Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Told Ya

Cleveland clarifies that the only real change in the new GIRM that affects the congregation is that they must bow before receiving communion. Further giving the desire for unity in the worshipping congregation, why are they allowing for all these "may" options that will create a "house divided"?

First, this "clarification" is being released because thankfully the laity aren't as ignorant about these matters as they were twenty or thirty years ago. Father Murray has found out that you can't just "make it up" and say that the Vatican is issuing these changes.

Secondly, if the Diocese of Cleveland is really interested in unity they would mandate the posture that is put forth in the GIRM and not try to recapture parts of the "tradition" of the church that Father Murray is fond of. If he wants the church to change the posture of the faithful during the liturgy he should vigorously work for that change. But in the meantime, this instruction is fostering a liturgy where some people will be standing, some sitting, some kneeling, some raising their hands, some clutching their hearts, some holding hands, some clasping their hands, etc. This is instruction????

From An explanation of the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal:

"Fr. Murray explained that there will be changes in the way Roman Catholics in the United States will do Holy Communion.

Here are some of the major points to be clarified regarding this new instruction:

Recitation of the “Our Father”:

During the “Our Father” (Lord’s Prayer) people may raise their hands. This is not, as some suggest, an attempt to mimic those from the Evangelical or Pentecostal Churches. It is an attempt to recover an ancient gesture of the Church seen in the catacombs, but most importantly, it is an imitation of how Christ prayed in life and in death, says Tertullian, a Father of the Church. People may also continue to fold their hands at their hearts. Neither of these gestures is mandated by GIRM. They are pastoral suggestion from Tradition.

Sign of Peace:

During the “Sign of Peace,” people may embrace one or two family members, loved ones or close friends. They may shake hands, or bow respectfully and peacefully to their neighbor, or whatever the individual deems appropriate to his/her culture and personality in so far as it shows forth the dignity, sobriety, seriousness of this gesture that signifies a deep love, unity, and reconciliation within the Body of Christ. It is not a “hug” nor is it meant to put anyone in jeopardy.

Reception of Holy Communion:

People will be required to show reverence to the Body and Blood of Christ by bowing their heads before receiving Holy Communion. People will also be invited to stand and sing throughout the reception of Holy Communion, though no one will be prohibited from kneeling or sitting in prayer after the individual reception of Holy Communion—a longstanding custom in the United States.

Those are the facts. What the Diocese hopes, is that our Catholic faithful will understand that after the Second Vatican Council, changes were introduced that upset people and were unsettling because people were told what to do, but were not told why we do, what we do. The Diocese is committed to catechesis and education. People will be invited to do the new changes because they would know why the changes. It is our hope that people would come to know that these new changes are intended to bring a greater reverence, holiness and unity to Holy Communion. The reason for the reverence holiness, and unity is: so that having been transformed by God, made holy by God, we would be able to transform the world to be more just, more holy, more peaceful. "