Redemptionis Sacramentum 73

Catholic priests have already been instructed to stop breaking the Eucharistic Bread at the consecration. This section covers what should be done.

[73.] In the celebration of Holy Mass the breaking of the Eucharistic Bread – done only by the Priest celebrant, if necessary with the help of a Deacon or of a concelebrant – begins after the exchange of peace, while the Agnus Dei is being recited. For the gesture of breaking bread “carried out by Christ at the Last Supper, which in apostolic times gave the whole eucharistic action its name, signifies that the faithful, though they are many, are made one Body in the communion of the one Bread of Life who is Christ, who died and rose for the world’s salvation” (cf. 1 Cor 10,17). [Cf. GIRM 83] For this reason the rite must be carried out with great reverence. [Cf. Liturgicae Instaurationes 5] Even so, it should be brief. The abuse that has prevailed in some places, by which this rite is unnecessarily prolonged and given undue emphasis, with laypersons also helping in contradiction to the norms, should be corrected with all haste. [Cf. GIRM 83, 240, 321]

Two things here: first, the CDWDS isn’t squeamish about referring to the consecrated bread as “Eucharistic Bread.” Maybe capitalization is all that is required.

I’m not sure about the diagnosis of “unnecessary prolongation.” If a community isn’t providing individual pieces of Bread, then the length of time it takes to break up larger pieces would seem to be longer. Also, it was a widespread practice to pour the Precious Blood before 2004. This seems to be more a solution in search of a complaint.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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