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Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Communion "Procession"

In a discussion essentially of something else, Fr Edward McNamara, who answers liturgical questions from readers on Zenit, says that the situation wherein people not in a state to take communion feel their abstention will be too embarrassingly noticeable and so receive, "is more often that not provoked by the bad habit in many parishes of insisting on an orderly pew-by-pew communion procession when a bit of confusion would be enough to help such people pass unnoticed."

Is that a bad habit?

I've never liked it, but didn't give any thought to whether my distaste had any rational basis.

I remember the weekend the pastor in my home parish, obviously peeved about it, announced that our bishop, after a visit the week earlier had dressed him down for our disorderly communion time, and henceforth, we could only come up, row by row, as the ushers indicated.
And I could be remembering incorrectly, but I think we did it beginning from the back, a relatively uncommon method which I recently learned is one more reason Cdl Mahony is a frequent target of the less leftish American Catholics' ire.

I don't get it.
Not the opposition to any wrangling of communicants, that I am glad to go on record as opposing.
But I think once you accept the propriety of any such system ("now it's your turn,") getting your noise out of joint over whether it begins in back or front is just knee-jerk opposition to anything proposed by someone with whom you have disagreed in the past.


Dad29 said...

The FAR better pastoral resolution to the problem is to re-institute the 3-hour (or longer) fast before Communion.

It's very easy for someone to 'forget' the fast...

Mary Jane said...

I hate being orderly. We never did that in NY - other than at St. Patrick's where the the ushers were retired cops who couldn't stop themselves from saying, "Move along, move along."

Everyone trotting out as directed also pressures everyone to get up and go. And maybe there are lots of folks who lots of times should just stay put. And no, I won't get up into "coming up for a blessing." Bleech.

Jane said...

Orderliness has its merits. On one of the occasions when I attended Mass in Ireland, and having been accustomed to the pew-by-pew method from my native California, I stepped out of my pew and into the aisle, but waited for the elderly lady from the pew in front of me to get into line. She and I were both nearly run down by a mother dragging two small children behind her, who was apparently in something of a hurry to receive Communion. I don't like trying to jump into line and being jostled from behind by people who were hoping to get there before me.

I am, personally, in favor of the solution Dad29 proposes.