Are Gestures Needed?

fr richmond doxologyPrayTell has a post illustrating “How To Do The Consecration.”

Philip Endean, SJ, leaning toward the “populist,” reacts to the strict notion that the Eucharistic Prayer is uttered to the Father:

(T)hese considerations would seem ultimately to suggest we shouldn’t do any gesture at all, and instead in every way we can subordinate the institution narrative to the Spirit coming down on the elements (“like the dewfall”!). Which is (probably) absurd.

Maybe its absurd to reconsider gestures here. But perhaps not. If we are indeed relying on the agency of the Holy Spirit, perhaps the best thing for the priest to do is concentrate on God, not “play-acting” and let the people rely on faith, not sight to notice that there’s no change in the accidents of bread.

I know I keep harping on the superiority of my parish’s layout: priest facing east with the assembly to the right and to the left of him. Far better than the pre-conciliar way, blocking the people’s view of most everything. And definitely better than populism-gone-wild. Third way, right?

Aside from the matter of obedience to the rubrics, what do you think? Should the priest keep hands off the bread and cup until he begins to distribute the Eucharist? I don’t know that I’d argue against it, were I to wake up in the 22nd century with Roman Missal 5 in place.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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