitly expressedThis statement is false, except where abuses of the Mass may occur. Such abuses are condemned.1. The sense given in the Novus Ordo to the so-called “prex Eucharistica”
    is: “that the whole congregation of the faithful may be united to Christ
    in proclaiming the great wonders of God and in offering sacrifice”
    WRONGbad translation (hmmmm, though to be fair, it’s a tough one to render properly into English…)”Sensus autem huius orationis est, ut tota congregatio fidelium se cum Christo
    coniungat in confessione magnalium Dei et in oblatione sacrificii.” >>> “that the whole congregation of the faithful may join Christ in His confessing the great wonders of God and offering sacrifice”The Latin may be vague, which makes its translation problematic (and I doubt I’ve succeeded well enough BTW) — but the sense here in the Latin is that this is primarily Christ’s proclamation and His sacrifice, that the faithful seek to participate in by the Eucharist.The translation provides the FALSE impression that the sacrifice of the faithful is equivalent to the Sacrifice of Christ.The initial definition of the “prex Eucharistica”
    is as follows: “The centre and culminating point of the whole celebration
    now has a beginning, namely the Eucharistic Prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving
    and of sanctification”

    Again, no — “78. Nunc centrum et culmen totius celebrationis initium habet” means “Now the centre and peak of the whole celebration has a beginning” ; ”
    ipsa nempe Prex eucharistica” >> “which (ie “which beginning”) is the Eucharistic Prayer” etc.They claim that The effects thus replace the causes,
    of which not one single word is said
    , which is to completely ignore not only the actual meaning of “Eucharist” (as if it weren’t mentioned), but it also totally ignores everything that is explicitly mentioned in the Preface and elsewhere concerning the Sacrifice.CLEARLY, “centrum et culmen totius celebrationis” is NOT a happy-clappy snack for feel-good Protestants.2. The reason for this non-explicitness concerning the Sacrifice is quite
    simply that the Real Presence has been removed from the central position
    which it occupied so resplendently in the former Eucharistic liturgy. There
    is but a single reference to the Real Presence, (a quotation – a footnote
    – from the Council of Trent) and again the context is that of “nourishment”
    WRONG and WRONG, as already pointed out.The Real and permanent Presence of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity,
    in the transubstantiated Species is never alluded to. The very word
    transubstantiation is totally ignored.
    LIES :-( Note, too, the suppressionsThis argument is licit, even though it is characterised rather forcibly by all of the abovementioned Errors of interpretation.All these things
    only serve to emphasise how outrageously faith in the dogma of the Real Presence
    is implicitly repudiated
    No — the authors are inferring this to be the case — notwithstanding that it is true that far too many abusive masses occur where the Real Presence is insufficiently emphasised.”repudiated” is FAR too strong, and again, seems to be objectively heretical.The altar is almost always
    called ‘table’
    Latin “mensa” means both ‘table’ and ‘altar’. They have a point here that the ambiguity here is unhelpful…It is laid down that the altar
    must be detached from the walls so that it is possible to walk round it and
    celebration may be facing the people
    Arguments about ad populum have been continuing since Antiquity — /shrug/ — the stance is not heretical or anything ; but the postures of priests during the Mass are indicated in Vatican II, not the Missal, and they do not get rid of ad orientem (and ad tabernaculum !!!) in the slightest.But a comparison of no. 262 and 276
    would seem to suggest that the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament on this
    altar is excluded. This will mark an irreparable dichotomy between the presence,
    in the celebrant, of the eternal High Priest and that same presence brought
    about sacramentally. Before, they were ‘one and the same presence’.
    Inference and opinion.Guesswork, really — NOT the contents of the Missal.Separation of Altar and TabernacleThis whole paragraph is theologically dubious. Certainly, it’s a highly forcible interpretation of the Novus Ordo.Pope Pius XII’s statement “To separate the
    Tabernacle from the Altar is tantamount to separating two things which, of
    their very nature, must remain together” is a licit theological opinion, but opposite theological opinions have also been given by others.The Magisterium has for the time being ruled otherwise ; though not infallibly.This ruling has a greater Authority than Pius XII’s personal theological opinions — NOT because Councils outrank Popes or anything silly like that, but because the Pope did not make a formal declaration of Church teaching in that statement.VAnd I’m sorry, but I’m starting to find the document unreadable.It is replete with an increasing number, from paragraph to paragraph, of false inference, gratuitous statements, poor interpretation of the Latin (!!!), and forcible theology.In the Novus Ordo, the position attributed to the faithful is autonomous
    (absoluta), hence totally false…A true presence, certainly of Christ but only a spiritual one

    …the people themselves
    appear to be invested with autonomous priestly powers

    …The priest’s position is minimised, changed and falsified… and so on and on — which opinions are quite clearly based on the poor theological basis of a self-justification of the opinions themselves.VIPerhaps the most gratuitously objectionable claim of all is that the Novus Ordo is somehow a “rejection” of the Council of Trent — NO EVIDENCE is provided to support this VERY strange assertion, which on the face of it seems to be completely ludicrous.VIIAt least here, there’s some evidence of some more solid common sense.Orthodoxy does indeed need defending, not undermining.VIIIAnd this is a valid defence of the principles of a traditionalist position — but overall, the document is very disappointing.It is not constructive to attack the Mass — quite the contrary !!!That actual abuses should be attacked, or the Traditional Mass defended, both are laudable and constructive enterprises — but it is not possible to attack the Mass, where it is licit and valid, without attacking the very Church and the very Real Presence that they spend so many words on !!!

