WO WEEKS AGO, I made a post about the best way to receive communion. I didn’t really touch on the theological values of the posture and I would like do a little follow-up today, on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (EF).
I have been reading a book called “Liturgical Reflections of a Papal Master of Ceremonies” by Msgr. Guido Marini recently. In the book, Msgr. Marini gave his reflection on Sacred Silence, Liturgical Music, Holy Communion, the Pope’s Vestments and many other topics. He wrote briefly, in the chapter on Holy Communion, about the history of how the Church started the practice of receiving communion on the tongue while kneeling. The motivation for this practice is twofold:
(1) To avoid, as much as possible, the dropping of the Eucharistic particles;|
(2) And to increase among the faithful, devotion to the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament if the Eucharist.
St. Thomas Aquinas also affirms, in his book Summa Theologiae, that touching the Body of Christ is proper only to the ordained priest. It is for this reason that the priest’s hands are consecrated. And therefore, out of reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament, anyone else should not touch the Body of Our Lord.
He continues on talking about the posture for the sacred moment of Holy Communion, he wrote, “Kneeling indicates and promotes the adoration necessary before receiving the Eucharistic Christ.” We should approach the Lord with the greatest respect and adoration during Holy Communion.
Starting with the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in the year 2008, Pope Benedict XVI began to distribute to the faithful the Body of the Lord by placing it directly on the tongue as they remain kneeling. If you are planning on attending a Novus Ordo Mass this Sunday, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, consider taking up this practice which is the tradition for many centuries and has been passed down to us. The Church made clear in 2012 that this option is fully legitimate. And just as Pope Francis’s expectation for Cardinal Sarah (the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship), let us continue the liturgical vision of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!