Fr Carl on the Holy Mass: Part 4 

December 19, 2018 - 10:57am
Weekly Message
The Communion Rite

Dear St Michael Family,


Let us continue with learning more about the Mass, our postures, gestures and behaviors.  This week we will focus on the Communion Rite.

The eating and drinking of the Lord’s Body and Blood in the Paschal meal is the culmination of the Eucharist. The themes underlying these rites are mutual love and reconciliation that are both the condition and the fruit of worthy communion.

When it is time to join the Communion Procession, exit the pew (without genuflecting) and walk reverently toward the altar, with your hands folded in prayer.

To receive Holy Communion, make a gesture of reverence (slight BOW) before the Blessed Sacrament as you approach the priest, deacon or extraordinary minister of holy communion.

You may receive the Blessed Sacrament either on the tongue (the preferred manner) or in the hand.

When receiving on the tongue, the minister will say, “The Body of Christ” and you audibly say “Amen”.  Then open your mouth and extend your tongue, so the minister can place the Blessed Sacrament properly. If you are carrying a child, walking with a cane or have other difficulty with your hands, it is easier to receive on the tongue.  

When receiving in the hand, place one hand over the other hand, palms open, and lift your hands to chest level. The minister will say, “The Body of Christ” and you audibly say “Amen”.  With the lower hand, take the Blessed Sacrament and reverently place it in your mouth immediately.  Please remove gloves and push long sleeves up before receiving in the hand.

When receiving the Precious Blood from the sacred chalice, make the same gesture of reverence (slight bow) when you approach the minister to receive. The minister will say, “The Blood of Christ” and you audibly say “Amen”. 

If you do not receive from the sacred chalice, make a (slight BOW) as you pass the sacred chalice in procession back to your seat.

KNEEL, STAND or SIT in prayer or join in singing the hymn when you return to your pew after Holy Communion.  When the priest sits down or says “Let us pray,” please stand and raise the kneeler gently. (GIRM #160 American adaptation says that people may “stand, sit or kneel”.)


What is the purpose of collection or the financial offering during Mass?

When you put an offering in the collection basket at Mass, make an electronic gift or give a special year-end donation to our parish, 88 cents of every dollar you give stays in our parish or supports initiatives as determined by our parish. 12 cents of each dollar supports our Diocesan Administration.

Your gift keeps the lights and heat on at our parish, maintains our church and other parish campus buildings, provides fair wages and benefits to parish staff, helps provide Catholic education at our parish school and parish faith formation programs, supports music ministry and provides for other outreach ministry in our community. Your financial support allows our parish to share the Gospel message and the joy of knowing Jesus Christ.


What is the importance of Sacred Music and what are the hymns appropriate for Mass?

St. Augustine said, “To sing well is to pray twice.” And in the Second Vatican Council document Sacrosanctum Concilium #112 it is stated that "The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.”  

Perhaps of all the musical traditions of the Church, none is more beautiful than the deep and long tradition of chant. It is at once both simple and complex, the work of humans but the sounds of Heaven. Through much of the history of the Church, chant has held the place of primacy in the liturgical traditions of the West. After Vatican II, this ancient and sacred form of art fell into disuse. But this was never the intention of the council.  

Sacrosanctum Concilium #116 explains, “The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as especially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.”


Blessings to you and your families.


Fr Carl



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