A few weeks back Liam sent me this quote from a NLM guest contributor, Maurizio Bettoja:
In the first place, there is the fact that communion is evidently a particularly important and exceptional rite. Communion as practiced today is essentially due to St. Pius X’s encouragement of frequent communion but before then, communion was sparingly given and almost all faithful communicated only at Easter (the “precetto Pasquale”) and perhaps one or two times a year. In the late 18th century frequent communion meant once a month. Msgr. Barbier de Montault’s Année liturgique à Rome (1862 and 1870) lists the few Roman churches where general communion was distributed, showing that generally communion was not included in ordinary Masses. In fact, very often communion, especially at Easter, was not part of the Mass: the faithful would go to confession in Lent or Easter and a priest distributing communion would be placed immediately next to the confessional so that penitents passed directly from confession to communion without time to sin! Generally speaking, in the past one would go often to confession and rarely to communion, whereas now it is the opposite. All this contributed to the reverence, sacrality, and exceptional importance of holy communion.
… along with this comment:
So, I guess that means infrequent confession has contributed to the reverence, sacrality, and exceptional importance of Reconciliation.
Or that the real Catholics out there are the ones who come only on Christmas and Easter.
In another day or two, we’ll be seeing lots of those “old-style” Catholics–the ones who receive Communion only once or twice a year. I wouldn’t mind making a few converts to Pius X Catholics.