Friday, January 25, 2013
RECAPTURING THE CULTURE OF REVERENCE EVEN IN THE MANNER IN WHICH WE RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION
I can remember having holy fear when the Host stuck to the roof of my mouth and not knowing what to do if the Host dissolved completely there. Such were the wonders of Catholic childhood back then and the profound sense of reverence we had that we can smile at today as adults. But our children today have no sense of this same type of holy fear and reverence so well instilled in us pre-Vatican II Catholics by simple cultural, religious expectations.
We were also told not to chew the Host. It is here that I wish we had received a better explanation. We were told we should not hurt Jesus when we receive Holy Communion. Of course this did lead to a profound reverence in the Real Presence.
But after Vatican II we told Catholic adults and children preparing for Holy Communion that we're receiving food, real bread and to eat it as you eat real bread by chewing it! And thus we saw communicants receiving on the run returning to their pews chewing the Host as though a cow chewing cud! That really instills reverence and holy fear into people!
This video below gives a very good rational for kneeling to receive Holy Communion and to receive the Host on the tongue.
But what it states about not chewing the Host and the reason why, is what I wish I had been taught as a child because it is excellent:
#4 "Let the Host soften in the mouth, then swallow. by doing this you'll avoid having the smallest particle of our Lord stuck in your teeth where it might be desecrated later by coming into contact with the profane."
If only our children today and our adults had such holy fear and reverence!