A priest’s comment

Over at the blog Offerimus Tibi Domini, Father Gary Dickenson submitted an interesting comment.  I had never heard of this theological perspective but it certainly resonates with our Catholic ethos:

Fr. Gary Dickson said…

Our practice is to allow those who kneel (which I encourage) to do so, on the premise that it shows more faith in the Real Presence, more humility before God and more reverence for God. However, there is also the fact that for centuries the altar rails did what the Iconostasis does in the East, that is, delineate heaven (the sanctuary) from earth (the nave), therefore to kneel on the sanctuary is to ‘touch Heaven’, the best posture for ‘receiving Heaven’ (Holy Communion). Leaving the sanctuary to distribute Holy Communion was regarded as ‘incarnational’; a sign of God leaving heaven to dwell on earth, but it prevents the faithful from touching heaven, and the whole purpose of the Incarnation was to get man to heaven, not keep him earthbound. I truly believe that receiving on the hand while standing has done more damage to the faith of the people and to the celebration of liturgy than anything else, on a par of course with the loss of the ad-orientem posture (wherein the priest leads us to God) and of sacred chant, (which has been replaced by hymns with a folk or ‘pop’ inflection) when liturgy is meant to help us experience the Transcendent, not earth

About ihmprayforme

lifelong Catholic; homeschooled our children; have been regularly attending the Tridentine Mass for at least the past 17 years.
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