Catching up on church news after a few whirlwind days, I noticed this piece at CNS about the pope’s communicants receiving the Eucharist while kneeling. Forty-eight communicants? That’s a pretty light load compared to the priest in a large parish. Sounds like the kneeling took some time to arrange.
As the pope prepared to distribute Communion, two ushers placed a kneeler in front of the altar on the basilica steps. The chosen communicants — laypeople, nuns, seminarians, priests and boys and girls who had received their first Communion in their parishes in May — all knelt and received on the tongue.
It strikes me as more of a preconciliar sensibility to note the particular minister distributing Communion. Lest anyone be deceived the priest-centered liturgy is a product of Vatican II, this might be an example in which the clergy usurp the centrality of Christ. Just at the worst time.
I’ve never got the chalice-shaped ciboria. And what about the priest (or seminarian) hovering behind the monsignor/acolyte? Hopefully he has the chalice–though that would be better left to a deacon. If not, I can’t imagine ars celebrandi provides for hangers-on in the sanctuary.
The pope’s liturgist was rather coy about the significance of the kneeling:
(T)he decision “was a solution adopted for (the feast of) Corpus Domini,” but as for the future, “we’ll see.”
We’ll see? Sounds like a bit of liturgical experimentation to me.
(Image credit: CNS/Giancarlo Giuliani, CPP)