Church and Religion

Benedict XVI calls for the return of kneeling for Communion

BRINDISI (AFP) - After the rehabilitation of the "tridentine" Latin Mass and the reappearance of lace albs, Benedict XVI on Sunday went a step further in bringing back former liturgical practices by distributing communion to the faithful who knelt on a prie-dieu.

This return to a practice which fell into disuse over the past forty years occurred during an outdoor Mass celebrated by the Pope at Brindisi with some 60,000 people in attendance.

Benedict XVI had done the same at a previous Mass on May 22 at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome, but the event had less impact because the congregation was much smaller.

The faithful chosen to receive communion from the hands of the pope must now kneel before him on a prie-dieu and receive the host in the mouth.

Since the liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the current practice, deemed to be less intimidating, calls for the Faithful to receive the host (a piece of unleavened bread believed to be "the body of Christ") standing and in their hands before placing it in their own mouths.

They could still opt to receive the host in the mouth, but standing.

The practice of kneeling, which has never been banned, remained confined to traditionalist parishes.

By using this practice himself, Benedict XVI intends to set an example for the entire Church - particularly the clergy.

"We Christians kneel before the Blessed Sacrament (the host) because, therein, we know and believe to be the presence of the one true God" he said on May 22.

"I am convinced of the importance of giving the host once again to the faithful directly in the mouth without them touching it" and "the return of kneeling during Communion as a sign of respect" he added.

The liturgical changes introduced by Benedict XVI during the past months all favor a return to practices thought to have been abandoned after the great wind of reform following Vatican II.

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MONTFORT Associação Cultural
Online, 17/06/2024 às 20:51:31h