  • Simon1mandy

    Excellent, fully agree about the sermon; avoid repetition.

  • pak152

     The Extraordinary Form of the Mass unifies Catholics. One Mass One Church. I’ve seen way too much variety in the post-V2 era.

  • Juliamcloughlin

    I agree with all that Fr. Alexander, but I cannot believe that parts of the Mass are left e.g. collect etc.  I am in my eighties, have travelled both lived abroad and in Britain and I have NEVER been at a Mass where ‘bits’ were omitted.  I agree that many priests could do a lot better, but have never known any who omitted any essential parts as mentioned.  What priests  do need is to learn to speak out – not shout – plan their homily and celebrate the Mass with the graciousness befitting and act of Public worship to God.  I think the priest should look at the congregation in such a way to indicate that they are included.  This is only common courtesy.
      I also believe that Mass should be in Latin.  The faithful should know that Jesus never spole Latin at the Last Supper. He  was a Jew and he spoke in the language of the people.

  • Celia

    For priests: please say the Mass carefully and reverently- don’t rush it because you want breakfast or ‘the 8:30 crowd like a snappy one’. If you don’t behave as if this is the most important thing you do, you can’t expect the congregation to be particularly reverent.

    Laity: take that screaming child out! Right away! Mysteriously, most of us would rather listen to the words of the Mass, than little Scarlett/Josh’s temper tantrum.

  • Andy Milam

    P Stewarty;
    My response to that would be this.  First, it is an act of adoration.  To kneel to receive Holy Communion is to adore the Blessed Sacrament.  What does Sacred Scripture say about Jesus Christ?  Philippians 2:6-12.  Secondly, it is an act of submission.  While we are full partakers in the Life of Christ, we must die with Christ in order to rise with Him.  By kneeling for Holy Communion, we come to understand that as we rise after reception we have come to new life with Him.  Just as He rose from the dead, we rise at reception.  Finally, it is an act of worship.  If we are to called to worship God the Father, then shouldn’t we kneel when we approach the very fruit of our worship?Kneeling for Holy Communion conveys a lot of things, but from a theological point of view it is clear that it is an act of worship, and act of adoration and an act of self denial.  When we change our level and we become submissive, as Christ was submissive, only then do we theologically know and understand the great mystery of the PDR.  We most properly act this out by kneeling down, in all three cases.

  • JabbaPapa

    Jesus most likely spoke Greek during his public life, IMO, as that was the lingua franca of Palestine in 1st century AD ; and there were Hellenistic Jews among the Apostles at the Last Supper — it is completely speculative as to whether His mother tongue was Greek, Aramic, or Hebrew ; though undoubtedly He spoke Aramaic on a daily basis in Nazareth— otherwise, thank you for your excellent post !!!

  • Andy Milam

    Understood, but in this instance we are talking about the Western Church, so it applies properly.

  • JabbaPapa

    My more detailed response to this was probably inappropriate for the forum, so the Moderators have understandably removed it — but I had taken the decision to post it on my blog anyway, if you are still interested in discussing it :

  • kinkysox

    Where is the sense of a church moving said tabernacle being moved to one side … facing the SAME doggone DIRECTION?!


  • Bass Wheeler

    Silence for a few minutes before Mass would really help people clear their heads
    and focus on where we are and what we are there for.

  • Gildaswiseman

    I am quite happy to discuss this further. I do have a heavy work schedule so I won’t reply immediately. I will probably use your site as this is not a matter for superficial considerations and would probably cause a logjam on the CH site.
    I do agree that incorrect translations can be very troublesome. 

  • JabbaPapa


  • Breff

    On the matter of preaching, my old boss left a note for the Baptist pastor officiating at his funeral;  “No one was ever converted by the second ten minutes of a sermon”

  • Christine Onimbo

    Monday to Saturday masses, loud speaker need to be used.  This is for priests. The faithful  when you come early move in the middle of the sit so that one later may sit. Some people sit at the edge with space in the middle while others stand against the wall.

  • Cassandra

    Had similar experience but I did not ask for proof!

  • Grace

    I agree with the no music composed later than 1900! And I play organ! It frustrates me so badly when our music director states how badly she dislikes those “Old boxy hymns!” So badly I want to scream, “No! They are beautiful, they have actual musical structure, not the current four-chord nonsense, and the people love them!” She also thinks that organ is too hard to sing to, so she never plays it!” Grrr. It’s frustrating.

  • Grace

    I would like to point out that teenagers chew gum in church because no one has taught them any better. Fix the problem where it is-the parents.

  • SteveCabrera

    Please help? What do I do if I cannot understand my preist’s English “AT ALL”? I was thinking of approaching him? The entire church is having a most difficult time? We are grateful for him..Please help!!!!

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