Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kneeling to receive communion in the mouth a "norm valid for the entire Church"

A recent interview with the Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, in L'Osservatore Romano (permanent link) includes some very interesting answers, especially on the mode of distribution of Holy Communion:

L'Osservatore: "...In the recent visit to Santa Maria di Leuca and Brindisi, the Pope has distributed communion to the kneeling faithful in the mouth. Is it a practice destined to become usual in papal celebrations?"

Monsignor Marini: "I think so. Regarding it, it should not be forgotten that the distribution of communion in the hand still remains, from a juridical viewpoint, an indult from the universal law, granted by the Holy See to those Episcopal Conferences which have made a request for it. The mode adopted by Benedict XVI tends to underline the force of the norm valid for the entire Church. In addition, a preference could perhaps be seen for the use of this mode of distribution, which, without eliminating anything from the other, puts into light better the truth of the real presence in the Eucharist, aids the devotion of the faithful, introduces with greater ease the sense of mystery. Aspects which, in our age, pastorally speaking, it is urgent to underline and recover."

Photos, top: the Holy Father gives Communion to a first communicant kneeling and in the mouth in Rome for the Solemnity of Corpus Domini this year; bottom: Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini.

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